Friday, August 5, 2011

Project Week: Ombre Curtains

Here it is! My big project, hand dyed ombre curtains. Most of you know I'm no stranger to undertaking DIY projects but for some reason this one was a bit intimidating to me. It could have easily gone horribly wrong, I could've burned myself with scalding water, wasted money, hated it. But fortunately none of that happened and I love the outcome!

I started out with these Ritva curtains from Ikea. A bargain. The website says $35/pair but I swear I only paid $30...

Some rit dye + internet research and I got started.

I heated up the water in big pots on the stove and dumped them in these tubs to make the dye bath. My husband was on stand by to help me keep things under control. I started doing it by myself and had premonitions of him walking in the room with water boiling, dye everywhere, wet dogs with purple streaks and utter chaos so it was good to have a helper. 

Since I was doing two colors, each beginning at one end of the curtain, I decided it would be best to dye them at the same time. 

Each end of the curtain started in the dye bath, I put about 10-12 inches of fabric in for about 5 minutes, then another 10-12 in for another 5 minutes, until the whole thing was submerged. To blend the center together I went back and for into each dye bath, overlapping as I went.

I didn't do the timing or amount of fabric on each level to an exact science, no sense in getting caught up in something that might not make a difference I guess.

You can see I had some trim in there. I bought this dyeable trim from Joann's to sew on vertically. For dyeing though I just safety pinned it to the curtain.

Then I hung the curtains outside and hosed them down with water and wrung them out multiple times. The whole project was difficult for the mere fact that these curtains are 118" long, so it made it hard to maneuver I guess you could say.

While they looked great at this point, I wasn't happy with them. I wanted them to be very dark on each end and they weren't. So back to the store I went.

I re-dyed each end, soaking for much longer this time, and repeated the whole process again. Finally I was happy!

The only problem was, the trim which was made of rayon shrank considerably, boo. I had cut the trim extra long in case of this very situation and it still shrank probably about 8-10 inches!

Oh well, most of you DIYers know that part of doing projects is rolling with the punches as you go. So I sewed a little bit across the top and bam, I was done!

They look lighter with the light shining through but they are actually pretty dark in reality.

I think I need new curtain rods now, but I freaking love my new curtains!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!



Heather Peterson said...


tina / half of what I say said...

Gorgeous! I have an unhealthy obsession with everything ombre, I think it creates just than next level of interest.

Kaye said...

You did it!! Can't wait to see the colors in looks so good!

Kellie Collis said...

Lovely color! It looks wonderful! Have a gorgeous week ahead, Kellie xx

Things To Do said...

I love the color the curtains give off with the sun shining through. I've always been wary of dye every since a pre-teen tie-dye shirt fiasco. Congrats on another successful project!

Leah said...

These turned out so cute! I LOVE!


LindsB said...

ohhh, yours came out so pretty! I wish mine came out like that- actually I wish mine didnt shrink :)

Anonymous said...

wow I just had to comment. These are so beautiful. What a lovely job. I feel inspired to do a pair myself in blue or green! That material is just lovely. Thanks for the great post. =)