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dyed canvas

March 11, 2010

Has anybody NOT tye-died before?  It seems to me that growing up, tye-dying was like a staple.  I can remember doing it so. many. times. and it maintained it’s awesomeness no matter how many times it was done.  For example, check out how happy my little friends and I are about our newly-dyed shirts at my eighth birthday party.  We are ecstatic.

(ED: do you love it when I post pictures of your eight year old self on the internets?  I hope so, because we made one fine looking chorus line! 🙂 )

Somebody, please tell me that you have pictures of your eight year old self in tye dye.  This was all the rage.  Well, this and those crazy shirts that changed colors with body heat that my mom would never let me get because she thought they were gross.  And in retrospect, she was right.  I mean, who wants to advertise their hotness on their t-shirt?

Anyways.  Back to the present.

I picked up a package of rit dye (in evening blue), and thought I might try to dye some painter’s canvas that I had laying around.  My hope was that I’d get a cute enough shade of blue to hang as the bathroom curtain.  Spoiler Alert: It didn’t quite work out as a shower curtain… the canvas shrunk a bit too much when washed + dried.

I washed and dried the canvas, then followed the instructions on the packaging.  I used liquid dye, a bucket, and hot water, and here’s what happened:

(The lighter shade is the canvas’ initial color, added here for comparison)

The canvas ended up a bit deeper shade of blue than I expected, and I think that because of the tan tones originally in the fabric, it’s probably a little more teal-y than it would be if you used white fabric.  The view from here is great, and the color actually happens to work in our bedroom, so I’ll be finding a fun project to use it for there.

When I look at the fabric closely, there appear to be stripes of deeper and lighter color – can you see them in the picture below?

I imagine that if I’d have used two packets of dye, I’d probably have a deeper, more consistent color.  But I’m over it for now.  Next time…

Next time, I’m thinking about using a green dye and making curtains.  I have a new obsession with emerald green curtains.  Plus, canvas cloth is pretty darn cheap (9×6 for ~$10) and the dye is $2-3/package, so I think this could be a quick, easy, and thrifty approach to curtain-making.

Has anyone else tried dying their own fabric for curtains or anything else?  Do you have any tips for my next dying project?  And last, who else has a picture of themselves circa mid-1980s wearing an over-sized tie-dyed t-shirt?  Please tell me I’m not alone here….

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Tami permalink
    March 11, 2010 10:31 am

    Sorry the shower curtain didn’t work out as planned. But I LOVE that shade of blue for my house. I find dying fabric a bit frustrating. I have one color in mind and it always seems to come out differently. It may be one of those “go with the flow” projects that you have to be open to whatever color you get. I did some dying of wool for rugs that I have made in the past. Wool takes dye beautifully and plaids or houndstooth checks are fun. You can pick up old wool skirts, pants or jackets at garage sales for almost nothing (check labels to make sure they are 100% wool). Wash, dye and VOILA! something new and fun to use for your projects.

    PS…talk to your cousin about tie dye birthday photos…….

    • March 11, 2010 10:38 am

      dying of wool for rugs!? do you have any pictures!? I can’t imagine it. But it sounds like a fun + cheap idea… sign me up!

      Jennifer! Catherine! I want to hear about the tie dye birthday photos!!!!

  2. Debbie permalink
    March 11, 2010 11:30 am

    LOVE the chorus line picture! How cute were you all!
    I never had much luck with dying things other than tie dying. It never turned out the color I wished for. Canvas is funny to work with because of the shrinkage factor. How about a muslin; I don’t think it would shrink as much(but it wouldn’t be as heavy if you’re looking for weight for a fabric).

  3. March 11, 2010 12:52 pm

    That picture reminds me of a birthday party I had (around 10yrs old maybe?) that was dress-up and make-up themed. We even took prom-style pictures on the stairs in the house. Talk about embarrassing. I hope those photos have found their way into a fire.

  4. March 11, 2010 3:49 pm

    Love the lineup of you and your friends in tye dye! lol, I always wanted a tye bye shirt, but mom said nope.

  5. Debbie permalink
    March 11, 2010 6:33 pm

    By the way, are any of those girls in the picture your wedding attendants?

    • March 12, 2010 11:57 am

      Nope, unfortunately, none of them were…

  6. Mom permalink
    March 11, 2010 8:39 pm

    FYI – I have outgrown the colonial decor sported in this circa late 1980s photo. Also, please note the mess on the floor is sleeping bags… not evidence of my poor housekeeping skills.

  7. Mom permalink
    March 11, 2010 8:41 pm

    btw: I also love that shade of blue, hmmm, now to find a project for it. Maybe new beds in your bedroom for Jez and Barley?

    • March 12, 2010 11:57 am

      Whoa. Great minds think alike! That’s what I was going to do!!

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