How (Not) to DIY: Dip Dyed Pillow Cases

 When I originally decided to create a project based on a Pinterest image, I told myself this was a good opportunity to try something new. Challenge myself. Broaden my horizons and all that. I saw this image:

And thought it was the perfect choice. Something fun, looked like I probably couldn’t screw it up, and it gave me a change to try dip dying! Something I’d never done before.

So I headed out and picked up a couple plain white pillow cases, and a package of fabric dye in royal blue. Here was my chance to inject a little pop of color into my white and grey bedroom!! Little did I know what was to come.

I mixed together the dye as per the instructions, using an old plastic container that I didn’t mind ruining.

I put down a layer of newspaper on my outside table and went to town. This is where I ran into the first of my many issues with this project – no gloves would protect me from the dye.  Well, in the name of full disclosure, I started out with no gloves. I had a vision of myself lowering the pillow cases gently into the dye, then pulling them out with ease! Why would I need gloves?? This was going to be simple!

Turns out it was the opposite of that. The cases rested on top of the dye awkwardly and forced me to try and poke them in evenly with my fingers. Once I had turned my entire left hand blue and the pillow case was still floundering on top of the dye, I switched to rubber gloves and thought I had this in the bag.

Still no. I guess the gloves were either faulty or not completely waterproof to begin with because I then dyed my right hand blue as well. At least they matched, right? Once that happened I gave up trying to fight the dye and went with it. At this point I also gave up trying to achieve the even straight lines from the inspiration photo and just let things happen as they would. I figured I’d call it abstract art and be done with it.

Once both cases were dyed, I hung them on some old chairs in the garden to dry. I was fairly happy with the way they looked. Sure, not what I had intended, but kind of interesting none the less. I didn’t want to have blue hands and nothing to show for it, so I figured I’d give them a chance.

Once they were dry, having learned my lesson about the pervasiveness of fabric coloring, I washed them thoroughly to get out the excess dye. Well, this was the end of the line for my poor pillow covers. It seems like somehow fabric dye will stay on my hands for weeks (!!) but will wash out of fabric with the slightest amount of water.

The pillows lost so much of their deep vibrant color when I washed them. I know it was a necessary step since if I hadn’t, I would have been waking up with blue face for months to come, but still. Bummed. I’m thinking I could try and dye them a second time and hope for better results but honestly I still have nightmares of further efforts forcing me to leave society and join the Blue Man Group.

So this is my ‘lessons learned’ DIY. I’ll be stepping away from the fabric dye and into safer territory from now on. I even used a wet saw this weekend and it was AHH-MAZING. I guess we all have our projects that don’t turn out the way we imagined them, right? I read so many of these amazing blogs where people seem to execute one excellent project after another without breaking a sweat. It can be hard not to compare your own little life with all the seemingly perfect bloggers out there. I guess my point is, sometimes things don’t go as planned, sometimes the bed sheets aren’t ironed, you just gotta put it out there, let it go and move on.

Wishing you all better success in your endeavors this week.

-C

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