Our dining room has been this close to being complete for awhile now. The only problem: the white wall and white curtain combo was seriously lacking in color. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to try a project I’ve been wanting to do for months: DIY blue ombre curtains.
I could have just replaced the boring curtains, but that’s not how I do things. I had two perfectly good pairs of white curtains that I knew I could make work. Call me old-fashioned, but I just have this need to work with what I’ve got instead of just buying something new. (Plus, I really wanted to try making some ombre curtains.)
And even better, I’ve joined up with five other creative geniuses for this month’s Create and Share Challenge. We each created something fun using a pair of simple white curtains, so if ombre isn’t for you, keep reading for more beautiful ideas at the end of this post.
Most people that dye their own ombre curtains choose to dip-dye them. Basically that means you dip the bottom of the curtains in a bucket of dye and slowly lift it out so that the top is lighter than the bottom. But that seemed messy and way too unpredictable for me, so I went my own way.
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Materials needed for ombre curtains
White cotton curtain panels (I used Lenda curtains from Ikea which are dirt cheap. I just cut off the tab tops and used curtain rings. Be forewarned though: they do shrink if you wash them so be sure to get the extra long ones.)
How to make ombre curtains
First of all, even though you aren’t dealing with buckets of dye, this is still very messy. Be sure to protect whatever surface you are working on very well. Because dye has one job and it is very good at it. Whatever it touches will change color! That includes your skin, so be sure to wear the gloves that are included with the dye.
As far as the dye, there are actually quite a few great colors, but they didn’t have exactly what I was looking for so I mixed my own color. I used a combination of blue, turquoise, and teal dye to make my own color. I followed the directions to mix each dye with water and then mixed my custom color in an empty squirt bottle. I made sure to keep track of the exact mixture so I would be able to mix more if needed. The recipe for the color I used is 30 teaspoons of blue, 20 teaspoons of aqua, and 15 teaspoons of teal. It made a great dark turquoisy-blue.
Once your work area is well-protected, spread out the bottom of your curtain panel. Make sure that you have a cup of water and your paintbrush nearby. I wasn’t able to take many pictures of the actual process because you need to work quickly, so I will do my best to explain my process.
I started by brushing water on the bottom few inches of the curtain panel and then squirted a line of dye along the bottom. I quickly used the brush to spread the dye all along the bottom edge. I added a few more lines of dye until the bottom six inches were covered. Then without adding more dye, I wet the paintbrush with water and dragged the dye up the curtain.
As you continue to brush upward and keep adding water to your brush, the color will get lighter and lighter. It is important to complete the dye process as quickly as possible and not let the dye dry before you finish.
Once everything is dyed and looking good, you are supposed to cover the dye with plastic for 6-8 hours. This is no big deal when you are dyeing a t-shirt, but when you are working on huge curtain panels, it is a little more difficult. I rolled each curtain up like a burrito, making sure not to let the dyed area drip onto the white part of the curtain. Then I stuck the dyed end into a trash bag and left it overnight.
In the morning, I carefully removed the trashbag and rinsed the excess dye off. Again, be careful that no dye splashes onto the white part of your curtains. The final step is to let your curtains air dry and then they are ready to hang.
I’m loving how light and airy they are without being boring. I’m not sure whether they will stay in this room, but I’m definitely glad I finally tacked this project. (And let’s be real, this color will clearly work in any room in our house!)
Funny story, when I asked my husband what he thought about them, he said, “They’re nice. Are you going to finish dyeing the top part?” Haha, um no, that’s the whole point.
Ready to see more fantastic ideas to update white curtains? You have got to check out these projects from my friends. I am seriously impressed with these styish projects.
Want even more DIY curtain inspiration? These projects are for you:
- White cotton curtain panels
- Tie Dye Kit
- Trash Bags
- Follow the directions to mix each dye with water and then mix in an empty squirt bottle.
- Protect your work area and spread out the bottom of your curtain panel.
- Start by brushing water on the bottom few inches of the curtain panel.
- Squirt a line of dye along the bottom.
- Use the brush to spread the dye along the bottom edge.
- Add a few more lines of dye until the bottom six inches is covered.
- Wet a paintbrush with water and drag the dye up the curtain.
- Continue to brush upward and keep adding water to your brush.
- Roll the curtains up and place the end in the trash bags overnight.
- Remove the trash bag and rinse the excess dye off.
- Let your curtains air dry and then hang.
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Have a wonderful week!