Look at me, following through on my promises! Well, one of them anyway – I still owe you a couple of other tutorials. Which are also at the top of my list, but … you know. First things first and all that. Yay for tutorials!
So even though the hyphenated words “tie-dye” are in the title, this is actually really cool and works just as well with my great-grandmother’s china as it does with a hipster, antler centerpiece. I mean, I guess that’s the whole point of it – it’s indie enough to keep things from getting too serious, and chic enough to support the fancy stuff. It’s right there in the middle, just where it’s supposed to be.
Yes, that’s a drop cloth.
DIY TIE-DYED TABLECLOTH
- Canvas drop cloth (I purchased this 8oz version from Home Depot)
- Paint (I used regular ol’ house paint in black – it was even gloss paint, whatever)
- Spray bottle
- Rope or string
- Rubber gloves (not necessary, but nice to have)
- Something to protect your work area – plastic shower curtains are great
Begin by folding the drop cloth into an accordion shape – because of the massive size, I folded it lengthwise first and then pleated it. Tightly secure it with rope or string around the pleats, wherever is needed – the fabric is stiff, so I recommend wrapping it a few times before tying each knot. Trim any excess string. Next, combine the paint and water in your spray bottle (less paint; more water – about a 1 to 8 ratio) and shake to combine. The more water, the fainter the dye, but it’s also less crunchy that way.* Now cover your work surface – you’re about to make a giant mess. Spray the entire drop cloth with the dye bath, being sure to soak every exposed surface. Don’t worry about the pools of paint collecting on your plastic work surface – they will dry. Allow the drop cloth to dry for a couple of hours – it doesn’t have to be completely dry when you unfold it, but you want to give the dye sufficient time to set. Now cut the strings and unfold. If you’re happy with the design, you’re all done! Mine looked a little bare, so I refolded it, being sure to expose more of the untouched areas, and repeated the process. There’s no right or wrong way to do it – just play around until you’re pleased with the pattern. Once it’s completely dry, iron it to smooth out the wrinkles and set the dye. No worries about washing – the dye is in there – it’s not coming out.
* Note: if you’re worried about the crunchiness-factor, you can use a paint made specifically for fabric dying, or add a fabric paint medium, like this one from Martha Stewart. For my purposes, it totally wasn’t necessary, but it’s an option.