DIY Shibori Pillows + Indigo-Dyed Linens

A few months back I finally started to plan to do all the little DIY and home projects that had been adding up on my to do list and Pinterest board. Today, I’m bringing you the first home-related project, these DIY Shibori pillows and indigo dyed table linens. The Shibori pillows are the main attraction here, but since I had a cat of indigo dye in my bathroom I thought I’d toss a couple other things in as well.

DIY Indigo-Dyed Shibori Pillows

I’m not going to lie, I’m not totally psyched on how these pillows came out. First, I was hoping for cleaner stripes, of course with this method I should have known they wouldn’t turn out that way. Also, I made them for our living room sofa, but after they were finished and I put them in there, they looked all wrong. Dream, meet reality.

Anyway, I still wanted to share these with you because they’re so easy. Also, I love the way the linens turned out too! I’ll talk about those at the end of the post.

DIY Shibori Pillows With Indigo Dye

What you’ll need:
Indigo Dye Kit
White pillow covers (mine are from Ikea)
5 gallon bucket with lid
Old towels or a drop cloth you don’t mind getting dirty or stained

IKEA pillow case, perfect for DIYIndigo dye kitShibori pattern, for stripesHow to make it:

I just followed the directions included in the dye kit. The kit itself comes with wood blocks and rubber bands to create patterns as well as a guide to multiple types of Shibori-style patterns. Fill your bucket with water, add the dye and other powders, stir and wait according to instructions. I set my bucket up in the bathtub, but be warned: my tub ended up dyed blue and I had to do some real scrubbing to get it out. I suggest doing this outside if you’re able.

When the dye is ready you can start dying your fabric. I had my pillow cases tied up already in the pattern I wanted and just submerged them. You want to be sure not to introduce too much air to the dye. It will look a yellow-green color – the dye turns blue as it oxidizes. For a deeper color, leave them in the dye for 5-10 minutes (this is what I did, but I wish I’d gone for a lighter color). Rinse the excess dye from the fabric, then wash.

What I would have done differently: Like I mentioned before, these didn’t turn out exactly like I wanted. First, I would have done a different pattern. My original idea was to just fold the pillow case in half and dip the ends in, leaving a white stripe in the middle. I also would have dyed the fabric for less time for a softer blue color. My hope was that I’d get the fabric dark like this, but that just didn’t happen and th in-between color just didn’t work with my decor. Ah well, live and learn.

DIY Indigo Shibori Pillows

Now, for the table linens. These were thrift store finds gifted to us by a family member, but they were a soft blue color that wasn’t really my style. This first picture shows approximately the color they were before, though the color was a little brighter in person.

simple cloth napkins

The placemats were a similar color, and just weren’t doing it for me. So, while the indigo dye was prepping, I pulled these out of my drawers and decided to dunk them in and see what happens. They were free, and I figured I couldn’t hurt them. They turned out the most beautiful indigo shade, and now they’ve replaced the place mats we had on our table before! I love the deep blue color, and have found they add the perfect punch of color to an otherwise boring corner of our home.

As you can see below, the pillows have made their way into our dining area, as cushions for our very uncomfortable Ikea folding chairs. I’m not sure what their ultimate fate will be, but for less than $20 I can’t really complain that it didn’t work out exactly. I’m glad I thought to throw some other items into the dye, so the experiment wasn’t a total failure.

DIY Indigo-dyed cloth napkins DIY indigo-dyed pillows, napkins and placemat

Let me know if you try this out! Have you done any other fun home DIY projects lately? Let me know if there’s any I should give a shot! Not that I need to make my list any longer…