Monday, June 4, 2012

Zero-Effort Tie-Dye Pillows

As you may remember, I'm a fan of going into Anthropologie, walking around looking at all the beautiful goods, and walking out crying. Every time one of the associates asks if I need any help, it takes everything to resist just blurting out -


So I go home and rip them off. Its okay, they're a major corporation, and contrary to increasingly popular belief, corporations aren't people! Today, let's visit the Five Palms Pillow. Sophisticated, simple, and a real bargain at $228.


Today, for our ~Anthropologie inspired housewares~, you will need:
Old pillow, pillow form, or stuffing
Fabric for pillowcase, I used muslin but any cotton will do
Sharpies - I used brown, blue, yellow and green
Rubbing alcohol
Q-tips


After cutting the fabric down (I laid my old pillow down and cut around it, leaving about an inch around around the edges), I started mapping out the palm trees. No need to give Van Gogh a run for his money here, just scribble some lines that look like a couple of cotton balls shoved in a skinny ice cream cone. 


Once thats done, take your q-tip and dip it in rubbing alcohol, enough so that you get little droplets coming off. Start dropping the rubbing alcohol on top of your trees, then gently rub it in, just enough to get rid of the marker lines and make it look a bit more like water color. I also dragged the color in a few places just to tweak the shape to my liking. 


The colors did spread a little more than on the original pillow, which I was okay with, because it started to also remind me of this other pillow I loved but was too cheap to buy - 


I let it sit overnight to dry, then went back in with a marker to add the tree trunks and some more details where the lines had become a bit too soft and then sewed the new case on my old pillow.

I ended up liking this technique a lot, because scribbling and then dousing it in rubbing alcohol is a really simple process that has a really pretty payoff. With my leftover fabric, I played around with this technique a bit more. I loved it because the last time i tried to dip dye fabric with Rit, it was a mess and I got dye everywhere and couldn't control anything. This was much less chaotic.


However, with this one I scribbled in descending color intensity, and then laid it in the bathtub to coat it in rubbing alcohol to do the blending. And that's how I dyed my bathtub purple. A little bleach seems to be helping but I have a feeling this is going to take a lot of chemicals and elbow grease to get this sucker clean. Whoops. Please learn from my mistakes. Um, and give me tips on how to get sharpie stains out of your bathtub...Unless you're my landlord reading this, in which case, just kidding John. Everything is great.

xo,

53 comments:

  1. another brilliant ZanDIY. ;)

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    1. one day i WILL get that to catch on.

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    2. $228 for a pillow? Is it filled with quarters?

      Love this :)

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  2. These are so great, Meg!!!

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  3. Did you try the magic erasers. They did wondrous things at the day care I worked at. Great pillows by the way. They have inspired another craft project for me. Question though. If I used them on a pillow case but then washed it in the washing machine will it bleed out and dye the other things in the wash?

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    1. I'd be willing to bet it would fade somewhat and other items might pick up the color (and then they'd have Sharpie stains--which you can lighten but seldom remove entirely!) Probably best to do a quick cold water wash in the sink with just a dash of detergent, then let it air dry. Maybe sharpie-art a swatch of fabric and give it a test-wash to see how it fares?

      By the way Meg--your pillows are stunning! Anthropologie will soon fear you. Those tumblers are so clever!

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    2. when i was rinsing them in the tub, i rinsed them with water just to get all the sharpie out and let the water run clear, so im hoping that got the bulk of the extra dye, but i'd wash them on their own the first time just in case!! haha maybe it makes me gross, but i don't wash the throw pillows on my couch too often, so im not too worried :)

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    3. I have had white tshirts decorated with sharpies before- they faded over time, but I never noticed issues with bleeding onto other things in the laundry. Or even on the tshirts themselves.

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    4. try putting them in a salt bath, it helps to set the color, in Indonesia when they make the batik fabric, to set the dye they dip them in the ocean and dry them in the sun...

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  4. Meg, these are so perfect!! You should start an Etsy. :) I can't wait to do this after I move and I have more space/inspiration to do projects.

    Let's set a fabric date soon?

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    1. yes, lets finish your bed soon!!

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  5. Oh my god, l o l $228, ANTHRO IS ON CRACK 99% OF THE TIME I SWEAR. Love the palm tree pillow.

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    1. lol i know i saw it and was like "this is super nice, but sweet baby jesus"

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  6. These came out so pretty! I need to make some.
    Def gonna try this outside to avoid staining my bathtub tho haha

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    1. hahaha learn from my mistakes, please

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  7. http://www.tipjunkie.com/remove-ink-stains- try this on your bath tub!

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    Replies
    1. THANK YOU!!!! that definitely helped so much haha

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  8. I've got to be honest...I like your pillows way better than the Anthropology pillows! Love the colors and the watercolor effect. Beautiful results!

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  9. The pillow case you let soak in your bathtub, was the whole thing soaked in alchohol? And for how long? Then you rinsed it until the water ran clear?
    I just want to make sure I understand because I have GOT to try that!

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    1. haha so i just haphazardly poured the alcohol over the marked parts, as long as a little bit of alcohol touches each part of the marker, you get this effect! no need to soak, i only used about 1/4 of the bottle? it was like:

      mark up pillow
      pour rubbing alcohol willy nilly over marker, this takes about 45 seconds
      let rubbing alcohol run off until its just drops, not a stream, that takes about two minutes
      rinse until it runs mostly clear! mine wasnt crystal clear because to do that i feel like i would have had to scrunch it and i didnt want to mess up the gradient. even without rinsing fully, it hasnt smudged or budged or anything!

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    2. OK, zandi, love this! Oh- try a Magic Eraser to get the stains of purple offa your tub. I have not tried it, but those things are, well, magic! Worth a shot!

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  10. my daughter tried doing the sharpie markers on her babies onesies and they looked teriffic until she hand washed them after the alcohol dried. They faded badly but you have to wash the alcohol smell off them before putting them on a baby. Is there any way to keep the colors from fading?????? Pillows look great. The effect is so much fun. Great job and Estsy would be a great idea.

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    1. Try throwing them through a hot dryer for 15 minutes to set the colours.

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    2. I did tshirt and heat set them in the dryer. The first time the dryer wasn't hot enough and it faded. My second try worked out much better. I've read a few blogs that have suggested a hot iron as well

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  11. These are fabulous! The palm tree one turned out great! Definitely trying this!

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  12. Hate to argue with you, honey, but I just can't let statements like that stand. No, a corporation is not a person, it's actually a whole lot of people, organized for a commone purpose, which usually involves providing goods in exchange for money. You know, money, like the stuff people use to take care of themselves and their families.
    That said, no one's making you buy their overpriced goods, so go ahead and rip off to your heart's content! Nothing wrong with it.

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    1. she was joking, don't call her honey with your condescending little attitude

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  13. That pillow is amazing and I literally busted out laughing at your Bridesmaid reference.

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  14. I love your writing! And Ideas!!! xx

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  15. WOW you're versions are SO MUCH better than the originals!! :) Love the ideas

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  16. It may take a lot, but ive always found that hand sanitiser takes sharpie out of everything.

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  17. Thank you for the turorial! That is awesome!.. PS. You can get the sharpie out of your tub with hairspray :)

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  18. This is amazing!! I just made two pillows for my sister and they turned out amazing!! I set the sharpie by first putting them in the drier then using an iron. I hand washed them in cold water about 16 hours later and no sharpie came out! I wish I could post a picture they are amazing!!

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  19. These are amazing! I just made two pillows for my sister for her Birthday and they look so awesome! I set the sharpie by putting them in the dryer and then using the iron. I waited about 24 hours to wash them by hand in cold water. They look perfect! I am so excited to give them to her as a gift! Thanks for the post!!

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  20. Have you tried cleaning your bath with the rubbing alcohol? I'm a designer and I use it to clean EVERYTHING - to this day, I've not found a stain like that that it won't remove. Also, it makes sense as that's what loosened the piment to start with. Gorgeous cushions, thanks for tutorial....just one question - do they wash okay? Thanks x

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  21. Have you tried using the white spirit? I think it may be called IPA (Isoproplalcohol) in the states. It cleans EVERYTHING - I'm a designer and I frequently use it to take paint, marks, dye, glue etc off hard surfaces - it can change the surface appearance of some plastics, but it won't harm a bath.

    Great cushions, they look fantastic, just one question - do they wash well?

    Thanks for the tutorial x

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  22. Try rubbing alcohol or white vinegar in your tub to clean it.

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  23. Try rubbing alcohol or white vinegar in your tub to clean it.

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  24. Question! Do you think you could do this to a shirt/pants, if they were cotton? Would it all just wash off in the washing machine

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    1. i think that you could!! readers above said they have found the best luck setting it with a hot iron, so i think that would be a good step to do before washing!

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  25. Do you think that if you used the new fabric sharpies and used the rubbing alcohol do you think then if you washed it in the washing machine it wouldn't bleed on everything if the fabric sharpies even worked the same??

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  26. also if your bathtub is still purple try tooth paste or hand sanitizer

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  27. Would this work on onesies? If your tub is still purple mix one part original blue dawn to one part white vinegar in a spray bottle. Let sot an hour and rinse. Viola a clean and sanitized tub!

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  28. Would this work on onesies? Also if your tub is still purple try equal parts original blue dawn and distilled vinegar. Mix in a spay bottle, let sit 1 hour and rinse. Viola sparkling clean and sanitized tub.

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  29. I have read other articles on dying and they mention using steam to set the color. I would be interested to see if that would work.

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  30. Articles on dying mention using steam to set the color. Be niceto see if it worked.

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  31. Hi! I completely fell in love with this! I live outside America and I couldn't find rubbing alcohol, but acetone based nail polish remover works just as well!! Thank you for thus post!

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  32. Hi! I completely fell in love with this! I live outside America and I couldn't find rubbing alcohol, but acetone based nail polish remover works just as well!! Thank you for thus post!

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  33. If u haven't gotten your tub clean yet try dawn power degreaser (also sold as dawn grill) in blue spray bottle. Available at Walmart or Lowes. It will work. Other option dawn dish soap 2 tbsp w/ white vinegar2 cups

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  34. Your palm tree pillow came out better than Anthropologie's, IMO. Beautiful work. I am going to try this sometime soon on everything that has fabric. lol

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