DIY Shibori Inspired Picnic Blanket

6 Materials
1 Hour

Now that we are in full swing of summer that means beach days, playing at the park and picnics in your backyard. All things I LOVE! Another trend I am loving is Shibori. I know I have mentioned this dying technique before- almost like a more mature tye dye if you ask me- haha. Shibori is an ancient Japanese resist dying technique where you fold and bind fabric in all sorts of folds to create gorgeous patterns. Typically indigo dye is used, creating a deep gorgeous blue masterpiece. Want to see some inspiration, just jump on pinterest….from apparel to home decor- you really can’t go wrong!

Photo Cred: Anya McInroy
First start by folding your fabric up. Just like tye dye, each fold with create a unique pattern. I wanted to play around with an accordion fold and then pressing the fold between two planks of wood to apply pressure. The main thing to keep in mind when folding is that this is a resistant dye so the more folds mean the more white lines, which makes your piece all the more beautiful and visually appealing (aka fold a ton!). (oh and my black lab maya was very excited to help- ha!)
I started with a long rectangle and then made a triangle fold onto each new section until I ran out of fabric.
Our fabric is actually 100% cotton!
Just keep folding :)
Next I pressed the fabric between two boards of wood and secured with rubber bands. These rubber bands are doing more than securing my wood though, they will act as folds and resist dye on the areas they touch fabric- yay for more visual interest!
Once your fabric/wood is all ready go ahead and prep the dye according to the instructions on the package. Once you have your dye ready, time to dunk!!
First gave it a good dunk and then I let me fabric/wood sit in the dye for about 5 minutes to really absorb the dye. I didn’t let the entire piece sit in the dye because I thought it might be a neat ombre effect if some areas are lighter/darker.
Apparently the dye can still go through the gloves, oops! Smurf Sam here :)
Time to unfold and dry….
Backyard picnic with a my friend Anya’s new puppy ? I think YES!
Cheers to Summer!

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Zest it Up

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 18 questions
  • Nancy Bedsworth Bishop
    on Aug 2, 2018

    When you took the fabric & wood out of the bucket to unfold and let it dry, it must have been dripping wet. Did you let it drain and dry a bit before unfolding it? Wouldn't the dripping dye have stained the white areas as you unfolded it while it was so wet?

    • Zest it Up
      on Aug 7, 2018

      Once you take it out of the bucket, we recommend rinsing the fabric & wood because it will be dripping with dye. Once you rinse it a little bit, go ahead and unfold it. The dye might bleed a little into the white areas but it shouldn't ruin the design from the folding.

  • Amaya Miller
    on Mar 1, 2019

    Would this work with hoodies?

    • Trixie
      on May 19, 2019

      It depends on the fabric. This was 100% cotton. I think hoodies usually have some polyester in them. Polyester won't dye using this method.

  • RN
    on Jul 19, 2019

    Is the vinegar rinse diluted vinegar or straight vinegar? How long should fabric sit in rinse? Should dyed item be washed separately?

Join the conversation

2 of 91 comments
  • Val
    on Nov 7, 2018

    I love this and your pup is super cute.

  • Sunny
    on Nov 8, 2018

    I love this dying technique! And you have a super cute pup! 🐕😁😎

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