Summer Inspired Tie Dye Pillowcases

7 Materials
1 Day

I love summer time. Sun, sand, watermelon, summer flowers... Everything is so warm and fun. Except my sheets.

I have a relatively large bed, where sheets are either hard to find or too expensive. I had the same sheets for the past couple of years and after so many washes in the washing machine it turned greyish. It still feels soft, I just don’t like the color of it. It goes well with my blue winter set, but with my orange-red summer set it just looks awful.

My aunt suggested to tie dye them in order to give them a nice summer touch. I’ve always enjoyed doing stuff with my aunt because she’s so creative, so I gladly accepted her kind offer.

The finished product

We started by spreading the pillow cases on the kitchen table. We drew two lines 1 inch apart with a washable marker.

We folded the pillow case perfectly in a hand fan exactly over the drawn lines. It had to be perfectly symmetric in order to see a straight line on the finished product. We tired a plastic rubber band over the fold.

Then, we wrinkled the ends randomly and tied it with another rubber band.

After washing it in room-temperature water and tying the rubber band as tight as possible, we set it in an aluminium foil and mixed the colors we wanted.

We used Tulip one-step Tie Dye. It comes in a powder that needs to be mixed with room-temperature water.

We poured red color around the edges and in the middle, between the lines, we poured some yellow. We dropped a few red drops here and there on the yellow in order to create a cool gradient effect.

Then we set it aside covered with a plastic bag for 9 hours. Meanwhile we had some aunt-niece catching up with good coffee and homemade cookies. Yum!

After long 9 hours (when it comes to arts and crafts I'm such an impatient person) I filled a bucket with 4 gallons of hot water (at least 140 Fahrenheit) and added 4 spoons of Rit Color Stay Fixative. 

I sunk the pillow cases in the hot water and left it there for 25 minutes.

After that I emptied the bucket to the stool. The colors were so strong that every drop had to be wiped away immediately or it would leave a stain permanently.

I held the pillowcases under running tap water for another 10 minutes and then I unfolded it, cutting the rubber bands open.

I set it to rest for the night outside on the east side of the house - so by the time I will wake up, the sun will have it completely dried out. 

I put the pillowcases alone in the washing machine for 30 minutes in a 60 degrees to clean it completely. 

Ready to be used!

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Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Sheiba
    on Jun 28, 2019

    Where do you buy that tulip dye ?

  • Robyn Garner
    on Jun 29, 2019

    Did you know there's a cheaper, more effective way to set your colors?

    I've found the best way to set colors is using salt and vinegar.

    Here's what to do. Use a large mixing bowl or cleaning bucket, and then fill it with one gallon of water. Add one-fourth cup table salt and one cup vinegar. The vinegar and salt work together to naturally lock the color into the fabric.

    • Robyn Garner
      on Sep 15, 2019

      I just dunk and lift, dunk and lift just like doing hand wash. When you see that the water is running out of your dyed (or new) clothing, it's pretty "done". Rinse well under cold water.

      If you see that the clean water rinse is still coming out with dye, repeat the process. 😎

  • Lin
    on Jul 13, 2019

    What do you mean, "you emptied the bucket to the stool" ? I don't understand that one line. Do you mean you emptied the bucket into the toilet?

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