Fashion is everywhere

Chez Larsson

Dip Dye Fail?

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So after seeing several cool dip dye projects such as this one I decided to try my hand on one. I had a pillow case that I half dipped in green fabric dye. And then I threw in a second pillow case in the dye bath just for the fun of it.



I’m pretty sure I consider the second pillow case (the one at the back) a fail (all blotchy but not in a tie dye good (?) way) but I’m still on the fence about the dip one. I don’t like that there’s a sharpish line between the green and the white but I do kind of like the idea of the half green half white.

What do you think? Is it a keeper or a tosser? Maybe it just doesn’t go with the grey? Or maybe it’s just plain ugly. Tell me.


  • Ella says:

    Sorry to say it but …It’s not quite right.

  • Judith says:

    Oh I like it. And I think it goes with the grey. Maybe it would also look good amid some semi- or all-white pillows against a white background?

  • Catherine says:

    I agree that the full colour one didn’t quite work out but I LOVE the dip dye one. For me, personally, I think it would look great in an all white setting though. I like the grey but the pillow is so fresh and crisp looking and the grey is very textured. The textures just don’t seem to go together more than the colours. If you don’t like it though you could create a stampede and host a giveaway! 😉

  • Masha says:

    I like the half-dipped one. I’ve read that when you’re dip dyeing you should slightly moisted the whole fabric, so when you dip it in the dye, the dye will gradually “go up” on the fabric and there shouldn’t be such stark lines… Oh, jeez, I hope I explained that well…

  • Leena says:

    I kind of like the half dyed fabric, but I don’t like the whitish line near the edge.
    Did you wet the fabrics before you dipped them? I have a feeling that I’ve read from somewhere that the fabric should be damp when dipping, the colour will spread more evenly. I haven’t dyed anything my self so I’m not sure.
    Perhaps some other reader has more experience? If the fabrics were damp, never mind this comment.

  • I did wet it. I think the problem with the white line is that I left the wet pillowcase in the sink like in the first photo but them I went to gently stir the other one and the dye crept up unevenly leaving the line.

  • The whole thing was wet so maybe I overdid the wetting…

  • I kind of like the dip one but I’m afraid the second one looks like what happened to me when I happily decided that I wanted the sofa throws ‘in a different flavour’, just because. They don’t exist anymore, because after that they wouldn’t stop bleeding :/. I agree with other comments saying that they would look better in a white context, same as the ones you linked to in Dag Mag. It’s a too vivid green for grey, IMHO. Have a nice weekend. I’m beginning Easter holidays today. What about you?

  • No Easter holiday for us over here just yet. Wille’s school holiday is the week after Easter but he’s off from next Friday. I only have the Easter weekwend off, not taking any extra days unfortunately.

  • Hxx says:

    I’m not normally a tie-dye fan – maybe Mini and Bonus need new bedding; or they would be good in the garden. They don’t strike me as clean enough to go with the rest of your look x

  • I think you hit the nail on the head! They don’t look clean enough!

  • Emma says:

    I hate to say it but I think both of them look awful and not at all in keeping with the style of your house. Have a good weekend 🙂 Emma

  • mribaro says:

    I think if you wanted a more gradual ombre effect, you should have not left it in place, but you should have been lifting it up and down in the range of let’s say 10 cm, so the bottom would always be in the color, and thus soak the color the longest, and the middle part would spend less time dipped in color and thus be lighter in color. I can’t tell you the exact times – it’s one of those things one has to try several times till one is satisfied with the result.

  • Maureen says:

    Hmm, I’m not much of a fan. Sorry to say. I think I agree with the comment that they don’t look clean and crisp enough for your style. Now, if you could do a pillow that was half white/half green with a nice crisp line then I think you’d be in business! I wouldn’t sweat it though…it was an unpredictable project (hit or miss).

  • susan says:

    so sorry but these look a little “becky home-ec-y” if you know what i mean. not quite… there. keep rocking the crafting! that little egg that ended up with martha is a-may-zing!

  • i agree with some of the ladies. 🙁 it isn’t quite right and doesn’t fit your style {which i love} throughout the house. dip-dying is so hard… i used to work for a kid’s wear company and our indian supplier’s often had problems with getting the dip-dye right, and they should have been the experts. in germany there is this saying: es ist noch kein meister vom himmel gefallen {no master fell just from heaven}, so good luck if you try another one!

  • Tina says:

    Hi Benita,
    You are so brave for trying such a tricky project! I confess, the green that looks the very best in you gorgeous white home is the green fabric with white elephants, the old news 🙂 and your Fresh green pops of colour with your oak floors and white walls.
    Clean is right!

  • Elsa-Maija says:

    Maybe you could put some black/grey ribbon over the line? Or some lace? Or stamp some white dots on the green like in the pillow in the background? White buttons? White ribbon in chifron pattern?

  • Zosia says:

    For me, nice try of a dip dye, but long term it wouldn’t fly ;-). Besides, I am always afraid to wash these things after some use – will not the green seep on the white part of the pillow in the wash?
    Have a nice weekend.

  • Filipa says:

    Hi Benita,
    Why don’t you try to sew a strip in a nice fabric in the line between white and green? you can hide it and add some nice pattern or color – maybe a grey one to match?
    Have a nice weekend!

  • I have washed it already actually. I threw one of those color catcher thingies in with it and it picked up all the residue dye so it’s fine to wash with other stuff now. Not that I will though probably. I think I will bin both of them seeing everyone’s verdict and my own too 🙂

  • the spectator says:

    A tosser

  • sanne says:

    Don´t quit your dayjob!! In other words…….it´s awful…! By the way…..just love your blogg.
    S. Danmark

  • Sarah says:

    I have never tried dip dying before, but i have had great success with the washing machine dyes (saved some stained + ugly items). You could try to dye over the half and half pillow with a different color so it looks more blended. Also the above posters idea of sewing a stripe in the center might work.

  • Maggie says:

    Can you try to dip them again. Maybe that would help with the blotches on the solid one anyway?

  • Thanks all so much for the suggestions. After reading your comments I’m convinced that they’re both destined for the bin :).

  • Nicole B says:

    I like the shade of green! Instead of tossing the full green one out, why not try a design on it with a bleach pen? If you make te pattern busy enough, you won’t notice the splotches.

  • peggy says:

    I really like your dip-dyed pillow… and the sharp contrast is part of its visual appeal… it would be great with a nice big fabric-covered button in the center too!

  • cp says:

    Totally worth experimenting with! but maybe try with plain yardage (cotton, linen, rayon) of different weight and see what helps get the effect you like.
    If you like the ombre kind of look, you might want to try the process described here:

  • Jo says:

    The green would be better with all your white. I’d try again with the half one and dip it over the line 1/4 of the way into the white with a more chartreuse version of the green so that it deepens the dark green and adds some ombre. I don’t think you’re going to get a sharp line on this. Better to try a fix then to trash. THrow in the solid one again too and see if you can itensify the color. I’d toss that one in dry.

  • Vicki K says:

    Before you toss the pillowcases – I ‘d have some fun experimenting with a bleach pen against the green. Dots or script or a kitty silhouette – at least you’d know how well it would actually work without using a new materials!!

  • Marjorie says:

    Agreed that they don’t quite fit with the “clean” feel of your home. At least you now have dip dying experience! 🙂

  • Lisa says:

    Liking the 1/2 dye job. Thinking if you sew a solid piece of ribbon around it or tie it in place it might hide the line in the center of the front pillowcase. Something that can’t be avoided when doing a 1/2 & 1/2 project I’m afraid. (granted, the ribbon part might be too fussy for what you’re going for) Best of luck!

  • Luna says:

    I really like how you post your ‘fail’ projects. Not many DIY-ers do that, you know. However, no comment from me on the cushions I can just manage to dye/color my own hair!

  • jeannette says:

    the dip one is AWESOME.

  • I actually tried that but the bleach i used was the “environmentally friendly” kind and you can’t even see where I did it which is why I didn’t even mention it 🙂

  • I think that for a first time the all green one is pretty reasonable, and i’m sure the next ones will be much better but i just loved the half one , even with the so clear division of colors. as Lisa said it’s something that you can’t avoid. I would keep it at least for a while. Maybe i will try this myself. Have a great weekend everyone 🙂

  • Jaimie says:

    The dipped one looks nice. I think you should try re-dyeing the solid one though, to see if you can get it more even?

  • jody says:

    The half dipped one is good it sort of bleeds into the white which is nice. I reckon its a keeper for sure

  • Not sure of course what this is like in real life but in the photo I like the dipped one – white line and all. I think maybe your other onecolour repeat print fabrics that you have in your house are more controlled looking and this is more free form so although it is nice and I love it it is perhaps the reason it doesn’t quite seem to fit into your surroundings… if you get what I mean. If you decide it’s a tosser – toss it my way I will give it a home!

  • Annika says:

    Probably a good way to do it!

  • Susan M. says:

    Sorry, I don’t care for it. To me, the half-and-half one looks like, “Oops! I accidentally dropped this in some green paint and ruined it!” I agree with your assessment of the all-green pillow.

  • dagmag says:

    Love that shade of green! Maybe to salvage if you’re not happy with the results, you can turn the two-tone pillow sideways and put a little bunny standing there on the round, green earth? No? oh well 🙂 Pretty color nonetheles.

  • Fabric dying is so tricky isn’t it? I don’t think i’ve ever had a result that i’m totally happy with. i did this project ( )a few months ago. At first the cushions and blanket looked great and i loved the results, after a wash or too though they looked terrrible 🙁
    The depth of colour you’ve achieved is great but i do agree they look a bit patchy. x

  • Sylvie says:

    Sorry to say I hate it. It’s not your style at all. And I’m a great fan of your style!
    I don’t think you can do much with it now. Adding a ribbon or something else might give it a “sophisticated” look that would not be right for your home either, I’m afraid.
    Thanks for this marvelous blog. I have no time for my own home but yours makes me dream!

  • Samarra says:

    Maybe it would work with less white and more of the green showing. Reminds me of this COOL dye job:

  • the green seems too dark! perhaps this is one for the give-away bag.
    Have a love-ly weekend.

  • Vicki K says:

    Yayyyyyyyyy – the training is kicking in – I had a Benita Thought!!

  • Cussot says:

    Time for experimentation, I’d say! Thick white sashiko embroidery over the green part of the two-tone pillow? Some faux shibori folding and bleach for the blotchy one?

  • jja says:

    I think green and gray go well but this wparticular diy-project is a tosser.

  • Sabina says:

    Use a bleach pen to make cool designes on it! It will crate a distraction from blotchiness that you don’t like. 🙂
    Love your page!