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DIY: Ombre Tablecloth

This brilliant DIY is by Brittany of The House that Lars Built.

I wanted more than anything to make some ombre tablecloths for my wedding last year, but I assumed it would be tricky and messy. Well, I finally decided that the perfect time to try it out is for the table at the booth we are setting up at Portobello Road to sell the souvenirs my friend, Cramer, and I made for the royal wedding.The good news is that ombre is easy beazy. And I think it’s going to be killer for the wedding weekend. Now, don’t let the industrial look of the photos fool you, I just happened to be helping Cramer with her textile project at her school when she suggested I try it out in their facilities. I also tried it a few weeks ago in a bathroom using buckets. Use what you’ve got!

3-4 buckets
piece of fabric
dye for textiles (I used Dylon in flamingo pink)
special salt (as required by the directions on the dye)

1) Fill up 3 or 4 buckets with varying levels of water and put in the same amount of dye into each one. Stir well. Add the salt in as required.

This post is by Brittany of The House that Lars Built.

2) I started with a test fabric, which I highly recommend. Start by dipping the fabric into the the bucket with the highest level of water and use that one to determine how high you want the dye to go.

3) Take the fabric to the next level of water and dip it lower. It may create a very noticeable straight line, but keep on going.

4) Repeat with the smaller bucket–the darkest amount of liquid. It, too, will most likely a very straight line.

5) The trick to smoothen the distinct lines is to repeat the process over and over, each time holding it in the water for longer amounts of time, maybe 10-20 seconds.

6) Next, I tried it on a white piece of fabric. I folded it up with the length I intended to dip so that it would enter the water more easily.

7) Repeat the same process as the sample piece but hold it in longer to really hold the color. You can keep it in the buckets for minutes. This will also give the dye time to sink into all the layers of the fabric that have been folded over.

8) When you think you have dipped it enough, open the fabric up gently to make sure there are no splotches of color. Re-dip if necessary.

9) Hang to dry.

10) Voila! You’ve now ombre’d your way to a tablecloth.

I noticed that the color faded a lot in the drying process, but I’m rather glad about it because it was a little too flamingo for me. I can’t wait to try this on more items–some bed linens, maybe some pants. For now, I hope it goes over well at Portobello. Good luck!

All photos by Brittany for Oh Happy Day

  1. Inattendu

    April 26, 2011

    Wohooo this totally blows me away!!! Awwwwwwww! I'll try that!

  2. bussbuss

    April 26, 2011

    Gorgeous! I just had a crafternoon with some LA fashion blogger friends where we tried ombre for the first time. We did scarves, tops, dresses and even a fabric necklace and it was really fun.

    But yesterday I was thinking, I'd love to do a tablecloth, so your post is perfect (and I love the pink!).

    Here's my ombre DIY post if you'd like to see:

  3. Life Abroad

    April 26, 2011

    Absolutely stunning! I'm totally loving the whole ombre trend that is happening lately in fashion and design.

  4. Sarah

    April 26, 2011

    I'm totally in love with anything Ombre. I love this. Thanks so much for sharing =)

    – Sarah

  5. r8chel

    April 26, 2011

    Beautiful! I'm not sure I'd be patient enough to repeat the process over and over to avoid the lines, but the outcome sure is lovely. And I actually thought the industrial vibe was perfect!

  6. jaclyn @ thelateafternoon

    April 26, 2011

    i love how this ombre table cloth turned out! this is definitely going on my list of DIYs to try! i recently have fallen in love with the look of ombre and even did a little post about it:

  7. bex

    April 26, 2011

    Ha! Now I need to see what you've created to commemorate the Royal Wedding!

  8. Elaina

    April 27, 2011

    Looks lovely! Much more professional than our laundry room version with buckets.


    April 27, 2011

    This project is fab – I love colorful linens, and I REALLY love anything ombrĂ©. Thx for the inspiration!

  10. love.boxes

    April 27, 2011

    Oh soooo lovely! It's the perfect pink!

  11. i'm erin in

    April 27, 2011

    really awesome

  12. Becka Robinson

    April 27, 2011

    I'm soooo excited to try this!

  13. Spiral Style

    April 29, 2011

    Thanks for the tutorial. I've gotta try this soon!

  14. YnR

    May 3, 2011

    I love how the tablecloth turned out!! Thanks for sharing!! It looks so perfect for the spring/summer time!

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