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Some of you will remember the gift I made for the Pinterest Party my sisters and I had a couple weeks ago.  Today I’m going to give you a short tutorial on how I did it.  BTW, as you read this short tutorial, you will see that about halfway through I switch from telling you what I did to telling you what you should do… my brain is like popcorn sometimes and I’m just too danged lazy to go back and correct my grammar!  Sorry, Ms. McDonald.

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I started out by reading this tutorial on Martha Stewart’s website to get the “gist” of it.  Now, clearly I did a one tone ombre instead of the 2 tone shown in the above photo.  In hindsight… it probably would have been a more interesting finished product if I had gone with the two tone but I always seem to err on the side of caution so, one tone it was.

towel1

As you can see in photo 1, I used good ole liquid Rit dye.  Thank you Michaels for the 40% off coupon.  I simply used the instructions from the Martha Stewart instructions to fill the tub with the whole bottle of Rit dye plus a few gallons of hot water.  I also added about 2 cups of salt. In photo 2, my lovely assistant (my sister Natalie) stirred it all up until the salt dissolved and everything was well combined.  Lastly (4) I added a dash of dish soap to the water.  Apparently this breaks the surface tension of the water thus allowing the color to blend gradually.   Oh, and be sure to use rubber gloves because YOU WILL get dye on your hands.

towels2

I used flour sack towels I bought at Target for like $4.  I love flour sack towels, in fact I sorta collect them.  You can’t have too many flour sack towels.  (5) Before you start dipping your towels you must dampen them with water.  And when I say dampen, I actually mean soak them through then wring them out.

(6) Now you are ready to start dipping!  Lower the towel into the dye just up to the lower 3rd of material.  Then for 10 minutes, you are going to raise and lower the towel so that the bottom 3rd of towel gets exposed to the dye but does not stay put in the dye.  If it stays put for any length of time you will end up with a hard line of color instead of a gradual ombre effect.  I figured this out the hard way.  I actually had to dye my towels twice to get rid of the noticeable line from the first dip.  Live and learn.

(7) After 10 minutes you move on to the 2nd third (the middle) of the towel, dipping & dunking for just 5 minutes.  Since you are just dipping this section for 5 minutes it will have a lighter color while the material that was dipped for 10 minutes will continue to get darker.  That’s ombre!

After 5 minutes of dunking the middle section, just dunk the last bit, the top of your towel, once or twice to be certain the whole towel has touched the dye(not pictured).  Then pull the whole towel out above the basin and start wringing the dye out, allowing it to drip from the top (lighter portion) to the bottom (darkest portion).

The next phase is the washing & rinsing phase, where I should have continued to wear my rubber gloves but I didn’t because I’m a Cotton-Headed-Ninny-Muggins… so I ended up with blue fingernails.  For a week.  Nice.

Take your dyed towels and rinse them in cold water until the water runs clear.  This step will take about 15 minutes depending on how many towels you dyed.  I dyed 8 so it took a while.  After the water runs clear (ish) drop those babies in the washer on the warm water setting and after they are done dry them in the dryer.

After they come out of the dryer you can iron them to make them look extra crisp and lovely.  Or not.  It’s entirely up to you.

Overall, a fun (and messy) project.  Ombre is so popular right now and there are a hundred different ways to use it, I hope you try it!

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