DIY hand-dyed scarf

July 30th, 2014 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “DIY hand-dyed scarf”

While I do tend to get flustered when it comes to DIY, one thing I really love to do (and have had a lot of success with) is spray painting.  Man, I love spray painting.  Probably because it doesn’t require so much precision.  Once you get the hang of it, holding the can a good 12 inches away from whatever you’re spraying and keeping your hand in motion rather than settling on one spot, you’re good.

I don’t have anything to spray paint as I don’t have a place to put any spray painted items (We’re building a home and living with my parents during the construction period, so I can’t really do large-scale projects.), but I recently found myself intrigued with fabric dyeing.  It’s kind of like spray paint but with fabric, no?  This appealed to me because, again, not so much precision and not too many steps.

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to dye until I ran across this scarf.  I LOVE scarves.  I own approximately 154,841 scarves.  My love for scarves rivals my love for stripes.  (So a striped scarf is basically my kryptonite.)  A striped DIY scarf struck me as complicated.  But dyeing a scarf a single color?  That I could do.

I went to JoAnns and purchased a huge piece of white open-weave cotton fabric (about 45′ x 100′) and a pack of Rit Dye in Pearl Grey.  At home I followed the directions on thee package, filling up plastic bucket with warm water in the sink, adding the dye, and submerging the fabric (use gloves!).  I massaged the dye into the fabric with my hands and then let it sit for several hours.


After it had sat for probably around 4 hours, I removed it from the dye and rinsed it with cool water.  My intent was to create a deeper, richer grey.  Instead I got a purply-toned grey.  At first I was a little bummed (I realized I should have used two dye packets – that might have created more saturated color.).  But I don’t have any scarves this color (And I already own a deeper grey scarf I love.), so I decided this was a happy accident.

I washed the scarf ALONE in the washing machine on cool and after it was washed, ran it through the dryer on low.


After it was dry, I didn’t think it was quite done.  I liked the look of the raw edges.  But I worried that they would fray.  So I purchased a matching grey thread and started to roll and stitch the edges.  Since that process would have taken me 100 years, I happily handed it over to my mother-in-law (A much better sewer than myself.), and she stitched it for me.  (Thanks, Maryellen!)


I know it’s kind of a weird time to be wearing scarves (It’s about 95 out today and 100% humidity.), but that’s never stopped me before!  I like to wear scarves year round.  I get chilly in the house with the AC on, and when I go to the grocery store, it always super chilly.  So I like to toss this scarf in my bag and wrap up in it when I’m cold.  Since it’s light weight, it’s the perfect type of wrap for these conditions.


The fabric isn’t the softest.  But I think it turned out pretty good for costing a whopping total of $20.


Have you ever dyed fabric?  Any tips?  I’m thinking of some other stuff I want to dye (It’s addicting!).

Hi! I’m Sarah, I am passionate about creating community, building deep connections, and the power of creativity. I live in Northern Virginia with my husband, our three kids, and our golden-lab mix.

I believe in leggings as pants, and I drink my coffee black. I love shopping at Costco, teaching group exercise classes, and, athleisure.

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