After a few big, complicated tutorials, I thought it was time for something a little less overwhelming for those less enthusiastic than me. Not everyone wants to combine multiple crafts in the same project, or spend hours completing it, so here’s some straight dyeing.
I dyed these table runner sized doilies for my kids recently-we put a white bookshelf in each of their bedrooms and they looked a little plain. These draped over the top and sides brighten it up a bit, and give a more stable base for the knick-knacks they display on the top of the shelf. I voted for multi-coloured, but they wanted solids.
The runners were bought at op-shops for a few dollars each. Generally, all old doilies you’ll find are cotton, but they’re never tagged so it may be a gamble if you can’t tell by feel. I used what I call the dry dyeing method, which I find to be a quicker, easier way to obtain solid colours that the traditional vat dyeing way-and it uses a lot less dye, salt and soda ash to achieve the same or brighter results.
I soaked them in soda ash solution, then dried them completely. I find drying them leads to stronger, more uniform colours. When dry I mixed up 1.5 cups of warm water with 2 tsps of Procion dye in each colour, and poured each into its own container. I dropped the doilies in, mixed them around with a knitting needle until they were completely coloured, then lidded the containers. I left them for 24 hours, stirring occasionally.
Then I rinsed them out thoroughly, and handwashed them with plenty of laundry powder. I don’t think doilies would hold up very well to a machine wash. After air-drying in the shade, they were ready to go.
Been inspired to try this? Please leave your link in the comments! Like what you see? Take a look at my Etsy shop to see what I have in stock-I sell dye packs that will enable you to recreate this project!