This week, I did something a little different…I didn’t follow any instructions online. I found a photo, decided I wanted to make what was on the photo, and set off to Michael’s.
Here’s what I was trying to recreate:
Seems pretty easy right? Just a t-shirt, dipped in some dye?
So here’s the thing. If there are instructions for things, you should probably follow them. I really thought it would be a lot of fun if I didn’t follow any instructions and just went with it. Seriously. How hard can it really be to make an ombre dip-dyed t-shirt?
Here’s what you need:
- A t-shirt! (no, really??)
- Dye! I used black liquid dye (as black as my heart around Halloween)
- Hot water in a bucket
- Rubber gloves (not pictured here) (SORRY I STOLE THEM MOM!)
- Salt, because that’s what the dye calls for
Alright folks, so basically when using dye, you use hot water, the dye, and you mix some salt into the mixture IF the shirt is cotton. My shirt was not at all cotton…OOPS.
Look at the pretty…shade!
Being the Halloween lover that I am, I spent a good amount of time stirring the pot and chanting in my best witch voice. “Double, double toil and trouble; fire burn, and cauldron bubble.” (Act 4, Scene 1…and if you don’t know the play, and who it’s by, we’ll need to reevaluate our friendship)
To get the basics of dying things, I read the brief instructions on the bottle of dye. It told me to get my shirt damp first. So I did that. Next, I grabbed my t-shirt by the collar and dipped it. I got really excited because it was a great shade of grey.
A perfect shade to start off the ombre fun.
Off to a great start!
The next few steps are super repetitive, so I’ll save you from having to relive them with me. Basically, you add more dye to your cauldron before you dip the shirt again. And each time you dip the shirt, you dip it a little less each time. This is so you’ll (HOPEFULLY) get a nice gradient effect. Check out the photos below to get an idea of what I’m talking about. OMBRE!
“Wow, Hailey! That looks super sick! You keep hinting to that fact that you have failed miserably, but all I see is a masterpiece of ombre goodness. You are the master of ombre, om-brelievable,” is probably what you’re thinking to yourself right now…right?
Yeah! It looks SO AWESOME.
THEN I GOT REALLY DUMB, REALLY FAST.
The *stupid* instructions on the bottle of dye told me to put the shirt into the wash right away with detergent. So I was like “yeah totally, bottle of dye, you’ll probably know exactly what to do. Since you’re the bottle of dye. You must know how to…dye things.” So I did what it told me.
And this was the result…
AFTER AN HOUR OF HOLDING MY ARMS IN THE AIR, DIPPING THIS SHIRT, SHOULDERS GETTING MORE SORE BY THE SECOND, THIS IS MY RESULT??
The washer completely ruined my beautiful shirt, and I was MAD.
How could it do this to me? I thought we had an understanding.
“YAAA LOOK WHAT I DID HAILEY! I WASHED YOUR SHIRT! I GOT THE BLACK STAINS OUT MOSTLY. AREN’T YOU SO PROUD??” is what my washer replied.
(assuming that my washing machine is much like Dug the dog from the movie Up!)
NO MACHINE. You ruined everything.
So basically, after an hour long shoulder work out, my result is this slightly darker grey t-shirt.
Yeah, it’s still kind of ombre…but it’s not as nice as it was before heading into the washer.
I’d chalk this up to a fail on my part.
Going back and reading the real instructions on the blog where I got the idea, I can see now where I made my mistake.
Instead of washing the shirt right away, I should have laid it out to dry. This would have allowed for the dye to really sink into the fabric. The next morning, I should have put the shirt into the wash, with a TINY amount of detergent. This would have given me more desirable results, according to witandwhistle.
Oh well, I think I’ll try this again someday. I really did like how the shirt looked before I killed it.