Jennifer Farrell’s Ombre Curtains

Jennifer Farrell’s Ombre Curtains

Use designer Jennifer Farrell’s ideas to decorate plain curtains, ombre-style.

5 col

2 white curtain panels
2 bottles of liquid dye (1 panel requires 1 bottle of dye)
2 five-gallon buckets
Pair of rubber gloves
Nearby sink or hose
Clothesline & pins

When using dye, be sure to work in an area that is completely covered or outside. Do not wear clothes that you would mind ruining.



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  1. Fold each curtain panel in half, top to bottom, and make a pencil mark along the fold on the backside of the panel edge. Divide the bottom half of the panel into thirds, and mark those sections along the backside edge. These marks will tell you where to stop when dunking each section into the dye so make the marks relatively dark.
  2. Rinse the panels in warm water before dying. Squeeze the excess water out so the panels are damp, but not soaked.
  3. Fill a 5 gallon bucket halfway with hot water. Add 1/3 of a bottle of dye. With a gloved hand, swish the dye around in the water to mix it in.
  4. Dip the curtain into the bucket up to the halfway mark. Let this section soak in the bucket for 5 minutes.
  5. With the panel still in the dye, add another 1/3 of a bottle of dye. Be careful not to pour the dye directly on the curtain. Mix the water around with your hand. Pull the curtain out of the water up to the next pencil mark. Let this section of the curtain soak in the dye for 10 minutes.
  6. Add the remaining 1/3 of the bottle of dye to the bucket, again being careful not to pour directly on the panel. Pull the curtain out of the water up to the last pencil mark. Let this final section soak for 10 minutes.
  7. Pull the panel completely out of the water and just let the excess dye drip into the bucket. Do not wring out or squeeze as this will disturb the pattern.
  8. Fill a second bucket with cold water. Rinse the panel by dunking the dyed section into the water several times. Keep in mind that some dye will rinse off.
  9. Give the panel a light squeeze to get the excess water out. (It is fine to do this now as the excess dye has now been removed.) Hang the panel up over a tarp to catch the excess dye that drips off.
  10. Repeat this process for your remaining curtain panels. Let the panels hang dry overnight.

Tip: When you hang the panels up to dry, make sure the white portion does not touch the dyed areas. The wet dye will leave spots on the white. If you do get a spot on the white, spot treat them with bleach right away.

Tip: Adjust the dye times depending on the look you’re trying to achieve. Longer dye times will make the color darker, and shorter dye times make a lighter finish.

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