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The DIY Dip Dye for Clothing (The Ombre Effect)

July 24, 2012

Fashion DIY: How to Dip Dye your clothes - the ombre effect for fashion and style

Normally my DIY posts are centered around My Hair, but since I can’t afford to go shopping, I’m instead updating some old clothes … DIY style. And why not? Whats the point in spending Β£30 on something that I could quite easily do myself.

And so can you …



Β· Your chosen item of clothing
Β· Rubber Gloves
Β· Large bowl or bucket
Β· Fabric Dye
Β· Salt
Β· Hot Water
Β· 3 Tupperware’s or bowls




The item I chose was just a basic short sleeved white T-shirt from George. I chose this because it had a few little (fake tan) stains on that wouldn’t budge. So why not just dye over them?


I did a quick search online, and Dylon Fabric Dye for Hand Use seemed to be the most popular brand of Dye to use for this sort of thing. Dylon is available in a great selection of colours too. I chose Intense Violet. You can purchase Dylon from John Lewis, Wilkinson’s and Robert Dyas, I picked mine up from Robert Dyas and it was only Β£2.95 – cheap as chips.



When doing this, it is very important that you wear a pair of rubber gloves so not to get the dye on your skin! Ignore how skanky mine look, I previously wore them when Dying my Hair Pink.


1) Open the packet of dye and split into 3 piles of powder, putting each pile into one of your tupperware’s/bowls. Try and make them even, but precision isnt important, and you can do it without any sort of measuring equipment (if I can, you can). The plan is to start the dye off less, adding more between dips, eventually giving the item a dip dye ombre affect.

2) Soak your item of clothing in cold water and then wring out the water. You don’t want the item wet, but you want it quite damp. Wring it out until it is no longer dripping.

3) Fill your bowl or bucket with the amount of water it recommends on the dye instructions, and note the recommended temperature too (mine said 40 degrees centigrade). These will vary depending on the dye you use, so make sure to check the instructions.

4) Add the recommended dose of salt to the water, as stated in the instructions (mine was 6 tablespoons) and stir with a wooden spoon, making sure to wear the gloves in case of splash back. Then add the first pile of the dry dye and stir well.

5) Now dip about 2/3’s of your item into the bowl, making sure not to get any dye on the parts of your item that you want to keep its original colour. It is crucial you keep the parts you want to stay the original colour well away from the dyed water! I was advised to put my item on a clothing hanger and it worked a treat, it made it much easier to dip without it getting messy. Hold your item in the water for a few minutes so the dye can take to the fabric. (See image below step 7)

6) Remove the item from the bowl and add the second pile of the dry dye and stir. Then submerge your item again, this time only dipping half of the item in. Again leave for a few minutes for the dye to take. (See image below step 7)

7) Remove the item from the bowl and add the final pile of dry dye and stir. And now do your final dip. This dip will come out the darkest, so I would recommend dipping at the most a quarter of the item. Leave for a few minutes as before. (See image below for steps 5 – 7)


8) When removing your item be very careful not to let the item drip on anything. It may stain. You will now want to rinse your item thoroughly in cold water. Try and rinse out as much dye as possible.

9) Once you have done this, wash the T-shirt as normal, but as it will be it’s first wash, do it separately i.e. don’t just throw it in with all your white laundry, doh!

10) Once washed, leave to dry, and there you have it. I then chose to cut off my sleeves to make into more of a summer vest top (now that we finally have a summer). Any questions – leave some love below.

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