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Dip-Dyed Ombre Curtain Makeover – $100 Room Challenge

For this week’s $100 Room Challenge update, I’m sharing with you one of my favorite projects, ombre dip-dying. I use this dip-dye method for several of the tea towels in my Etsy shop (which are all unfortunately sold out at the moment), but it’s really an easy project you can do yourself.

(Check out week 1 and week 2 to see where we’re coming from!)

My daughter likes her white curtains, and I do too, but I thought they needed something a little more interesting to make them less boring. The ombre effect will let us leave most of the fabric white, while adding just enough color to tie in to the new room color. I also felt that the curtain rod was hung a little low, and needed some help. So let’s get started on our easy curtain makeover!

Dip-Dying fabric is easier than you might think.

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New curtains and new hardware are not in our $100 budget, so I’m updating these curtains with a little hardware trick, and a fun ombre dip-dye treatment.

Curtain Makeover Resources:

For this curtain makeover, you’ll need:

A pair of white curtains, preferably cotton or cotton blend

A bottle of RIT Dye – I used Teal but it comes in a bunch of colors

A curtain rod – ours is similar to this one

12-14 curtain ring clips – be sure you get the size that corresponds to the diameter of your curtain rod

A bucket or stainless steel sink

How to Dip-Dye Fabric for an Ombre Effect

First, prepare your dye bath. Grab a large bucket, or you can use a stainless steel sink. Just be aware that the dye will, well, dye everything it touches. So I don’t recommend doing this in a white porcelain sink, or any container that you don’t want to become a different color.

Follow the directions on the bottle to make the correct mixture for your type of fabric. (For cotton, you add salt to the water and dye.) Make enough for at least 6″ of colored water, about 2 gallons. You’ll want to make more if your curtains are wider than mine.

Soak your curtains in plain clean water, and wring out. (Pre-wetting them helps them absorb the dye more evenly.)

Gather the curtains together and hold at the top. (It’s important to do both curtains together at the same time, so the dye pattern matches!) Slowly dip the the bottom few inches of the fabric into the dye. Hold for a minute or two.

Then dip the fabric another few inches into the dye and hold. Repeat this process every few minutes until the dye reaches as high as you want on the fabric.

If the fabric at the bottom is not getting dark enough for you, you can add more dye to the water and repeat the process again.

Once you are satisfied with the color, remove the fabric from the dye and run it under cold water until the water runs clear. (Again, this should be done in a sink that can’t be stained.)

You should now be able to wash and dry the curtains according to the fabric instructions. (I didn’t do this because I was in too much of a hurry to hang the curtains!)

Adding Dimension to Curtains with Ring Clips

I felt my daughter’s curtains needed just a little more bling than they were getting from the standard rod pocket design, so I picked up some ring clips. All I had to do was clip the rings along the top of the rod pocket and they were ready to go.

I also wanted to re-position the curtain rod. I know this is a small detail, but it’s always bothered me how the previous hardware made the curtain rod hang so close to the window, without any room to open the curtains. I fixed that by raising the rod about 3 inches, the length of the curtain clips, and moving the brackets about 4 inches out from either side of the window.

Tip: Be sure to only use EZ-Anchors whenever you need to attach curtains (or anything remotely heavy) to drywall. They’re easier to use and much easier to remove than those cheap plastic anchors that come with your curtain rod!

Now the curtain slides easily along the rod, allowing my daughter to open and close it as she chooses.

It’s like her curtains got their own little makeover! They hang much better now, and look a little more interesting. All for about $13, between the dye and ring clips!

We’re over halfway through the $100 room challenge, and I must admit I’m panicking a little about getting everything done! In the next week, I still need to: paint the bed, do a wall treatment, and finish organizing and decorating the room. I guess I better get back to work!

Week 1 ~ Week 2 ~ Week 4

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Be sure to check out how Erin and all the other bloggers are coming with their room makeovers. You’ll be inspired!

Isadora Guidoni

Thursday 24th of August 2017

Hi Meredith! Your tutorial of dyed ombre curtains is super creative. Thank you for sharing it, I'm definitely going to do it too!


Tuesday 5th of September 2017

Thanks so much Isadora! I hope you enjoy it. Let me know if you have questions along the way...


Monday 31st of July 2017

What a fun project! The ombre looks great!


Tuesday 8th of August 2017

Thanks Erin, it really was a lot of fun!

Erin @ Lemons, Lavender, & Laundry

Monday 24th of July 2017

Love how those curtains turned out. Those little details make such a difference. I'm with you on having a lot left to do (like, basically, my whole room). Can't wait for the reveal!


Monday 31st of July 2017

Thanks Erin! So glad to know it's not just me! ;)


Sunday 23rd of July 2017

I've been wanting to try to dye something but just haven't gotten around to it. Inspired!!


Monday 31st of July 2017

Hi Ashley, It's really fun, and probably easier than you'd think. GIve it a go!

Jeri Walker (@JeriWB)

Friday 21st of July 2017

I love this idea for ombre curtains! I keep dragging my feet over putting up curtains on my patio door and doing away with the uncool vertical blinds. This effect could work well for that door.


Monday 31st of July 2017

I hear you on the vertical blinds! You could really change the look of your doors, for not very much money. (My favorite kind of project!)


Creating a color-filled life. Conquering my little world one DIY project at a time. With lots of coffee and chocolate. Albuquerque NM. Pinterest ~ Instagram ~ Facebook