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You Can Make It: Fourth of July Dip Dye Linens

Photo: Caitlin Bensel

Looking for something fun and easy to do for your 4th of July decorations this year? Try making these awesome 4th of July dip dyed linens and flags.  I love this project because you truly can't mess it up. Each linen has its own look, so you don't have to worry about perfection. Just let loose and let the dye do its thing!


What you will need: Heavy weight linen fabric Red and Blue Rit Dye Salt 2 Plastic tubs that will hold at least 2 gallons 2 Wooden Spoons Plastic Drop Cloth Bleach Pen

1. Tear your Fabric Start by ripping the linen to desired size. A good size for a table runner is 1.5ft x 6ft and a placemat is 13in x 18in. To rip the linen, make a cut about an inch into the fabric and tear so that the linen rips along the grain of the weave. This will give you a nice frayed edge around the fabric.

2. Wash the Fabric Once you have finished tearing your fabric pieces, throw them in the washing machine and wash them at a warm temperature on a quick cycle. This will set the edges of your fabric and keep them from continuing to fray. After you pull your fabric out of the wash do not dry them. You may have to untangle the pieces a bit and trim up some threads around the edges.

3. Mix the Dye To mix your dyes, add 1/4 cup of Rit dye to 1 ½ gallons of hot water in each plastic tub. Add 1/2 cup salt to each tub and stir with a wooden spoon until salt is dissolved. Make sure to designate one spoon for each color.

4. Dye the Fabric Drape the damp fabric over the side of one of the tubs of dye so that only a few inches of fabric are in the dye. Let the fabric sit for 5-15 minutes depending on desired darkness of color. The color will lighten when rinsed, so don’t be afraid to go a little darker than you want.

Lift the fabric out of the dye and let the excess dye drip off. Lay the fabric on the plastic drop cloth and allow the color to set for about 15-20 minutes. Once the dye has dried a bit repeat the process on the other end of the fabric with the remaining color. Rinse each side of the fabric in cold water until the water runs clear. Hang to dry.

Tips: - Play around and have fun with this. You can dip the fabric in the dye for varying amounts of time to create variations of darkness of the color.

- To add stripes to your table runner fold the fabric in half before dipping into the fabric. You will need to be a bit more careful when rinsing the fabric so that it does not bleed into unwanted areas. You might find it easier to rinse the stripe before unfolding the fabric and moving onto another stripe or color.

- You can use a bleach pen to clean up any unwanted dye spots on the fabric. Simply follow instructions on the pen.

- Once they have dried you can wash the fabric with detergent in cold water. Tumble dry low. The dye may still bleed a bit in the first few washes. Adding a white towel to the wash will help to absorb any loose dye.

Photo: Caitlin Bensel


Toothpick flags: Use leftover fabric to make little flags. These are great for desserts, name cards, or decoration. Follow the same steps to make the table runners and placemats. Use a bleach pen to add designs and patterns on the flags.

A special thanks to Caitlin Bensel for the photography.