Friday, April 4, 2014

DIY Dropcloths

The weather this week has been gorgeous so I took full advantage of the sunshine to complete some projects for an upcoming event. A client is hosting a welcome party the night before the rehearsal dinner for out of town guests and since the party is casual, I proposed we incorporate some blankets for guests to chill on the lawn.

Instead of having to purchase quilts or blankets that could get dirty and ruined, I bought canvas drop cloths in hopes of transforming them into colorful, durable and inexpensive picnic blankets. After doing some research for inspirationtips and techniques, I felt comfortable enough to get to work.

4 Canvas Drop Cloths
Rit Liquid Dye in Apple Green and Golden Yellow
Plastic Bucket
Salt (1 cup per color batch)
Plastic Drop Cloth

To begin I spent time figuring out which way I wanted to fold each of the cloths as this determines where the dye will gather and what pattern will result. For the first two green ones, I kept the cloths folded pretty similar to how they were packaged, but spaced out the groupings with rubber bands, as you can see in the very top photo. For the yellow cloths, I got a little more creative and tried to come up with more unique folds to yield an unexpected result. The key was nothing too symmetrical- there's beauty in imperfection!

I added 1 bottle of dye and 1 cup of salt to 3 gallons of hot water. Once the ingredients were evenly mixed, I ran some water over the cloth, then placed it in the bucket.

I set a timer for about 15-20 minutes for each "area" of the cloth to set as I wanted to be sure that some areas of the cloths stayed the natural color.

Once the dying process was done, I rinsed them off with a hose, untied the rubber bands and hung them to dry on a clothesline. Due to the heat they each dried in less than an hour!

After all the cloths dried, I ran them through the wash to be sure the color wouldn't bleed if they got wet while in use. The final product turned out a little more faded than in these photos, but overall I am so happy with how they turned out and how easy this project was!

I can't wait to share photos of when these are actually in use at the party in less than 2 weeks :)


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