Thursday, June 14, 2012

Sponsored post: Easy Tulip tie-dye pillows

I've been wanting a deep blue dip-dye-ombre-watercolor-style pillow for the longest but was not prepared to pay $50 to $100 or more for something that looked so easy to make.

On the other hand, I was terrified to actually try my own hand at dying, especially since I live in a little apartment, my "craft" area is the kitchen floor, and everything I own is white. In addition, I am what the Pennsylvania Dutch call "doppy."  Me and permanently staining liquids are a guaranteed disaster.

But then Tulip came along with an offer to try the company's One-Step Tie-Dye Kit, I mustered up and gave it a try. The theme was Beyond the T-Shirt - the idea being that tie-dye isn't just for hippies and camp kids. It's for cool modern people like me and you.

This post will show you several tie-dye pillow techniques. Later today I will post a tie-dye jewelry project, so stop back.

Tulip sent me a kit of three colors, which also included gloves, a plastic surface cover (they know me), rubber bands and instructions in three languages.

Each squeeze bottle is filled with a pre-measured amount of powdered dye. You just add water up to the line and shake. Then squirt on the dye. No buckets. No big stirring stick. No slopping or dipping or wringing or spilling.

Preparation is relatively simple. Prewash the fabric. Also, soak it in water just before you dye in order to create a soft effect.

You can also use rubber bands and various swirls and folds to create a variety of dye techniques. Tulip has excellent video and photo tutorials for nearly a dozen techniques.

I decided to try a couple of techniques on some thrifted cotton fabric using my favorite color.  The top photo shows my prep for the fold technique and the bottom two show the two steps for shibori.

Then I spread everything out on the kitchen floor and very nervously started dying.

The techniques shown below are 1. Fold 2. Shibori, 3. Dye applied to dry fabric and 4. Watercolor/ombre. (Tulip recommends using a spray bottle to apply the dye for ombre, but I had a spray equipment fail. Instead I just dribbled dye onto wet fabric and it took on a nice watercolor look all by itself.)

Then you wrap everything up in plastic (I used a dry cleaning bag under each project) and let it sit for 6-8 hours (I let mine go overnight.)

I let the fabric dry then washed everything in a washing machine.

Here's how they turned out.

THAT was easy.

The project encouraged the use of upcycled and recycled materials. I used a couple of thrifted pillows, and two thrift store zippers to make two tie-dye pillow covers.

The sewing was way more time consuming than the dying.

My favorite is the dip-dye watercolor style pillow. I wanted a line that was more uneven than a typical dip dye and I got it.

The folded one came out OK as well, although in hindsight I could have been way more generous with the dye.

I would definitely recommend this product for apartment dwellers and doppy people everywhere.  In fact I plan on doing more as soon as I can get to a craft store to buy some darker blue.

 My two pillows were created for about $1 each (not including the cost of dye, which I received as part of the review). A single color of the dye can be purchased for as little as $4, and kits of multiple colors run about $8 to $12.

Tulip Tie Dye Kits are available at Walmart, Walmart Canada, Michaels, JoAnn, A.C. Moore, Hobby Lobby, Hancock Fabrics, and Meijer. (Contents and colors may vary by store.)

I wrote this post as part of a paid campaign with and Blueprint Social. The opinions in this post are my own.

Check out some of the other Beyond the T-Shirt projects:

And for you sociable people, here are some social media links for Tulip. Many ideas here.


  1. My fave is your dip-dye watercolor pillow too! Love the way it turned out! This would make a fabulous gift, matching colors to recipient! :)