DIY Indigo Pillow with Dye Kit & Moroccan Stencil

In the last post, I shared a DIY Indigo Textile Dye Kit. The kit gives you everything you need to dye fabrics with an indigo blue color:

DIY Indigo Textile Dye Kit

See the previous post for more information about this indigo dye kit and where to get it. Today I will show you what I made with the kit.

DIY Indigo Pillow

I went on a few creative detours while making this indigo pillow. Long story short, I’m used to paint, which I can control better. The dye did what it wanted to do. It wasn’t in my control. Maybe that’s because I’m new with dye, and I didn’t know how to manipulate it to get the look I wanted. Sometimes with creative materials, you need to give in and let the process unfold into something you didn’t expect. But in the end, I couldn’t give up the control! I learned, I have control issues! I ultimately painted over the dye to make the clean pattern I wanted.

So here’s what I did. The DIY Indigo Textile Dye Kit comes with a large 27″ x 27″ piece of cotton fabric. It’s white, and I wanted a beige background. So I dipped the fabric in water colored with a neutral Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. This colored the cotton fabric, from white to beige:

Dye White Fabric Beige

I let the fabric air dry and ironed it.

I wanted to make a Moroccan stencil pattern with the indigo dye, using the Mamounia Moroccan Trellis Furniture Stencil from Royal Design Studio. My first idea was to create a resist, where the fabric would resist the blue dye, leaving the original beige fabric color. To do this, fabric I “painted” the fabric with Clear Soft Wax from Annie Sloan. I used a large brush and brushed the soft wax onto the fabric through the stencil, just like stenciling with paint:

Stencil and Annie Sloan Clear Soft Wax

Stenciling with Annie Sloan Clear Soft Wax

Oh my goodness — it’s winter, I live in cold weather near Chicago, thus very dry hands!!

Next I mixed indigo dye with water, almost like a watercolor.

Watered Down Indigo Dye

I brushed the watered-down blue dye over the fabric. See here how the pattern emerged around the wax resist as I painted:

Painting with Indigo Dye

Lots of dye went through the fabric onto the foam core board behind. Here’s the foam core board!

Foam Core Board Mess

TIP: Protect your surface!

If you do this, protect your surface! I placed white foam core board under the fabric. Lots of dye went through the fabric and soaked into the foam core board. So definitely don’t play with this dye without protecting your surface first.

Unexpected, Uncontrollable Things

Something unexpected happened. The watered-down blue dye ran underneath the fabric. It dyed the fabric blue from underneath the wax. This made a dark blue/light blue pattern, which was different than the blue/beige I originally wanted. I liked the deep blue pattern you see in the video and the picture above with the paint brush.

But as the dye dried, the fabric changed. It got really blurry, fuzzy and messy looking, and in some areas it was really hard to see the stencil pattern. It’s like the pattern was disappearing before my eyes! I was not happy. I rinsed the fabric before the dye dried, in the stainless steel kitchen sink, washing much of the dye out. This made the pattern show again, but overall it looked messy to me.

Indigo Dye Pillow Fabric

I had a picture in my head of the end result I wanted to make, and the dye wasn’t doing it. This is where I could have given up control and let the dye do its natural thing. But I just couldn’t give up the original idea!

I let the fabric dry, ironed it to set the dye, and let the fabric sit for awhile as I decided the next step.

PaintING Expectations

I decided to lay the stencil over the fabric again, and paint with neutral color fabric paints. I knew this would make the indigo blue/neutral pattern contrast that I originally wanted.

I found some light and dark beige fabric paints in the craft store in our basement. That is not a joke. There’s so many DIY supplies down there, I do have a craft store in my house! As I painted, I blended colors through the stencil for a mottled effect.

Stencil Over Indigo Dye

Fabric Paints

Stenciling Fabric Paint Over Indigo Dye

Finally, happy!

Indigo Dye and Fabric Paints

This is the look I was trying to get! This is an example of “don’t give up.” Don’t wad up the fabric and throw it in the trash. (I did think about that.) If something isn’t working, set it aside for awhile. The answer will come to you.

I had a pillow form from Crate & Barrel, also in the craft store in our basement. I cut the indigo Moroccan fabric to fit the pillow form. I found a blue herringbone fabric in my fabric stash for the back side of the pillow. I liked the contrast of the two fabrics — one bohemian and patterned, one conservative and all lined up perfectly. I had two navy tassels bought in the souks of the Marrakech medina. I sewed these all together into a pillow.

Indigo Dyed and Painted Fabric

Moroccan and Herringbone

Marrakech Tassels

Here it is, a boho blue indigo pillow, on my mom and dad’s family room couch:

Indigo Pillow

I gifted the indigo pillow to my mom for Christmas. I knew it would look great with her blue and neutral decor, and it would add Moroccan pattern to her other pillows.

DIY Indigo Pillow

Easy DIY Indigo Dye Textile Kit

Indigo blue is a top way to get the boho chic global look that’s so popular in fashion and home decor right now. Indigo dye has been used for centuries in Japan, India, Africa, Rome, everywhere, to color the world blue. And today, trend-setters in home decor are filling rooms with indigo blue:

Indigo

LuRu Home | Annie Sielke

If you want to try DIY indigo, here is a DIY Indigo Textile Dye Kit. Everything is put together for you, including gloves so you can try your hands at this without dying your hands!

Indigo Textile Dye Kit at Uncommon Goods

The kit includes a sizeable 27″ x 27″ white cotton scarf, which you could use as a scarf. You can also make a pillow, tote bag or wall art with the fabric. Of course you can use the kit’s dye to color anything you wish, like wall art canvas, jeans, tea towels, placemats.

I like that the indigo dye is in a dripless applicator bottle. You don’t have to boil water and dissolve dye in a pot or vat. Just use the bottle! So easy.

Indigo Blue Dye Kit at Uncommon Goods

The kit comes with a booklet that gives you instructions for tie-dye and shibori, resist dye techniques, painting and stamping. You could paint your indigo patterns with a brush, or use the dye as a stamp. All the materials and instructions are $30, a great deal.

INDIGO IDEAS

To get your ideas going, here are some things created with this kit, shared  at the #easyindigokit hashtag on Instagram by Christine Schmidt of the Yellow Owl Workshop, who developed the kit …

Beautiful blue patterned tea towels:

Indigo Tea Towels with Indigo DIY Kit from Uncommon Goods

A bold shibori tie-dye pattern:

Indigo Shibori Christine Schmidt Uncommon Goods Indigo DIY Kit

Couldn’t you see that on a pillow or tote bag?!

Pillows! Yeah, you can do this:

Christine Schmidt DIY Indigo Kit from Uncommon Goods

A little makeup/travel pouch. The “resist” areas, where there is no dye, were made by applying drops of gel school glue. When you apply indigo dye, the areas where you put the glue stay white. The kit’s booklet gives you instructions on how to do this:

Makeup Pouch with Uncommon Goods Indigo Dye Kit

Make your ideas happen with the DIY Indigo Textile Dye Kit. Must try, must dye!

And yes, I did try! I did a DIY dye project. I made an indigo pillow for my mom for Christmas, because my parent’s house has a lot of blue in it. I couldn’t share the project until after Christmas! That post is coming up next.

As a sneak preview, I played with the indigo dye, African tribal stencils and Annie Sloan clear wax as a resist.

Indigo Dye DIY

Here’s the thing. Dye is not as controllable as paint. I learned I have some control issues. :) I tell you all about that in the next post, where I share how to make a DIY indigo pillow with this fabric dye kit!

Global Goods: The Baba Tree Basket Company

Sometimes a photo on Instagram stops me in my scrolling tracks. Does that happen to you too? What stopped me? These smiles! And these baskets!

Baba Tree Basket Company

Baba Tree Basket from Ghana

Baba Tree Basket Artisan

This is the joy! The joy of making things and sharing them with the world. I love the happy colors of their baskets. Here are details of the baskets, all photos from the Baba Tree Baskets Instagram (follow, follow now!):

Baba Tree Basket Company Details

You can find the basket that sings to your own heart, and buy it at their shop online. (go, go now!)

They’re made in Ghana from dyed grasses and reeds. I really like that you can see the artisan who made your basket with such pride, and know his or her name.

So far, I’ve shown you really colorful baskets. They also make beautiful neutral color baskets:

Baba Tree Neutral Color Baskets

I ordered a few orange and green baskets for our living room. Here’s one of them:

Baba Tree Basket Nomadic Decorator

True to my global style, this Baba Tree Basket from Ghana usually holds an alpaca Peruvian blanket we use on the sofa. The basket is in front of a rice god from northern Thailand, which is draped with a huge clay Mexican rosary I found in Old Town San Diego many years ago. My husband said, why did you put a cross on a rice god? (Which I think is either/both Buddhist or Hindu, I’m not sure.) I said that especially in today’s times, we need to mix with people from everywhere, with all backgrounds and all beliefs, all over the world.

Baba Tree Artisan

The baskets are very lightweight. I’m considering getting a big zig zag basket for our apartment in India. Something like this huge Jemima 10 Cows basket:

Baba Tree Website

The baskets are “smoosh-able” so I could fit it in a suitcase. Baba Tree sends instructions to you to put water on the basket and reshape it after shipping, so it retains its original shape.

See, this is how a Baba Tree zig zag basket would fit with all the patterns in our Chennai apartment — yes I have all these pillows and they’re going to India in a suitcase on the next trip!

India Apartment Decor Moodboard

Baba Tree artisans make baskets of all sizes, from small ones that fit in the palms of your hands, to baskets large enough to hold loads of laundry. Some are for storage, some are for display. They make baskets of all colors. Their handcrafted bicycle baskets and baby baskets are so cute. Their small baskets would be great gifts with things tucked in them like creative foods or small clothing accessories.

The Baba Tree Basket Company occasionally runs 20% off sales. Follow them on Instagram to get sale notices.

I should note, this is not a sponsored post. I just loved their Instagram, and I love the baskets I purchased – I thought I’d share to spread the joy of these basketweavers!