One Hour DIY: Ombré Tank Top

I've been wanting to do a project with dye for awhile now, and this week I was finally able to make it happen. I can thank the amazing ladies at A Beautiful Mess for giving me the push I needed. They recently shared an adorable DIY for dip dyed napkins. After seeing how great they turned out I knew I had to try my hand at some stove top dying. I originally wanted to make a color block shirt. I love the look of two bold colors against each other, but I quickly learned that dye is not the medium to use if you want clean lines. 

After a test run trying to achieve my initial vision I reassessed and decided to go for an ombre effect instead. This project was so fun, super easy, and I'm already reaping the benefits (wearing my adorable, summery tank top as I type this!). I would recommend having someone nearby to help. I called Tom away from his computer more than once to assist me.

I got my recipe from ABM's tutorial. All you need is a pot big enough for your fabric, an 1/8 cup of salt, 1 part dye, and 8 parts water. Mix it all together in your pot over medium high heat until it is hot.

When your dye mixture is hot, you'll need to wet your fabric with cool water and throw on some gloves. Now all you have to do is dip in the portion you want to dye!

I dipped about 1/2 of my shirt into the dye, and it bled up slightly higher. If you want to avoid this much bleeding you can use a rubber band to separate the first and second color, but I think it adds to the ombre effect. Once the fabric is saturated to your liking, carefully move it to the sink and rinse with cool water until the water runs clear. (This is where I had Tom prepare my second pot of dye.)

Once it is thoroughly rinsed you're ready for your second color. Hold the dyed portion of your shirt in one hand and the top of the shirt in the other, creating a "U" shape. Dip the bottom of the "U" into the dye so that it means the first color but does not cover the entire top. I left this portion in the dye for a shorter time than I did with the bottom, but that depends on how saturated you want your color. Once it's finished, rinse out the excess dye in cool water. 

Then hang it up to drip dry being sure to give it plenty of time, I let mine dry for about 48 hours. As it dries the colors will bleed together a bit more, giving it a smoother fade from one to the other. 

As always, this is not the picture I had in my head when I started, but I absolutely love my finished product. I was so proud to throw on some jeans and orange sandals and show of my new summer look today. I'm already dreaming up all drab white things in my house that I can give a fresh look with this easy method (ombre shorts? pillows? napkins? Yes please!). Do you have something laying around that needs an updated look? Give this a try and let me know how it goes!


  1. Aww, thats really nice, I've aways wanted to do this! I will try as soon as possible(in blue and green, my favorite colors)!

    1. Thanks! I bet those colors will look great, share a picture when you're done!