How to Dye Canvas Drop Cloth

Last January, we dyed a large canvas drop cloth to use as a base for the stenciled curtains in our dining room. Those curtains have been one of our favorite DIYs because it seemed like we were changing up the curtains in that room every few months. I’m excited to say these curtains have been up for over a year now and are so neutral we don’t have plans to change them any time soon.

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As we shared last week, we’ve been trying to pull together the final details in each room so that our home feels more settled. Part of that process is deciding what kind of window treatments, pillows and slipcovers we want to use around the house. We recently replaced the curtains in the master bedroom which left us with several canvas drop cloth panels. I knew immediately I wanted to try to dye those curtain panels to match the set in the dining room too.

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We love the look of washed linen but sometimes it’s hard to justify the expense given we have mischievous pets, visiting littles and our pillows almost always wind up on the living room floor (just being honest) especially after a movie marathon. Thankfully none of that really matters because this fabric has the look of washed linen with the durability of canvas, which is exciting right? Let me show you how we dyed our canvas drop cloths to get the look of washed linen….

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The drop cloths I’m using in this post can be found at your local home improvement store. I’ve previously washed and dried them. I used Rit Dye in Pearl Gray because it’s the same color we used on the curtains in the dining room.

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They have pretty detailed instructions on the back and inside of the Rit package so make sure you read the directions well. There are several methods you can use (on the stove, washing machine, etc.) to dye fabric but I decided to dye my drop cloth in an old pea shelling pan which is what I’m sharing with you below. Make sure you start with a clean container that is deep enough to cover the amount of fabric you want to dye.

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Using caution and care as water will be hot, place hot water into the container.

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Next dissolve dye color pearls

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and pour fully dissolved dye into container.

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Stir until water and dye are combined.

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The amount of salt you will add to the dye bath will depend on the amount of dye, water and fabric you’re using.

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Make sure the salt fully dissolves in the dye bath.

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Be sure you’re wearing gloves then using caution and care, rinse canvas drop cloth with water

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before submerging the drop cloth into the dye bath. Allow fabric to soak until you’ve achieved desired color.

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We let ours sit for about an hour stirring and repositioning the fabric every 15 mins.

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Once you have the color you want you need to rinse the fabric until the water runs clean.

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After you’ve done this step you’ll need to wash the fabric with a mild laundry detergent and allow the fabric to dry completely.

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You can make a throw for the couch, pillow covers, napkins, curtains, a table runner…there are so many great options.

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What I like about dyeing canvas drop cloths is you can make them as dark or as light as you want depending on how long you leave the fabric in the dye bath.

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They also have a nubby texture which makes them feel vintage yet totally durable. I made a stenciled pillow for the breakfast nook with this one. I’ll share it with you later this week.

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Until next time, I’ll see you on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.

 

Many blessings,

CoCo

Comments

  1. Cheri says

    I’m concerned about using a big enough container to do this. Was thinking I’d use the bathtub. Would it dye the tub? Is there a guideline for using the dimensions of the cloth to decide what size (volume) of pan or storage tub to use?

    • says

      Cheri, I don’t think I would try this in the tub as it will more than likely stain it. On bigger pieces of fabric I’ve used a large storage tub and kept stirring the fabric every 10-15 minutes to make sure all the fabric was covered and dyed evenly. I would check out the Rit website too. It’s called Rit Studio and they have a lot of great information on there. Hope this helps, CoCo

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