Hi and welcome to Drawn to DIY!
Last week, I posted a DIY for modern desk organizers.
Today, I'm sharing another beach-themed DIY.
In case you've been following the blog or my Instagram account, you know that I love the beach and I love the color blue. What's more, I love a good DIY that combines these two! So since I've always wanted to try my very own shibori, I thought to make an item that I could take to the beach and use for a very long time.
Shibori is a Japanese word that comes from the term shiboru, which means “to wring, squeeze, press.” As early as the 8th century, people have been using this technique to naturally dye fabric and create unique patterns using resistant materials such as string, rubber bands, and thread.
While there are numerous shibori patterns to choose from, I opted to use the Arashi or pole-wrapping technique because this creates a "waves" pattern I'm really excited about. I also decided to use this gorgeous Ocean Blue fabric dye color to tie the whole beach-themed DIY together.
- Old white flat sheet, queen-sized or larger
- Cotton string
- Rubber bands
- Glass bottle, jar, or PVC pipe, at least 12 inches tall and 6 inches wide
- Two buckets
- Fabric Dye (I used Dylon Permanent Fabric Dye, Ocean Blue color)
- Salt to help preserve the color (quantity depending on your fabric dye package instructions)
- Rubber gloves
- Tie one end of cotton string to a pencil. Since we are making a round beach blanket 5 feet in diameter, measure 30" of string from the pencil and cut. This will serve as a compass to draw a half circle onto the flat sheet.
- Fold the flat sheet in half and lay out on a flat surface.
- Using one finger, hold the string's end right down the middle of the folded edge.
- Using the pencil end of the string, stretch out (while still holding down the other end) and draw a half circle across the flat sheet. Cut.
- Fold in half so it will be 1/4 of a circle then take your glass bottle and lay it out on the bottom folded corner.
- Slowly and loosely wrap the flat sheet around the bottle and secure with a rubber band.
- Tie the cotton string to the rubber band and wrap the string around the bottle to create some "stripes." After a few rounds, secure with another rubber band and scrunch it down the bottle to create tiny wrinkled stripes. Repeat until you have secured the entire flat sheet around the bottle.
- Fill one bucket with warm water and fill the other bucket with hot water (almost boiling).
- Dissolve the fabric dye and salt in the bucket with hot water.
- Soak the bottle and fabric in the warm water for about a minute. Remove.
- Soak the bottle and fabric in the hot water with dye for 45 minutes, depending on the fabric dye package instructions.
- Remove and rinse until water runs clear. Hang to dry.
Don't be alarmed if the dye seems darker right after rinsing. Once dry, this will fade out into the beautiful blue color similar to the photo above. Don't you just love this pattern? It seems so intricate and calming at the same time!
I already have several rectangle beach blankets so I chose to make this one round. While there are several stores now that sell these (popularly called a "roundie"), this DIY will only cost you less than $10.
Flat sheets are great for this DIY because if you're like me and you have old flat sheets lying around from old bedding sheet sets (we've never used them!), you'll definitely save money. Also, it's so light-weight that it'll be quick and easy to shake off the sand while heading back to your car.
For durability, you can secure the "edges" of the fabric by sewing or serging it, or using Unique Stitch (no-sew alternative, like a glue for fabric). You can also, of course, customize this further by adding tassels or pom poms, but I'll just save that for another weekend.
I gotta say, I really love how this DIY turned out! I don't think I'll just be using it only as a beach blanket. I'm thinking of somehow using it as a wall hanging, table cloth, or party backdrop.
Have you tried shibori dyeing before? What are your favorite patterns?
Materials used in this post: