Dye a Tablecloth Using a Cool Ice Technique

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DIY in a Day brings you step-by-step instructions for easy projects that will spruce up your space — within 24 hours (or less!).

If you haven't tried the ice dye technique yet, this project is a must! We created a one of a kind cotton tablecloth — perfect for an outdoor dinner or picnic. This tie dye technique works best with natural fabric, and we love how the ice dye method works on a linen tablecloth. Ice dyeing is a method of dyeing fabric using powder dye and ice. The ice melts the powdered dye onto the natural fabric and creates a gorgeous watercolor look.

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Our favorite dyes are Fiber reactive dyes from Dharma Trading Co. We used marigold, powder pink, olive drab, and indigo blue. If you're looking for a perfect summer project, this DIY tutorial is the one to try right now. Ideal for beginners or advanced crafters!

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Things You'll Need

Step 1: Pre-wash Fabric

Wash the cotton tablecloth with a mild detergent. No need to dry.

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Step 2: Soak Fabric in Fixative

Mix the soda ash powder with warm water in the bin. Soak the fabric in the mixture for 20 minutes.

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Step 3: Place Fabric on Wire Rack

After soaking in the soda ash solution, wring out the fabric and "scrunch" onto the top of a wire rack (such as a cooling rack) or chicken wire.

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Step 4: Add Ice

Cover the fabric with ice cubes.

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Step 5: Add Dye

Add up to four colors of fabric dye with spoons. A little bit goes a long way! Allow the ice to completely melt.

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Step 6: Rinse and Wash

Rinse the fabric with cool or cold water, and then wash with the mild detergent and dry. (Can be put in the dryer or air dried.)

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Image Credit: Sara Albers
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Image Credit: Sara Albers
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Once dry, your tie dye tablecloth is ready for use! Try this method on other items such as scarves, totes, and other cotton fabric accessories.

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