One of my favorite parts of our recent summer vacation was staying at a resort hotel with the most comfortable bed. It was the kind that had crisp white sheets, more pillows than you could count, and a cozy duvet that made you want to stay under it all morning! After a long day tending to the needs of children, that bed was like a big, welcoming hug, and I was determined to recreate a similar resort hotel, spa-like feeling to our own bedroom when we got home. We already had the fantastic duvet insert that will forever have my heart, but I felt our bedding could still use a little love. I wanted to achieve a resort hotel feel without the resort hotel price while still holding on to that tropical summer vibe.
We’re excited to be partnering with IKEA, one of our favorite shops for affordable home goods, to share this inexpensive duvet cover makeover! While a great mattress, the perfect pillows, and all white linens will make you feel like you’re still on vacation, this hand-dyed, shibori style duvet cover will add that touch of personal style that makes it feel like home. It has just enough of that boho, beachy vibe to bring back those relaxed summer afternoons at the pool, too. I made sure to include nightstand lighting for bedtime reading, fresh flowers in a small vase, and a large textural piece of fiber art above our new NORDLI bed frame to round out the cozy factor. A few throw pillows later and our bedroom felt like our own little vacation spot!
–IKEA DVALA duvet cover
-5 yards of rope or twine
-2 packets of Tulip fabric dye in denim blue
-1/2 cup table salt
-1/2″ x 6″ x 12″ balsa wood
-1/2″ x 8″ x 16″ balsa wood
-paint stir stick
Step One: When you take your duvet cover out of the packaging, remove the pillow shams, and then unfold the sides so that you have the first shape shown above. This takes advantage of the already folded shape, but feel free to unfold and refold until you get something similar to a long rectangular shape. Then do a flag-fold technique of sorts by folding triangles back and forth on themselves until you get to the end of your fabric. You’ll likely have a little bit left that doesn’t form a full triangle, but don’t sweat it.
Step Two: Cut your balsa wood so that you get a pair of triangles that are roughly the same size. You’ll be clamping these against your fabric with rope (or rubber bands, wood clamps, etc.) so that the dye doesn’t penetrate the fabric in that area. It’ll bleed through some, but it’ll create a unique resist pattern when you’re done. A larger triangle will mean more white space in your design while a smaller triangle will mean less.
Step Three: Prepare your dye in a stainless steel sink or large bucket. You’ll notice I just used my regular sink, but I had plenty of cleaning supplies on hand to take care of business when I was done. Add two packets of your fabric dye along with enough of the hottest water you can get from your tap to fill about 1.5 – 2 gallons worth. Add 1/2 cup of table salt according to manufacturer’s directions and stir.
Step Four: Place the bound duvet cover in the sink so that it’s submerged. If it wants to float, place a rock on top of the wood. Stir for 15 minutes almost constantly, and then every now and then for the next 45 minutes. Take it out and let it drip excess water down the drain. Then cover with Saran wrap and let the dye set for 6-8 hours for a deep blue. If you prefer something a little more faded and subtle, you can shorten your wait time to about 1.5 hours.
Step Five: After your allotted wait time, rinse your dye out with cold water. Wash in warm water with a little color safe detergent and tumble dry low. The color will fade a little after it’s been washed and dried, but if you let the dye set for 6-8 hours, you’ll end up with a bold blue that feels more like it’s been truly indigo dyed.
This type of visual change, along with simple white linens and a few other special details can totally transform the feel of a room! I’m not gonna lie, I’ve been working from bed instead of at my studio desk every day since this update. Now, if only I could figure out how to arrange room service, I’d be set!
Have you ever tried dying a project on this scale? It’s such a fun way to add some relaxing color and pattern this summer. I’m in love! –Rachel
Credits//Author: Rachel Denbow. Photography: Rachel Denbow and Janae Hardy.