DIY Ombre T-Shirt Scarves
Love the look of ombré? Me too! If you need an inexpensive and fairly easy DIY holiday gift for your favorite fashionista (or to treat yourself), making T-shirt scarves is the way to go. They're great because they don't require any sewing skills, and you can make them for a few bucks. I've included instructions for making a single infinity-style scarf, as well as a spaghetti scarf.
What you'll need ~
- White T-shirt (XL or bigger)
- RIT dye in your choice of color (I used powder rather than liquid)
- Disposable plastic container (i.e. Gladware, etc.)
- Rubber gloves
- Wooden paint stirrer
How to make the scarves ~
Lay your white T-shirt out on a flat surface and grab a sharp pair of scissors. Cut across the shirt right under the arms. Cut across again right above the hem at the bottom.
To make a single infinity scarf, follow these steps:
Next, take the main section and stretch it as much as you can. Because the T-shirt is a jersey cotton, the edges that you cut will roll up, giving it a nice finished look.
To make multiple scarves (the spaghetti style), follow these steps:
Next, cut the main section into 1" (or so) wide strips (cutting horizontally). Take each T-shirt "band" and stretch it until the edges roll in. You'll end up with a grouping of spaghetti scarves.
Now you can proceed to the dyeing instructions.
How to get the ombré look:
There are different ways to approach dyeing the scarves, but I think my method was fairly easy and not too messy.
To start, set up a work space because you don't want to dye anything unintentionally! I laid down newspaper with plastic grocery bags underneath right next to my stainless steel sink.
You'll want to use a plastic container you can stand to part with; make sure it's large enough to fit the scarf (you can bunch it up, but be sure that when the liquid is added, it's large enough to submerge the scarf with a little swishing room to spare).
Heat up enough water in the microwave to fill the plastic container. You don't need it boiling but fairly hot. Don your rubber gloves and add just a pinch of the powder dye to the water. Use your paint stirrer to mix it thoroughly.
This will be your lightest color in the ombré. Dunk the entire scarf into the container, making sure it's completely submerged. You can use the stirrer to mix it around. Keep an eye on it - you might only want to leave the scarf in for less than a minute to get the color you want. Once you're satisfied with the color, remove the scarf and wring it out in the sink.
Now, you're going to make the dye slightly darker. Add a bit more of the powder dye and stir. Add the scarf back in, leaving the portion that you want to stay the lightest hanging out of the container. Again, remove the scarf once you're happy with the color. Wring and repeat these steps until you've increasingly made the ombré darker and darker.
When you're finally done dyeing the scarf, wring it out in the sink and rinse it thoroughly with warm water and a tiny drop of laundry detergent. Make sure you rinse it until the water runs clear. Lastly, pop the scarf in the dryer or hang it to dry.
--- This project was created by Erika Pitera, the managing editor and art director here at ZEST