How to update basic white bed linens with pretty ink-stained ombré edges.
I wanted to capture the look of watery dyed bed linens without having to buy a new set of sheets. When black Sharpie permanent marker is sprayed with rubbing alcohol, it takes on a lilac hue that blurs gradually into the natural linen weave of sheets. The finished effect is organic and tranquil — and yes, they're washable! Here's how to get this relaxed look:
Materials and Tools
- Sharpie pen
- White linen duvet cover and pillow shams
- Rubbing alcohol
- Spray bottle
Step 1: Trace the trim of your sheets
Lay your duvet cover and pillow shams flat on the ground on top of a protective surface such as newspaper or board. Using a Sharpie permanent marker, trace along the four sides of your duvet cover. There is no need to use a ruler to guide you; an imperfect line only enhances the coveted dishevelled look. Do the same thing to the pillow shams, this time simply tracing the hemline of the sham.
Step 2: Spray with rubbing alcohol
Rubbing alcohol can be found in the first-aid section of the grocery store or pharmacy. Transfer it to a spray bottle and apply generously along the lines you've drawn with the Sharpie. Pin the sheet to a drying rack or clothesline and let the pigment bleed into the white sheets over the course of a few hours. The more you spray, the more the ink will bleed, creating a stunning watercolour effect. Once dry, tumble sheets in a hot dryer for 15 minutes to set the dye, then launder. Finally, mix the DIY sheets with solids and patterned bedding in the same pretty hues.
Side table, West Elm; artwork, Elte; sconce, The Door Store; patterned pillow, Lucca, Toronto (416) 485-4999; purple coverlet, Au Lit Fine Linens; wall colour, Martha Stewart Living Popcorn (MSL254), The Home Depot.
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