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Ombre Sheets

Fashion designer Zac Posen likes to personalize his sheets using this simple gradient-dying technique.




Resources: Pillowcases and sheet sets from the Martha Stewart Collection at Macy's.


  • RIT dyes in cherry red and wine
  • Hot and cold tap water
  • 5 plastic bins for dyeing (bins may discolor)
  • Pillowcase
  • Machine washer and dryer


  1. Step 1

    Set up bins side by side. Prepare each bin as follows:Bin 1: Fill with hot water.Bin 2: Fill 2/3 full with hot water; mix in 1/4 bottle of cherry red dye.Bin 3: Fill 2/3 full with hot water; mix in 1/2 bottle of cherry red dye and 1/8 bottle of wine dye.Bin 4: Fill 2/3 full with hot water; mix in 3/4 bottle of wine dye.Bin 5: Fill with cold water.

  2. Step 2

    Soak pillow sham in first bin of clear hot water.

  3. Step 3

    Dip entire pillow case into Bin 2, rotating to ensure even coverage, for 30 seconds.

  4. Step 4

    Dip 1/2 of pillow sham in Bin 3 for 30 seconds, overlapping the first dip. Dip 3/4 of sham into Bin 2 again briefly to blend dye stages.

  5. Step 5

    Dip 1/4 of pillow sham in Bin 4 for 50 seconds, overlapping the other dips. Dip 3/4 of sham into Bin 2 again briefly to blend dye stages.

  6. Step 6

    Repeat steps 3 to 5 if necessary, until desired color is achieved. Soak pillowcase in last bin of cold water to set dye.

  7. Step 7

    Wring excess water from pillowcase, and hang to dry.

  8. Step 8

    Wash dyed items on their own once in a machine washer set on cold; dry items in a hot dryer to set dye completely.

  9. Step 9

    For maintenance washing, always wash dyed items with like colors.

The Martha Stewart Show, January 2011



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