Where do you keep all your stuff?
I know, it’s a silly question. Where you keep “stuff” depends on what it is! The real issue is having all your things organized so that you know where they are and can get to them when you need them. That’s a battle at my house–I’m a bit of a packrat (blame the frugal gene–I hate to get rid of things that still have use in them and that I might need later). Bins and boxes are my friends.
In the past I’ve shown you all how covering a cardboard box with wallpaper can give you an inexpensive and attractive storage container, how you can use cardboard boxes as drawer organizers, how to make a bookshelf out of unfinished crates, and how to store bulk food purchases in 5 gallon buckets.
Walmart asked me to do a post on “Stylish Storage”, so today I’m going to show you how to custom dye a basket liner!
To start with I picked up at Walmart a Better Homes and Garden’s chicken wire style basket with a canvas liner, a bottle of Rit Cherry Red dye and a “Dye Perfection” kit. The basket was found in the home decorating and storage section. The Rit dye items were over in the grocery side of the store in the aisle where they sell all the laundry detergent and bleach. There were plenty of color choices:
With Rit dye you have a couple of options on how to actually dye the items. You can do it in a pot on the stovetop, in your washing machine, or in a bucket. I was only dyeing two small items (the basket liner and a white button down shirt for Buddy that had accidentally be washed with something red and had turned that awful pale pink color), so I felt the washing machine method would just be too much water and too much trouble (you have to run a couple empty loads to clean it aftewards). The stove top method was attractive, but I was worried about splatters in my kitchen–and frankly my enamel coated cast iron sink is an off white color that stains terribly just from coffee–I could only imagine what would happen if I had to pour red dye down it.
So bucket method it was.
I didn’t want a lot of splatters, so I wanted something big to dye and stir everything in. The bucket I had available seemed awfully small, so instead I used a clean plastic trash can.
Following the directions on the Rit website, I mixed 1/2 the bottle of red dye with 3 gallons of water and 1 cup of salt (to help the color adhere to the cotton).
1–I wet the items and wrung them out well–starting out damp helps the dye penetrate the fabric fibers better–then I untwisted them and carefully placed them in the dye solution, stirring gently with the long metal spoon I keep for canning.
2–You stir the fabric in the dye bath for 30 minutes. Straight. My arm was really feeling it by the end!
3–As you can see, the items really soaked up the dye! After 30 minutes you drain out the dye bath and start rinsing the fabric under warm water, gradually changing the water over until it is cool. You rinse until the water runs CLEAR from the cloth. After about 30 minutes of rinsing under running water (and squeezing etc) the water was still coming out faintly pink and I gave up. I set the wet dyed items back into the now empty trashcan, then I cleaned up the tub. I was worried as there was a faint pink stain in the bottom of my bathtub. The directions said to clean with bleach or a product containing bleach–and thankfully the spray cleaner with bleach I had removed the stain. I would clean it up immediately though and not let it set!
note: I decided not to use the dye perfection kit. The kit contains a solution that you dissolve in water and then soak the items in after they have been dyed, but before they are washed the first time. This makes the dye last longer. I decided that the basket liner wasn’t going to be washed often enough for that to be an issue–and Buddy will probably grow out of the shirt before fading becomes much of an issue.
4–Finally you wash the dyed items in your regular washing machine and dry them. Your dyed items will need to be washed separately for several loads–they do tend to leak dye for a while. Since red is especially known for it’s propensity to run, I will be super careful with the shirt. I doubt I’ll have much reason to wash the basket liner.
When complete the liner came out a lovely red color that will look perfect in my kitchen.
I love how it came out!
Are you looking for more Stylish Storage ideas? Here are some from more of the Walmart Moms:
Disclosure: As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received product samples and compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.