I have always had a love of combining colors whether it was mixing paint on a palette, choosing which pillow colors go together or even arranging vegetables on a salad. I have also dabbled in natural dying techniques, but I wouldn't call myself an expert by any means. I bought this all white duvet cover from ikea maybe 2 years ago with the idea of doing this DIY. I made myself an indigo shibori cover about 5 years ago and had the idea to do many more using different plant dyes. This one is probably the easiest especially if you have no access to specific dying equipment or materials. This DIY uses whatever you can find in your home, garden, or neighborhood park. I used some old red roses from a floral arrangement that were ready to hit the compost bin, hibiscus, blood orange slices, pink camellias, lavender, rosemary, and assorted green leaves from around my garden. You can use whatever you think has the most staining power. Pomegranates, any brightly colored roses, you can even use dried flowers like I did with the hibiscus!
1 white duvet cover (this dvala one from ikea is only $20 and includes 2 pillowcases!)
roses, flowers, assorted green foliage, staining fruits (whatever you think will leave a deeper stain on the cover)
This DIY is so simple! Basically you just find a relatively clean outdoor surface to work on and lay out your cover and your pillowcases. Place your flower petals, whole flowers, leaves, fruits, whatever you have in whatever fashion you choose. I scattered them all around in a random fashion but making sure to cover as much white as possible. If you are using dried flowers at all, I would recommend misting your cover with water. This helps the color to leech out and begin to spread on the fabric. It also helps the other flowers to 'spread into the fabric' if that makes sense. If you squash the flowers into the fabric dry it creates a harsher print that doesn't look as nice.
Once you have everything laid out the way you want, start to roll the fabric up from one end to the other. Don't roll it too tight, let the roll be like 4 inches wide. The tighter is the harder it will be to hammer the flowers into the fabric. It will be like hammering into a dozen pillows stacked up, and as you can imagine that won't work out well.
Once everything is rolled up you can wet it a little more if its too dry. Don't make it soaking wet, just moist enough to take the colors.
Now comes the fun part! Start to hammer away! You can get as crazy as you want, just go for it. Remember that squishier things like fruits and especially the blood oranges I used will explode and spread farther. Drier objects like leaves and rose petals might need additional attention to get the color really ground into the fabric. Try using the sides of the mallet, really squash them around.
Now that you made a big mess its time to unroll. Make sure you are near a trash can or in the bushes somewhere you can discard all the crushed up foliage. I just flung it over my compost pile. Now Let your cover and pillow cases dry outside. Once you make sure you get all the dried bits off throw your cover into the washing machine. Make sure to wash it on cold!
The resulting cover is a very subtle muted color palette. Since I used flowers I happened to have laying around and in my yard, this was sort of an experiment. Sure there are other tutorials and DIY's I could have looked up in preparation but I like to look around my surroundings for inspiration. If I fail and its a total disaster no big deal the cover was cheap enough. But honestly you can redo this if you colors don't come out the way you expected. I might find some brighter roses, and other staining flowers to add in more of the pinks and purples I was going for. I was quite surprised that the orange PEELS were what soaked in the most. Not even the red juice from the orange made much of an impact. But I like how it turned out. Its like a really worn in, faded tie dye shirt. Now I know there are probably natural fixatives and other things that could be done to make this turn out perfectly but this was easy and fun to do. Its like developing a roll of film, you never know how it will turn out!