Skirt Makeover with Natural Dye & Fabric Paint

turmeric dye

I found this long plain cream skirt at a thrift store a few months ago for a few bucks and snatched it up. Since I finally learned to use a sewing machine, I thought I would just hem it up and then have a nice basic khaki skirt that I could wear a million ways.

Natural Dye

But then I realized that was boooooring! And also when the heck do I ever wear khaki? So I started thinking about how I could refashion my new boring thrift find. I came across this skirt and fell in love with the beautiful golden mustard color + I'm a sucker for polka dots and I just knew I had to have my own.

Natural Dye turmeric

I figured I could get a nice golden color using a natural, homemade dye instead of buying any. I thought turmeric would make a nice dye so I poked around on the internet, found this article for reference, and then dove right in.

Natural Dye skirt
diy polka dot skirt

I ended up boiling my skirt in 12 cups water + 3/4 c. salt for one hour. After it cooled, I made a fresh pot with 14 cups water + 1/2 cup turmeric + a splash of vinegar. I brought it to a boil, simmered for 15 minutes, added my still wet skirt, and simmered for 45 minutes— stirring occasionally to get an even dye job. When it was done, I removed it from heat and let it cool before rinsing it out.

diy polka dot skirt

Next, I machine washed it to make sure all the turmeric was rinsed out. Then I ironed it, hemmed it up, and added some oversized polka dots with big round sponge + some fabric paint. I had to go back and fill in the dots with a paint brush to get the coverage I wanted, but I kind of figured that would happen.

diy polka dot skirt

I'm pretty pleased with how this turned out! The fabric paint dried a little stiffer than I thought it would but I also haven't washed the skirt since I added the polka dots so I'm not sure if that will make a difference . . . (And now y'all know that I'm one of those nasty people that wears things one million times before washing it. . . sorry not sorry— I don't have time for that!)

diy polka dot skirt

Anyway, I ended up learning a lot from this project and now I have a cute new skirt! This is actually what I wore to a Nashville blogger meetup we had awhile back— Nick was kind enough to snap a few photos of me before I headed out for fun.

Natural Dye skirt

Have you ever used plant based dyes for anything? I'm really curious to try more in the future— I feel like beets would make a gorgeous color?! I recently went through my closet and now I have a little pile of projects to work on so hopefully I will get my butt in gear and have more refashions to show you soon!

skirt refashion

I hope you all have a great weekend! -j.