The age-old art of Shibori — the Japanese dyeing technique — is easier than you think. Using our step-by-step directions for this fun project, you can create your own pillow cover designs to update that sofa or chair for summer.

1. Cut fabric into two pieces (one for front and one for back of pillow). The size depends on size of your pillow form. We used Roc-lon muslin. Always make your finished pillow cover two inches smaller than the pillow form. Example: for a 20-inch pillow form, cut fabric into two 19-inch squares, allowing for a 1/2" seam allowance.

2. In container, mix one tablespoon of Annie Sloan paint with about 10 cups of water. Stir until paint fully dissolved. Stir often to ensure paint stays mixed well. For the pillows we created, we used Napoleonic Blue, Burgundy, Antibes Green and Graphite.

3. Take one piece of fabric (which will be the back of the pillow) and loosely dip into the paint and water mixture. Swish around until fabric fully immersed. Lightly wring out and hang to dry with clothespins.

4. Next, use folding techniques on second piece of fabric (which will be the front of the pillow). Shibori tying and folding techniques are similar to those used in tie-dying.

Option 1: Fold fabric back and forth in a fan-like pattern. Then fold in half along short side. Clip clothespin around the rectangle.

Option 2: Fold fabric in roughly 4-inch square. Place a Ball jar lid on the front and back of the folded square and secure with either clothespins or paper clips.

Option 3: Fold fabric back and forth in a fan-like pattern. Fold piece in half along long side. Tightly wrap rubber bands along fabric piece using multiple bands in random fashion.

Option 4: Fold fabric back and forth in a fan-like pattern. On one end of the folded piece, began to fold fabric into a triangle and continue down the entire length of fabric. Tightly wrap rubber bands around the corners of the folded triangle.

Option 5: Laying fabric flat on a table, gather the fabric by pinching from top to bottom until your thumb and finger meet in the middle. Tie tightly with string (tightness is important). Repeat 3-4 times. Try not to make the folds too even, but allow to differ in height and size.

5. Next, for fabric folded in any of the options 1-4 above, dip folded or tied piece of fabric into the paint/water mix, letting it sit in the mix for just a few seconds. For option 5, lightly wet tied piece with water using a spray bottle. Using the paint full strength, light paint on the folded edges here and there. Set aside to dry.

6. Remove from paint/water mix and let drip. Remove strings or rubber bands with scissors. Carefully unfold fabric and hang to dry.

7. Once the fabric has air dried, you will want to iron each piece to ensure the color is set.

8. After ironing, the fabric is ready for sewing into a pillow.


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