DIY Three Way: A Shibori Textile Project for Your Walls, Your Kitchen, and Father’s Day?!

By Brittni • Updated on 06/15/2016

DIY shibori textiles as wall art

I’m always looking for another excuse to dye something, and since Father’s Day is just a few days away (this Sunday), I thought I’d do some last minute DIYing for Dad.

Somehow though, I got a little carried away and ended up turning a simple DIY hankie project into wall hangings, tea towels, and a whole lot more. Haha. You can use them for whatever you’d like though!

So whether it’s a gift for dear ol’ Dad, or a present for yourself, I have an easy-to-follow shibori dyed textiles tutorial for you.

DIY Shibori Textiles 3 Ways

DIY shibori hankies for Father's Day

DIY shibori tea towels

P.S. If the term shibori has you running for the hills, don’t worry! It’s just a fancy term for resist dyeing that consists mainly of wrapping and folding techniques that are really simple. Pinkie promise.

Quick note… To make this project more accessible and a bit less messy, I did not use indigo powder, which you’ll often see with shibori projects. I used a liquid dye…one specifically made for synthetic materials, since the hankies I bought are a polyester cotton blend.

Synthetic dyes typically recommend that you use the stovetop method. I’m not especially into having to use pots and pans for dyeing projects, so I do it this way instead (and it works really well)…

Tutorial for shibori dyed textiles


  • plain white hankies (mine are from Amazon and cost $1 a piece)
  • synthetic fabric dye (I used this one)
  • small pieces of cardboard, rubber bands, metal clips
  • medium size container
  • metal spoon for stirring
  • gloves (I didn’t use gloves for this project because I find them annoying sometimes, but if you don’t want to dye your hands, you should definitely wear gloves.)


1. First, submerge the hankies in water. I used my kitchen sink. Then, wring out the excess water and fold each hankie into a different design. You can fold them up into squares, triangles, rectangles, scrunched up balls, etc, etc. And if you get a big pack of hankies, like this one, you can totally experiment without having to worry about being crazy precious with each one.

I used cardboard pieces on the front and back of several hankies after they were folded (see photo), metal clips, rubber bands, etc. There is no right or wrong way to do this, so just have fun with it.

Tutorial for shibori dyed textiles

2. Next, pour half of a bottle of synthetic fabric dye into a medium sized bowl filled with hot water. Use the hottest water you can get (just from your sink is fine – as long as it is hot).

3. Stir the dye bath thoroughly with a spoon or something similar.

4. Put on gloves and place the folded, clipped, and rubber band-ed hankies into the dye bath for 20-30 minutes, making sure that all of the hankies are fully submerged in the dye. The longer the hankies are in the dye, the deeper the color will be.

Tutorial for shibori dyed textiles

5. With your gloves still on, remove the hankies from the dye. Then, squeeze out the dye under running water in the sink, until the water runs clear underneath each hankie. I’d recommend using a stainless steel or utility sink, so that the dye doesn’t damage any surfaces.

6. Wash in washing machine (no soap), then run through the dryer to heat set before using.

Tutorial for shibori dyed textiles

Shibori dyed DIY hankies for Father's Day

I had so many hankies leftover (I can’t give ALL 13 to my Dad can I? Feels like overkill.), I kept some for myself and am using them around the studio as tea towels, wall decor, and as little bandanas for Luna and Franz. I wish Gertie was around for this. She would have looked so cute in a little bandana. Dang it, I miss her.

Anyway, if you plan to use these hankies as tea towels (they’re totally big enough for it), just beware that they’re thinner than normal tea towels… They’ll dry your hands like little champions though. So, I definitely recommend ’em.

Click through for the step by step tutorial for these shibori dyed textiles.

Shibori textiles DIY

Shibori dyed textiles as wall art

Shibori wall art DIY idea

Click through for the step by step tutorial for these shibori dyed textiles.

Photography by Amelia Tatnall and Brittni Mehlhoff

Like this project? How would you use these dyed textiles? As tea towels, Father’s Day gift, wall art?

15 comments | Click here to reply

[…] Note: If you’re planning to dip dye or shibori dye your fabric, skip step 5, follow these instructions instead: dip dye DIY and shibori dye DIY.  […]

How to Dye Almost Anything You Can Get Your Hands On

These are so beautiful!

Emmy Jake NYC


Great directions! I tried this with paper which works great too since I’m always looking for DIY decorations for paper!

Anne Rita Taylor

Really nice!

MME Makaleiska

They’ve turned out really effective and the shade of blue is lovely.


I’m going to try this with my niece and nephew….they will love this..

Jessica Rose

Love all the different looks you got from using the same technique!!

Eden Passante

Adorable! I love that you offered a liquid dye alternative. I am also not a fan of dyeing in the same pots and pans that I make food in.


Love this! Just ordered the materials. I’m going to use them to wrap my husband’s gift (an engraved wooden watch). Blue is his favorite color. Fingers crossed that the hankies are big enough!


Thanks Abby! I think wall art is probably my favorite use for them, at the moment, especially against our white walls.


They look neat as wall art above your desk too!

Abby from Confetti Casserole

Thanks Maria! Pink or purple would look great too, I’m sure.


This is so cool! I imagine a pink or purple, my favorite colors!

Maria Carolina

Thanks Michelle. 🙂


The outcome looks incredible, I really like that shade of blue and those patterns you created!

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