Living Room

Published on August 21st, 2006 | by Jules Yap


one white armchair, two black cats and a greenish brew in the tub

how does a doodlebug solve the problematic combo of 2 black cats and white slipcovers?

“the klappsta armchair is a halfway-respectable looking chair, and very comfortable. you can buy heavy cotton slipcovers for it, which I highly recommend, since the upholstery only comes in unwashable off-white. unfortunately, the only color choices for slipcovers are white, navy blue, or tomato red. the knoppe footstool comes with a slipcover as well, in a similarly limited color range … i think there might be four choices instead of three. since, at the time, navy blue and tomato red worked with pretty much NOTHING in my home, i went with the white.

white headache

so there i was, with two black cats. and white slipcovers. horrid. i eventually decided to throw the dice and try dyeing them. i used two tins of dylon hot water dye. as an apartment renter, i don’t own my own washing machine, so i had to do the dyeing in a big rubbermaid storage bin in the bathtub! boiled water in every single pot and kettle i owned, and went for it, spending a full half hour stirring up the fabric (three pieces – chair cover, chair seat cushion cover, and footstool cover) with a bamboo pole. turns out, it’s probably better to do this in a proper washer for reasons beyond the physical labor aspect.

the color i picked was called ‘olive green’ and i wound up with lime green instead. or maybe that’s dylon’s idea of olive green. or maybe i should have used one more tin to make it darker. regardless, i decided i liked the color (after my first initial fit of hysteria), and many friends have said my dye job has caused them to reconsider some ikea furniture they passed up previously!”

green envy

and now they lived happily in doodlebug’s crafty jungle of a home.

do sneak a peek. it’s lovely in there. a snug little place bursting with plants, pizzazz and personality. check out her diy stuff like the bamboo mat headboard, bookshelf console, the brilliant kitchen makeover and oh yes, the mural (below). awesome, doodlebug. and lucky kitties. link.

other armchair slipcover hacks:
> customised ikea armchair slipcovers
> hate the fabric colour? just paint it!
> claire’s quick chair cover up

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The Author

Jules Yap

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

5 Responses to one white armchair, two black cats and a greenish brew in the tub

  1. Unknown says:

    Were you able to fit the poang cushion in your washer? I am really loving this idea to get the poang in my dream color.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hi, I have several old knoppe footstool slip covers in [faded] red. I have brand new red slip covers that make the footstool covers look orange, and not in a nice complimentary way. I’m wondering with dying – can you dye a faded one, or are you just asking for trouble? I could either try to dye it a red, though I doubt it would ever match, or maybe a black or dark blue? Can you do that?

  3. jesslove says:

    I got a free set of white covers when I purchased a couch, chair, loveseat, and ottoman from Ikea a few years ago. I would really like to dye them, but I have never dyed anything before. Does the fabric usually turn out the same color if you dye it in the same method but in different batches? If that is a risk, then I may purposefully chose different colors for the different pieces. Thanks!

  4. John says:

    Ikea sofa covers can be dyed, usually very successfully, you just have to watch out for shrinkage. One tip is to wash the cover before dyeing and check the fit (leave slightly damp) . If it fits after washing then it should fit after dyeing and the wash will help prepare the fabric for the dye. In the sofa cover has shrunk too much (only happens very rarely) then you’ve saved yourself the expense of dyeing it.

  5. Priyanka says:


    I chanced upon your blog and have been looking for ideas and steps to dye my Ikea Ektorp Sofa covers.

    Any help in how about going at it, would be really helpful. I am a newbie at this.


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