Erslev bathtub

Published on August 1st, 2011 | by Jules Yap


Erslev Dyed in the Bathtub

Materials: Erslev Rug, Bleach, Rit Dye, stencil, fabric paint, stencil brush

Description: The Erslev rug functioned well in its original green for a while, but when we changed up our daughter’s room, it wasn’t quite right. I knew I wanted a golden yellow rug, but we didn’t have it in the budget, so we used what we had!

Step 1:
Bleach the rug overnight. I used 1/2 gallon of bleach in 1/2 tub of water for bleaching.

Step 2:
Rinse (and rinse, and rinse, and rinse)

Step 3:
Hang the rug to (mostly) dry. (I used the shower curtain rod for this)

Step 4:
Run HOT water in the bathtub (put on your rubber gloves for this step!), and pour in your Rit Dye. I used two packs of Golden Yellow and 1/2 pack of Cocoa Brown to get the color I wanted. In hindsight, I wish that I had mixed the colors with a little water before pouring into the tub…I think it would have mixed a lot easier.

Step 5:
Submerge your (mostly) dry rug in the dye solution. A damp fabric will take color better than a dry one. You should only need 2 inches of water for this – only enough to barely cover the rug. Constantly rotate the rug so that you can ensure that every square inch gets dyed. The package instructions say that after 10-30 minutes you should have your desired hue…mine only took 5. (Disclaimer: You should test the color on your tub before doing a full dye)

Step 6:
Rinse (and rinse, and rinse, and rinse) until no more color comes out of the rug when you rinse it.

Step 7:
Put your rug in the clothes dryer (so that the color doesn’t drip all over the floor/bathtub when you hang it to dry).

Step 8:
While your rug is in the dryer, BLEACH your bathtub. Do it fast. And scrub. My favorite trick is to use the bleach gel toilet bowl cleaner in the tub – squeeze it all around the inside perimeter of the tub where the dye was and let it sit for a while before scrubbing.

Step 9:
After about an hour, hang the rug up to dry the rest of the way.

TaDa! You are now the proud new owner of a bathtub-dyed Erslev rug!

After my newly-dyed rug was dry, I used white fabric paint and a stencil to make a fleur-de-lis pattern all over. I love the way it turned out, and it looks way better in her room than the plain green did!

See more of the Erslev dyed and stencilled rug.

~ Kendra, PA

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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".

2 Responses to Erslev Dyed in the Bathtub

  1. Marsha says:

    One thing to add. I tried this method and found that after the bleaching period, I had some really white spots and some non-bleached spots (kind of like tie dye). I made sure the whole thing was submerged and pushed the bubbles out. I’m not sure what happened. I think the next time (if there is a need for a next time), I would put it in the tub accordian style and not folded ontop of itself. I think that might have made a difference. I am still pleased with it, but bummed about the bleaching part.

  2. Wild Roses says:

    So pretty! The golden yellow looks gorgeous with the room, and I love the stenciled pattern. It really makes the rug pop!

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