Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Calling all hippies

I think I've talked before about the ceilings in my house.  They are awful, old acoustical tile.

I don't want to spend the amount of money it would cost to have them replaced, and they're impossible to paint.  So I got thinking ... maybe I could cover them some way.  Kind of like the top on a canopy bed, maybe I could drape material across the ceilings, to make them look pretty.

I decided to experiment.  I got out the ol' staple gun and half-assedly fastened a bedsheet to one corner to the living room ceiling.  (No, the ceiling is not actually yellow.  It's just the camera.)

The sheet held!  But that plain old sheet is awfully boring.  I wanted it to look like clouds, like the sky, like a pattern of air on the ceiling.  So I bought a bunch of plain white sheets, and some bottles of aquamarine Rit dye.

You see where this is going, right?  I am going to tie-dye the sheets in (hopefully) pretty patterns, white and aquamarine.  I've done some research and I'm pretty sure I've got the "dye" part down, now I just have to figure out the "tie" part, to get the look I want.  A marbled look.

Okay, all you old hippies.  Tell me your tie-dye techniques!


~~Silk said...

The salt-resist method makes beautiful mottles. I know it works beautifully on silk; I'm not sure how well it works on cotton. Example at

There's a scrunch/crumble dealy that results in random spots. Example at

Galaxy pattern at

All of the above require that you lay the fabric out flat to apply the dye, and it might not be easy to find a suitable surface that large. If you want sky and clouds, and are willing and able to lay it out flat, you could just splash the dye where you want it.

With fabric the size of sheets, the easiest is to just do it in the washing machine, but then you have little control of the finished appearance. There are lots of YouTube videos showing various techniques for machine tieing (sp?), knotting, twisting, and banding. If you look at the ones above, there will be other videos on the right that you can explore.

I once created an all-over floral/leaf pattern on a long dress by using an overcast stitch to pull up the fabric where I wanted the outlines.

Good luck.

spiffikins said...

Can't help you with the dyeing part - I've never done that!

But I think the idea is awesome! I've seen photos of fabric hung from the ceiling - and I like it when they have long panels, that are attached to the ceiling at each end of the room, and drape down -

rockygrace said...

~~Silk, I think I should just box all this stuff up and send it to you to do, because I'm sure you'd do a far, far better job than I will. :) Thanks for the suggestions!

and spiff, yeah, those pictures - love it!

Anonymous said...

Maybe they make sheets with clouds on a blue background? They make wallpaper like that but I can't imagine how hard it would be to wallpaper a ceiling...

bridgett said...

Also, for 100 bucks you can get a night sky projector (clouds and stars) that is really beautiful and you don't have to mess with the white sheets at sounds like a lot, but the enjoyment of it might be worth it.

rockygrace said...

Kris, I looked into cloud (or star) printed sheets! In the end, I decided I wanted a more abstract look, but it's still a great idea!

and bridgett, I have an Uncle Milt star lantern in my bedroom! I love it.