How to Make a Watermelon Dress

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For a handmade spin on this seasonal trend, turn a plain white cotton dress into a sweet watermelon ensemble. This budget-friendly project is eye-catching, unique and easy enough for beginners.

Sweeten up your summer with a DIY watermelon dress.
Sweeten up your summer with a DIY watermelon dress. (Image: How to Make a Watermelon Dress)

Things You'll Need

  • White cotton dress
  • Gloves
  • Red and green fabric dye
  • Plastic tubs (2)
  • Washing machine
  • Garbage bag, tarp or old magazine pages
  • Thin scrap fabric
  • Painter's tape
  • Scissors
  • Black fabric paint
  • Foam brush
Adhesive paper can be used instead of painter's tape and thin fabric.
Adhesive paper can be used instead of painter's tape and thin fabric. (Image: How)

Step 1

Cover your work space with a garbage bag or tarp. In separate bins, prepare the green and red fabric dyes according to the package's directions.

Using an old paint brush or wooden stick, mix the dye well.
Using an old paint brush or wooden stick, mix the dye well. (Image: How to Make a Watermelon Dress)

Step 2

Place the top half of the dress in the green dye bath and the bottom half in the red. Leave them to soak for about half an hour.

Leave the middle section of the dress out of the dye.
Leave the middle section of the dress out of the dye. (Image: How to Make a Watermelon Dress)

Step 3

Rinse the dress under running water until it turns clear. Keep the two sides away from each other as much as you can.

For best results, work outside with a garden hose.
For best results, work outside with a garden hose. (Image: How to Make a Watermelon Dress)

Step 4

Wash the dress in a washing machine. Hang it to dry.

Check the dye's packaging for specific washing directions.
Check the dye's packaging for specific washing directions. (Image: How to Make a Watermelon Dress)

Step 5

Lay the dress on a flat surface. Place garbage bags, a tarp or old magazine pages inside the dress. Smooth out any wrinkles or folds.

Separate the two sides of fabric.
Separate the two sides of fabric. (Image: How to Make a Watermelon Dress)

Step 6

Place a strip of painter's tape on the scrap fabric.

If using adhesive paper, skip to the next step.
If using adhesive paper, skip to the next step. (Image: How to Make a Watermelon Dress)

Step 7

Fold the painter's tape in half. Cut half a teardrop shape along the fold.

To make a guide, use a pen to draw a half teardrop shape along the fold.
To make a guide, use a pen to draw a half teardrop shape along the fold. (Image: How to Make a Watermelon Dress)

Step 8

Remove the painter's tape from the fabric.

The painter's tape can now be used as an adhesive stencil.
The painter's tape can now be used as an adhesive stencil. (Image: How to Make a Watermelon Dress)

Step 9

Place the stencil on the dress. Smooth out the tape to ensure that it is completely flat.

Choose a random spot to add the first seed.
Choose a random spot to add the first seed. (Image: How to Make a Watermelon Dress)

Step 10

Using the foam brush, apply a light layer of black fabric paint.

Use a small amount of black paint.
Use a small amount of black paint. (Image: How to Make a Watermelon Dress)

Step 11

Carefully peel away the tape.

This step reveals the painted seed.
This step reveals the painted seed. (Image: How to Make a Watermelon Dress)

Step 12

To paint more seeds, re-position the stencil on another part of the dress.

Paint more seeds on random spots.
Paint more seeds on random spots. (Image: How to Make a Watermelon Dress)

Step 13

Repeat Steps 9-11 until the red half of the dress has enough seeds to your liking.

The seeds should be randomly scattered across the red bottom.
The seeds should be randomly scattered across the red bottom. (Image: How to Make a Watermelon Dress)

Step 14

Let the paint dry completely.

Once the paint is dry, your new dress is ready to wear.
Once the paint is dry, your new dress is ready to wear. (Image: How to Make a Watermelon Dress)

Tips for Making a Watermelon Print Dress

For best results, use a dress that is 100% cotton. Materials such as polyester do not hold fabric dye. A dress made of both cotton and polyester might not hold dye very well.

100% cotton dresses work best for this project.
100% cotton dresses work best for this project. (Image: How to Make a Watermelon Dress)

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