How to Dye Curtains

Fabric dye is a simple solution (pun intended) for neutral curtains or a blah room in need of a punch. Neutral curtains may go with everything, but colorful curtains make a big statement. With only a few materials, little cost and a little time, you can take an entire room from bland to fabulous just by updating your curtain color.

Image Credit: Lindsay Jackman

Things You'll Need

  • 5-gallon bucket for dyeing (bucket may take on some dye)

  • Fabric dye in your color choice

  • Stick or board to stir


  • Natural fiber curtains, such as cotton and linen, will dye well. However, fabrics with a sheen like taffeta or silk will not take the dye evenly.
  • Light colored curtains will yield the best result. Dark or vibrant curtains will distort the dye color as seen on the dye bottle.

Step 1: Fill Bucket With Hot Water

Fill your bucket with 3 gallons of hot tap water.

Image Credit: Lindsay Jackman

Step 2: Mix Dye Into Hot Water

Image Credit: Lindsay Jackman

For this project, half of the bottle of dye was used. The bottle of dye will have instructions for how much dye to use with how much water. The more dye you use, the brighter the color, so adjust the amount of dye based on your desired end result.

Image Credit: Lindsay Jackman

After pouring the dye in, use the stick to mix the water and dye. Several good stirs should do the trick.

Step 3: Wet the Area of the Curtain You're Dyeing

The dye will take best to a wet curtain. Spray down the area you are going to dye with a hose.

Step 4: Submerge Curtain Panel in Dye Bucket

Image Credit: Lindsay Jackman

This is where you can really customize the end result. You could dye the entire panel and completely change the look. Or, you could choose to dip-dye the curtain, making only the bottom quarter or half a new color.

In this case, about half of the curtain was dyed.

Use your stir stick to keep the curtain submerged at the desired level.

Leave the curtain submerged for 10 to 30 minutes or until desired color is achieved. The longer you leave the curtain in the dye, the darker the color will be. Check the curtain every five minutes to test your finished hue.


Keep track of exactly how long it takes to achieve your desired look on the first panel so that you can replicate it on the second panel.

Step 5: Rinse the Curtain Panel

After you take the curtain out of the dye, rinse with a hose until the water runs clear.

Step 6: Allow the Curtain to Dry Completely

Image Credit: Lindsay Jackman

Lay the curtain out to dry and let it dry completely before hanging. The curtain should dry in several hours.

Step 7: Hang the Curtain Panel

These curtains have a bit of a sheer dyed look. For a more saturated look, leave the curtain panel in the dye longer.

Brighten up any room with dyed curtains.
Image Credit: Lindsay Jackman