The perfect pair of curtains can be a tricky thing to find. I had been searching for matching curtains for our open concept living room and dining room, and was very specific with what I wanted. My checklist included: long cotton canvas grommet curtains that fit within my budget, and were a pale aqua blue color. That’s a lot to ask for in a pair of curtains.
The closest solution I could find were the MERETE curtains from IKEA. They are long (and they come in two different lengths), wider than most curtain panels (57 inches), they do have grommets, and are a great price at $40 for a pair! The MERETE curtains come in a variety of different colors, but not pale blue. So I decided that I could easily “hack” a pair of MERETE curtains with two shades of fabric dye to get the custom color of aqua blue I was looking for.
I took a quick trip to IKEA Ottawa with some of my kiddies to pick up some curtains and a few other things. I bought two pairs of curtains for this project while IKEA Ottawa provided me with the other two pairs. In the past I have bought many of these curtains and have always been happy with the look and quality.
IKEA is not only great for shopping furniture and home decor, but it’s a great outing and a perfect way to spend a rainy morning with the family. The IKEA family program has a lot of benefits, including exclusive monthly offers on products and in the restaurant, and a chance to win a $100 gift card every month.
I could take forever just walking through IKEA Ottawa looking at all the pretty furniture and decor. There are so many beautiful pieces! They switch up the displays four times a year so there’s always something new to see. When I visited, there were a lot of displays for spring and summer and it felt so vibrant and fresh.
I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time keeping my kids off the furniture when I’m browsing. I think my daughter had the right idea though, those beds always look so comfortable!
You can also shop IKEA online which is so convenient if you can’t make it out to the store. Another great thing is you can make a list online before you go, then use the IKEA app to access your lists and easily find what you are looking for.
Okay, let’s get to the tutorial for dyed aqua IKEA curtains! You can check out my short video, or see the full tutorial below.
Supplies for IKEA curtain hack
- Pair of white MERETE curtains
- 18-gallon Rubbermaid bin
- Rubber gloves
- Stainless steel bowl and spoon
- Fabric dye (1 pack Dylon China Blue, and 1 tbsp Bahama Blue)
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Step 1: Wash the curtains
I followed the instructions on the fabric dye package pretty closely, so the first step is to wash your curtains and leave them damp.
Step 2: Prepare the dye solution
While the curtains were in the washing machine I got the dye solution ready. I filled up an 18 gallon Rubbermaid bin up to the line with warm water. This is about 60 liters of water. I decided to do this outside to reduce the possibility of making a mess, so just ran back and forth from the kitchen with buckets of water.
To get a pale aqua blue color I used a full pack of Dylon China Blue fabric dye, and 1 tablespoon of Dylon Bahama blue. Mix it up in a small stainless steel bowl with some warm water, then add it to the Rubbermaid bin. I also added 7 tablespoons of salt to the water and mixed it up really well, because that’s what the dye package said to do.
Step 3: Dye MERETE curtains
Again, I followed the instructions on the package. I shook out the damp curtains to try and get rid of as many wrinkles as possible, then gently submerged them in the dye. I stirred constantly for 15 minutes with my stainless steel barbecue tongs, then occasionally for another 45 minutes. It’s a good idea to wear rubber gloves. I did not, and my hands were slightly blue for a couple days.
Step 4: Rinse, wash and dry
Rinse the curtains in cold water in your machine, wash with warm water, then dry. These curtains shrink a fair bit, so if you need to hem them make sure you wait till after you wash and dry them.
Step 5: Iron the curtains and hang them up!
The jumping off point for our living room color scheme was a blue and green stripe pillow that I bought from IKEA a few years ago. I love blues and greens together and these curtains now fit perfectly within the color scheme.
The curtain rod is made from plastic PVC pipe and DIY industrial brackets, which makes these entire window treatments very affordable.
The nice part about the white MERETE curtains is you can dye them any color you want by mixing up any shade of fabric dye, and use this tutorial as a guide for how it will turn out. You can totally use your imagination and make them any color you want!
I’ll leave you off with a few more colorful pictures of pillows and linens from IKEA Ottawa. If you haven’t yet, take a visit to the store! It’s one of the biggest IKEA stores in Canada. And one more perk I love about shopping at IKEA is treating myself to a delicious cinnamon bun at the end of my trip!