DIY Ombre

The Bay's best newsletter for underground events & news

One of the things that’s been popping up on my radar lately is ombre. What started with pink and blue tipped hair on the heads of celebs has grown into a stream of lovely craft ideas. Ombre, which is a French term that means “shaded,” is usually a multi-colored stripe with colors that graduate from light to dark, and this is important because it means that to make something “ombre” all you really need to do is determine the best way to color it stripes with various shades. Because coloring stripes is way easy to do, ombre has been adapted to a variety of purposes. For example:

Chairs, Dressers, Stair Balusters, Lampshades, Picture Frames, Wooden Utensils, Coffee Mugs, Marquee Letters, Curtains, Bedding, Denim, Leggins/Tights, Tops, Shorts, Scarves, Pumps, Tassel Necklaces, Fringe Necklaces, Lace Necklaces, Nailpolish and Tissue Paper Pom Poms …and you are probably really sorry you asked by now.

However, most of these projects are really straightforward. Things like the chair, dresser, stair balusters, wooden utensils, coffee mugs, picture frames, and marquee letters are simply prepped by cleaning and sanding and then spray painting or hand painting the gradations of colors you’ve selected (or, if you’re super clever, the one color that you’ve mixed with a bunch of white to create five or six gradations of the shade).

Lampshades are generally created by getting ribbon, or making decorative paper punches, in the appropriate colors and then wrapping the ribbon around the lampshade, or stringing your paper punches together.

Curtains, denim, leggings and tights, pumps, tops, shorts and scarves are all generally created by either dipping the fabric in dye for longer and longer periods so it absorbs more, spraying color in a gradation, soaking in a gradation of color OR soaking in bleach for longer and longer periods to remove color – basically you’re going to be dipping fabric. Bedding can either be done this way, or if you’re looking for a more subtle approach, by drawing a line of sharpie across the sheets and spraying it with rubbing alcohol to make it bleed which creates more of an ombre streak.

Nail polish just involves mixing your colors and applying with a sponge, the pom poms are created by layering and tying shades of tissue paper, and the necklaces are all dip dye, or assembly of shades of material. Ombre is really easy and it won’t take long before you find something that’s screaming for several shades of color.


Images courtesy DesignSponge, SFGirlByBay, iDoItYourself.Blogspot,, and YouWantMetoBuyThat.Wordpress

Like this article? Make sure to sign up for our mailing list so you never miss a goddamn thing!
Previous post

FREE 4th of July Hot Dogs at FrankenArt Mart

Next post

Craftsman and Wolves...

Amber Bouman - Crafty & Cashless

Amber Bouman - Crafty & Cashless

A freelance writer, blogger and poet based in San Francisco, Amber has written for PC World, InfoWorld, and the 16th & Mission Review. She has performed at City Hall, Litquake, the Brainwash, 16th & Mission, BlueSix, and SFSU among other places. Amber is also consummate fan of swearing, organizational freak, yoga practitioner, music geek, caffeine addict, and tattoo enthusiast who enjoys platform shoes, making out, thumb wrestling and fighting the good fight. She owns a bicycle named Gretel, a motor scooter named Elroy and a cat named Simon. She can be found in various virtual locations all over your interwebs.


  1. August 17, 2012 at 6:04 am

    […] this month, we talked about ombre, how it’s super neat and super easy because all it involves is dipping an object into shades of […]

  2. August 20, 2012 at 10:04 am

    […] this month, we talked about ombre, how it’s super neat and super easy because all it involves is dipping an object into shades of […]