DIY Shibori Tablecloth and Tote Bag

I'm sharing an easy tutorial to dye tablecloths and a tote bag with Shibori

Shibori tablecloth

What is Shibori?

Shibori is a Japanese technique for wrapping and dyeing items with indigo dye. See those blue jeans you're wearing? They get their blue color from indigo dye! how does Shibori work?

I'm so glad you asked!

I've teemed up with a fun group of bloggers to show you just how easy it is to make your own Shibori-dyed items for your home! Fabrics dyed in this way are each unique, and make wonderful gifts and home decor items.

You can dye just about anything.

Think t-shirts, pillow covers, curtains, tablecloths, towels...any natural material (ie: cotton) will be perfect for your Shibori project!

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Supplies Needed:

The easiest way to create patterns with indigo (or "Shibori") is to use a dye kit. I used this kit which comes with everything you'll need to dye up to 15 shirts...and it's currently on sale!

Shibori dye kit

Additional supplies:

  • items to dye (I used these flour sack cloths and this tote bag)
  • 5 gallon bucket
  • something to stir with
  • a container to hold dyed items
  • optional: clips, wood pieces, pvc pipe, string, etc

I'm going to share the three different techniques that I used to dye tablecloths and a tote bag...but of course feel free to be creative!

Note: I thought these flour sack cloths would make great tea towels, but they're really big so instead I am using them as tablecloths for the small antique table in my kitchen nook

I'll try my best to walk you through how I got each look but remember, no two items, even those made the same way, will be exactly the same! Each is unique!

And that's really the beauty of Shibori!

Shibori projects


Shibori tablecloth

folding fabric

accordian fold

Chevron with Hearts

Shibori tablecloth

By simply folding and wrapping the fabric in different ways, I was able to achieve three very different looks...each one beautiful.

Here is a general guide of how I folded the tablecloths to get each look:

guide to folding and wrapping fabric

If you're totally confused, don't worry! There is an instruction booklet included with the dye kit that explains how to achieve different looks with your Shibori. You can also do a Google search to find tons of ideas!


DIY Shibori tote bag

The tote bag was handled differently.

Rather than folding the fabric, I wrapped sections with rubber bands.

I grabbed small pieces of fabric and wrapped a rubber band around each one.

tie with rubber bands

Once I'd done this to both the back and front, I grabbed several rubber-banded sections at a time and tied them together. Then I folded the handles around a wooden tongue depressor.

It looked very strange and weird, but I love the results!

wrap, fold, roll, tie

Here are all three pieces...folded, tied and ready to go in their dye bath!

fabric tied and wrapped

I apologize for not having any process pictures, but this stuff was messy!

I dipped each piece into the dye bath for just a minute or so.

Don't be surprised when you take it out and it's bright yellow or lime-y green! You will literally see it oxidize before your eyes and turn blue.

dye bath

Then you just cut off all the rubber bands, unfold and wash!

Here are a few more beauty shots of my finished Shibori tablecloth and tote bag...

easy Shibori tablecloth

It's a really fun project. I had to stop myself from dyeing all the things!

windowpane Shibori

Shibori tablecloth and tote bag

Shibori tablecloth

Feel free to Pin This Image for future reference.
guide to Shibori
These Shibori tablecloths and tote bag would make great gifts! While you're at it, be creative. What would you dye?

And now I hope you'll stop by the following sites to see some more fabulous Shibori projects!

(left to right)

bringing beauty to the ordinary,

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  1. Hi Cindy! I enjoyed this tutorial :)
    I just wanted to let you know the links of others doing this technique didn't work for me. I kept getting error message :-(

    1. Thank you Lisa. The links should all be working now!

  2. Such cute makeovers! I need one of those tote bags for myself. Looks like I have another project to complete! Thanks for the inspo!

  3. Thank you Iris, it's fun to see what patterns you can create!

  4. Beautiful! And these are just the right size for your little table!

  5. I love them all! Awesome tutorial!

  6. The hearts pattern is amazing! I need to try that next time I shibori!

    1. Haha, thanks Katie! It was definitely a surprise but I like it too 😊

  7. I'm such a fan of DIY textiles and may love Shibori the best. Your tablecoth is smashing and I have all the heart eyes for the tote. Great job! Susie from The Chelsea Project


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