DIY Hibiscus-Dyed Drop Cloth

June 15, 2012 5:30 PM

BY Sarah Lonsdale

I’m having a moment with hibiscus flowers–dried ones, that I first spotted in my local Mexican supermarket. They make an excellent lime and hibiscus summer drink, but they also create a lovely dusty pink color when used as a fabric dye.

Here at Remodelista we’ve been contemplating dying painter’s drop cloths for a while now (see Dip-Dyed Canvas Tablecloths), so when my fellow editors heard me waxing lyrical about hibiscus flowers, they suggested I give the drop cloth dye a try. It took three days of soaking, but the result is a pleasantly pale pink summer table cloth. Here’s what I did:

Photography by Sarah Lonsdale for Remodelista.


Above: My inspiration? A swath of canvas in an artist’s studio; photo by Christopher Baker.

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Above: Dried Hibiscus Flowers are $14.25 for a two-pound bag from Amazon.


Above: Fill a bucket or tub with enough water to cover the cloth.


Above: Add four handfuls of flowers to the water.


Above: Let the flowers and water sit in the sun for a while, then place the drop cloth in the tub and fully immerse in the water. Leave for at least one day. I left mine in for three days, and swirled it daily to get a little more pink color then line dry. Silks and thinner cottons absorb the color more easily than a drop cloth and won’t take as much soaking time.


Above: My hibiscus-dyed tablecloth, after three days of soaking.