This spring I again went through my possessions and created quite a pile of cast-offs for the church rummage sale and thrift store. My son came home and cleared out his stuff too! Light is starting to shine into the corners and closets of this big home.

I did a similar purge last year so I am not really sure why I still have so much to toss. With each layer that I toss, it seems that another layer floats to the surface.

As I look at the piles, I realize I am getting into sentimental stuff now: dishes and pans I used to cook my son’s favorites, beach towels from when he was 7 or 8 (he is 26 now). I toss some cherished books since I am now a Kindle junkie (same for CDs). I tossed my favorite sweater (beige), which now looks awful on me since I have allowed my hair to go au naturale (gray). I also tossed an old, stained sheepskin rug onto the pile.

Now, I am also trying to repurpose old things.I see so many cool re-dos on other blogs and I want to have something wonderfully creative to share–all the girls are doing it : )

So I go back to my discard pile. The favorite sweater cries out, as does a beige linen jacket that I love. The sheepskin rug nearly jumps off the pile into my arms. Save me, they seem to say. You once loved us.
Later that night I read my favorite blogs and see that one of the gals is dying old fabric and worn clothes. A bell went off in my head: I could dye my jacket, sweater, and rug. Only natural fabrics take the dye and those three items were cotton, linen and wool, perfect candidates for a dye job.

Of course there is no Rit Dye anywhere in this small town and I do not plan a trip to Cheyenne anytime soon (140 miles round trip). I go to my shopping mecca (Amazon) and find some denim blue Rit Dye. It was not eligible for Prime shipping so I ended up forking over $10 for this little project and waiting a long time for the dye to make it to the back country.

In fact, after a week with no dye delivery, I check the tracking information and learn that my little bottle of dye traveled from the East Coast, to Denver, and then to Georgia. I contacted the seller, who told me to be patient!?! Since there wasn’t much else I could do, I was patient. Eventually, after weeks of cross-country travel that makes a traveling girl crave the open road, my beautiful bottle of Rit Denim Blue Dye arrived.

I read up on how to dye and mixed up a big batch. First in were my jacket and sweater. After 30 minutes they went into the washer for a rinse and spin. Next, I tossed in the battered, stained, ugly sheepskin rug, for another 30 mins. It went into the washer for a rinse and spin too. I let all three air-dry.

Everything came out great! The sweater and rug did not take the dye perfectly even so they look very natural. The rug changes from lighter to dark when I brush the pile. It is soft and beautiful, not a solid, shocking blue; however I need to put some leather conditioner on the back.

The following photo of the rug shows the true color:

soft blue rug

The camera flash was not kind to the jacket and sweater. They are the same color as the rug and much more evenly dyed than they appear. They look nice, trust me!! Both are waiting for new buttons….I really dislike cheap shell buttons and often change them.



So….I could get into dyeing more natural fibers. It is easy and fun. Repurposing is satisfying. We’ll see. Gardening and camping season is upon us so that will take up much of my time.

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