DIY Ombre Ties.

I’m so delighted to have an old blogging friend here!  Please welcome Julie from richardsonshine.  Julie and I have known each other for awhile now.  Her blog is a place that I often visit for design inspiration (and pics of her adorable children).  I think you’re going to love her.  She has a great tutorial for us today for DIY Ombre Ties!  

Hello, Southern Institute readers!

When Jenny and I first “met” through our blogs, I think we quickly realized we liked or enjoyed many of the same things: fun fashion, sewing projects, etc., but most of all, putting family first. It’s been fun to follow Jenny at The Southern Institute and get to know her darling family.
Now…I’m sure you’ve noticed the world’s ombre craze. Yes, of course you have! From clothing and accessories to shower curtains, furniture, walls, wedding cakes and even hair (!), the fashion, craft, and design world is eating it up. Well I decided my boy needed an ombre tie. Or two.

After searching far and wide for easy little boy tie tutorials, this one by Sharing the Wealth is my favorite. She mentions the sizing is best for 1.5-2 yr olds, but I think it’d be just fine for a 3 or 4 yr old as well. My son just turned five and it’s short for him, but we made it work!
So. Before you read on, go download the tie pattern here.

There are two ways to create this ombre tie:

1) sew the tie first, then dip in the dye, OR,

2) dip the unsewn tie pieces first, then sew the tie together afterwards. 

We’re doing the latter method, but remember I’m dyeing two ties here, not just one. If you’re a bit nervous about dyeing fabric, start with just one color and one tie.

You’ll need:

your dye of choice,
your large tie pieces,
(front and back for two ties shown here, 
and not the piece that goes around the neck)
(if your dye calls for it)
rubber gloves, 
and buckets or large bowls.

Depending on how concentrated your dye is, you may want to use more than one bucket or bowl. The yellow wasn’t too dark, so I kept it to half a bottle of dye in one bowl of water. The navy blue (which turned out slightly purple) was super dark, so I poured some into smaller bowls, diluting the dye more and more each time. It just takes some experimenting!

All right, wet your fabric before you dip.

Taking the top of your tie pieces, dip them in your dye very quickly, 
as far up as you’d like the color to go.
Then dip again, submerging less of the tie in the dye.
Then dip again, submerging even less of the tie.
You get the idea…
Eventually, you’ll get to the bottom of your tie pieces!
The tips will have already been dyed longer than the rest of the tie,
but hold the tips in the dye for a bit longer anyway – maybe just 30 seconds or a minute.
I’m not exact around here, and this dyeing literally took seconds!

Now this is where you might want to have more bowls with diluted dye.

The blue color was so dark and the dye was so concentrated, 
it was basically like tie-dyeing the fabric (no pun intended),
and was NOT the look I was going for.

So, divide the one bowl of dye into two or three others 

and dilute them with more water,
Dip your tie pieces in the MOST diluted or least concentrated bowl of dye first.
Submerge the fabric as high as you’d like the lightest shade of color to go.
Then submerge not quite as high in the next bowl.
Then submerge again…
You get it, right?
Hold the tips in for a bit longer…

…then rinse and hang them up to dry!

You can see my first attempt (far right),
where the dye was way too concentrated.
Once I divided and diluted the dye,
it was easier to get the ombre effect (far left).
That yellow tie is just hanging out in the middle, 
cheerful and happy. He was the easy one. :)

Once your fabric pieces are dry,

iron them and continue on with 
the tie tutorial!
(Again, found here. Download the pattern here.)

It was super fun to experiment with ombre dyeing,

and as you can see, my son’s delighted!

Happy dyeing,

and cheers from Richardsonshine!

Perler Bead Bangles

Perler Bead Bangles

I’m sure many of you remember playing with perler beads as a kid (at least I know I do). I’ve fallen in love with them again after seeing so many awesome ideas floating around online lately. So I got inspired and picked up some supplies to make these fun perler bead bangles–I even made a Vine video at the craft store.

Perler Bead Bangles

To make your own bangles you’ll need some beads, a circular pegboard, parchment paper, an iron, and a bangle for sizing.

Perler Bead Bangles

Pick out your colors and set them in something so they won’t roll all over the place.

Perler Bead Bangles

Use your original bracelet as a guide for the perler beads, placing your beads outside to make sure it’ll fit.

Perler Bead Bangles

Perler Bead Bangles

Set your iron to medium and no steam, then place the parchment paper and iron over the beads until you can see them melting together.

Perler Bead Bangles

Perler Bead Bangles

I made a hexagonal bangle too, just to see how it would turn out.

Perler Bead Bangles

Flip the beads over onto the flat side of your pegboard and iron again to make your bangle stronger.

Perler Bead Bangles

And there you have it–perler bead bangles! You could make just about any shape you want, and having shaped pegboards on hand makes it easy.

Perler Bead Bangles

Perler Bead Bangles

My four-year-old loved modeling the bracelets for me. These make a great accesory for big and little girls alike, and they’d be a perfect DIY gift.

Perler Bead Bangles

What color would you make your bangles?
Fallen in love with any other perler bead crafts?
I’d love to see what you’re making!

DIY Pretty Paper Flowers

Hello Southern Institute readers! Many parts of Sweden are still covered in a heavy layer of snow and we long for spring. To cheer ourselves up and get some color in the house we decided to make a bouquet of paper flowers. Let us show you how!


You need scraps of wallpaper, a pair of scissors, aluminium wire for the stem and a few big pearls.

1. Making paper flowers is really easy and if you search the net you’ll find all sorts of flowers to cut and fold. We are making a really easy flower and we use one of the flowers in our wallpaper pattern as a template. You’ll need 4-5 paper petals for every flower. Start cutting!


2. The aluminium wire is soft and easy to work with and a big plastic pearl will serve as the center of our flower. Thread the petals on to the stem.

3. With all the petals on the stem, turn it over and make a crook or a little knot to make the petals stay in place. Shape the petals by gently press them to the center, like Freja does on the picture.


We’ve used four petals in two different sizes for each of the paper flowers and they turned out like this.


The flowers brightens up our house and they will help us cope until real flower bloom in our garden.

We hope you like them too!

Karin & Freja at