If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time you’ve realized a fact: The Lord is using me as a refining fire in my husband’s life. The man is daily forced to put up with my antics and neuroses, causing him to develop a Christ-like repertoire of patience, fortitude, wisdom, and forgiveness.

Pray for him.

This sixteen-year experiment on Eric’s ability to persevere under the severest of conditions explains why when I brought home a bottle of Rit Dye a few weeks ago and announced I was dying the curtains, he didn’t even twitch.

To be fair, I don’t know if I completely explained what I was doing. The curtains were down, I don’t think he noticed, and then the curtains were back up again and…whatever. He’s a man. Curtains aren’t really his thing.

But I was pretty darn excited. For a $4 bottle of dye I had brand new curtains. I’d purchased them two years ago with a gift card we’d received from our Visa reward points, so they were basically free. And while the color was a beautiful silvery-sage in the package, they were less than impressive hanging where I had to look at them every day. In real life they were more like the color of a piece of celery you’ve forgotten in the vegetable drawer for a month– washed out and pitiful. Possibly poisonous.

I couldn’t have hated them any more than I did, so a $4 experiment seemed like a good deal. The new teal color is a vast improvement so I set my eyes on new possibilities. (I wish I had before and after pictures to show you but I’m not that good of a blogger. I don’t always think to photo-document micro-minutiae.)

Fortuitously, an obvious spill on our cream-colored comforter a week later provided just the excuse I needed to run back to Hobby Lobby and buy a new shade of dye. I picked up a bottle of dove gray, scurried back home, and dumped it all into the washer.

I’m sure there were specific directions and suggestions for making sure the final color was going to be just right, but I didn’t read any of those things. What am I, a scientist? I’ve been dying Easter Eggs for almost four decades– I was sure I could handle a little cotton comforter.

This is probably why my project turned lavender. I don’t mean a nice shade of purple, I mean a hideous shade of lavender. Picture a very old, very cranky woman who has died. She is being buried in a lavender dress she bought in 1958. It is polyester. It is awful.

That’s the exact shade of purple we were forced to sleep under for three nights until I couldn’t stand it anymore. Eric, ever gentle when it comes to my decorating schemes, said, “Yeah, it’s a little weird.” Normal men would have pulled it off the bed and set fire to it in the driveway, but reference the first paragraph of this post and you’ll understand why he didn’t.

I had to do something, and a whole new comforter isn’t in the budget. So I went back to Hobby Lobby and bought a new package of dye. This time I went with a small box of black, thinking that I wanted it darker than the putrid lavender but lighter than Satan’s bedding.

And now we have a dark purple comforter. It’s far better than the lavender and works with the rest of the room, but it’s still quite royal in its purpleness. I kind of like it, and Eric doesn’t hate it. Close enough.

If you’re looking around your house and want to change something but need to stick to a tight budget, try some dye! Maybe you’d want to read the directions or something, but it’s fun even if you don’t. I feel like I have a whole new room and it only took me $10 in dye, a few trips to the store, and a few loads of laundry. You might have even better results.

Let me know if you give it a whirl, or if you’ve ever tried it before. I’d like to see how this works out for you.


9 Comments on The Frugal Decorator Discovers Rit Dye (or…Why My Husband Sleeps Under a Purple Comforter)

  1. David
    March 19, 2015 at 5:27 pm (3 years ago)

    Eric is my hero. He deserves a BMW.

  2. memyselfandkids.com
    March 19, 2015 at 6:13 pm (3 years ago)

    The man is experienced in the husband thing. Kudos to him. I’d like to think I’d act the same way.
    I didn’t know what rit dye is or was a thing until this post.

  3. Jessie Clemence
    March 19, 2015 at 6:53 pm (3 years ago)

    Oh, I have much to teach you, my man-friend. What else don’t you know about? Doilies? Purses?

  4. Jessie Clemence
    March 19, 2015 at 6:53 pm (3 years ago)

    He probably does, but I’ll deny typing that until I die.

  5. memyselfandkids.com
    March 20, 2015 at 8:39 am (3 years ago)

    I don’t get duvets.
    Btw, my wife has been working on me or my lack of knowledge would shock you.

  6. Jessie Clemence
    March 20, 2015 at 10:08 am (3 years ago)

    I get them, I just don’t like them. The inside always slops around and never fits correctly inside the outer layer. My Nazi Bedmaking approach never works with duvets. Tell Mrs. MMK she’s providing a valuable service to humankind with her efforts on your behalf.

  7. memyselfandkids.com
    March 22, 2015 at 9:34 am (3 years ago)

    You should have seen me the other day when she made me go with her to Bed Bath and Beyond. It was not pretty!

  8. Ruth, The Rit Studio
    March 23, 2015 at 12:18 pm (3 years ago)

    Hi! So happy to see you remade your curtains and your duvet. We love hearing makeover stories like these. If the duvet is cotton and you want to change up the color from the deep purple–a color we love, BTW–you can remove the color using Rit Color Remover. There are instructions on how to use it here, https://www.ritstudio.com/techniques/the-basics/rit-color-remover/. This will get it to a white or cream color which you can then dye whatever new color you want!

  9. Jessie Clemence
    March 23, 2015 at 3:44 pm (3 years ago)

    Ruth, this is fabulous news. I have decided I really do love the final color, it just took me a few days to get used to it. But I’m sure I’ll goof up something in the future and I’ll come for this website you listed. Thanks so much!