For anyone who saw me over the holiday season, my hands and nails were not dirty. Honest. They were scrubbed near raw from all the cooking and baking. The dark brown stains to the edges of my nails, cracks over my knuckles and every other crease and line was fabric dye. Like I had nothing better to do, I had the hairbrain idea to tackle dying a couch cover over the holidays. Mark that down as a big ole DUH!! Chocolate brown fabric even. If you didn't witness my lovely stained digits you can imagine how purty they were!
My "dirty" hands were Jake and Elwood's fault. I can honestly blame the little rascals! When they were younger and had more energy, they attacked this couch regularly. It was a constant battle of No-No spray, clipping their claws, flyswatters whooshing the air with the kitty cats as determined as James Bond hunting down the gorgeous blonde to deface my couch. The couch originally being covered with a somewhat rough and tight fabric- just perfect for scratching- did not help at all. Once I thought they were fairly cured from ripping my couch corners to ribbons, I bought some soft, not very scratch-worthy fabric and made what looked like protective corner pieces to cover up the destruction. Worked pretty well and both cats left it alone for the most part. I finally got tired of looking at it, even though the "fix" wasn't half bad, and decided I'd re-cover it. Nothing fancy, since it was just the den couch plus working more than full-time from home with Monster Man a toddler, I figured a throw would do. Nothing with frindged edges...that's all I'd need to lure Jake and Elwood back to destructive ways, so I found a plain one, I could tie up around the sides and make a better fit, but I didn't like the color. Figures. Bought it anyway. Put it on. Tacked it up. Not bad.
Fast forward a year and a half later, I still hate the color so I pick up some dye thinking I'll fix it before school starts. Suddenly Thanksgiving is over, Christmas is coming and that cover really starts to bug me. So two days before Christmas I decided to dye it staining my hands in the process because-
1. I have a front-load washer so have to dye fabric in a 30- gallon bucket which requires you stir/move/reposition the fabric as much as possible over an hour's time while in the dye bath. This is the ONLY reason I miss a top-load washer.
2. I took off the gloves after five minutes because the water was so stinkin' hot, I believe it was melting the gloves. I did use two long wooden spoons, but I still had to get my hands in there and grab the fabric. Mr Fix it had inquired when I started to mix the dye bath if it would stain my hands, and I said, "Usually not too badly." I should have kept my mouth shut.
3. I had seriously cracked hands, even though I'd been through bottles of Lubriderm, Eucerin, and MK Satin Hands, from all the cleaning/baking/washing which just sucked the dye into the raw skin.
Washing my hands in bleach after only burned like a son of a gun and caused me to cuss. A lot. Thankfully the children were too involved in early Christmas presents to notice. Mr. FixIt shook his head with an evil smirk while grabbing me a towel to dry my not nearly numb enough hands. I restrained myself from throwing my peanut brittle pan at him.
The cover turned out very well, very nice even color. Lessons learned-
Don't dye fabric during the winter months.
Don't dye fabric right before you are required to cook food for a family gathering...at your house.
Don't dye fabric without some heavy duty elbow-length gloves.
Don't dye fabric with smartass husband in vicinity.
Don't put off dying fabric until you have no choice but to not follow first four lessons.