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Some of my favorite pieces in my home, as simple as they may be, are the ones I had a hand in creating — like the cork board frame I painted sky blue and switch out every new year with our favorite Instagram prints from the past twelve months. My DIY skills are limited at best, so projects that make a big impact without requiring a big investment are what I’m looking for!

If I’m describing you, too, you will love Janet Crowther’s new book, A Well-Crafted Home! Janet holds a special place in our hearts because we featured her wedding to Collin a few years ago (which, unsurprisingly, was full of simple and chic DIY projects!). Janet and her wedding photographer, Julia Wade, have teamed up again for her second book, and the collaboration is a treat.

Janet is sharing her book’s easy tutorial for ice-dyeing today – enjoy!

From Janet: Ice-dyeing is seriously one of my favorite things to do and I hope you all will love it just as much! Once you have your completed fabric, you can use it to create several other projects in the book, like the blanket and ottoman pictured here.

Ice-dyeing is an easy technique using fiber-reactive dyes to make a colorful, almost crystalized pattern. As the ice melts over the fabric, it slowly disperses the dye and creates depth of color and multiple tones. Each dye session will yield stunning, one-of-a-kind results.

Supplies:
Gentle laundry detergent
1 pound dry, natural-fiber fabric like linen, silk, or cotton
3 gallons warm water
3 cups soda ash
5-pound bag of ice
1 tablespoon per color of fiber-reactive powder dye (see tip)

Tools:
Protective gear (gloves, eye protection, and face mask)
5-gallon bucket
Measuring spoons
Plastic sheeting, or drop cloth to protect work surface
Wide, plastic storage bin
Large, wire cooling rack (big enough to span the top of the bin, or you can overlap two or more on top of the bin)

Tip: Use as many colors as you want. I’ve made beautiful fabric using 5 colors, but even 1 color will produce outstanding results. For the blanket I used the following colors; rose red, jade green, rust brown, clear sky blue, and orange sherbet.

Steps:
1. Prewash your fabric with detergent to remove any grease or conditioners. Put on your protective gear.
2. Add the fabric and water to the bucket. Stir in the soda ash until it dissolves, then let the fabric soak for at least 15 minutes. Pull out the fabric and squeeze out the excess liquid.
3. On a flat surface, place the plastic sheeting under the storage bin to protect the surface. Set the wire cooling rack on top of the bin.
4. Scrunch up and twist the fabric loosely while placing it on top of the cooling rack. Make sure all of the fabric is within the edges of the plastic bin to keep any mess inside the bucket. Place a mound of ice on top of the fabric, covering as much of the fabric surface as possible.
5. Using a spoon, sprinkle the dye on top of the ice, one color at a time. Try not to overlap colors too much or the finished color will look muddled. Allow the ice to melt completely and leave the fabric untouched for at least 12 hours, and up to 24 hours.
6. Carefully remove the fabric from the rack. Rinse the fabric under cold water until the water runs clear. To help set the fabric, let it dry in the sun or place it in the dryer on the appropriate setting for the fabric. Before using, wash the fabric in the washing machine, by itself with detergent, then place it in the dryer on the appropriate setting.

Notes on safety: Whenever you are working with chemicals, always take the necessary precautions. Wear rubber gloves and safety glasses to minimize contact with your skin. Always work outside or in a well-ventilated area. Utensils used for dyeing should never be used for food preparation.

Equal parts inspiration and DIY guide, A Well-Crafted Home is an irresistible resource for both aspiring makers and seasoned crafters. It’s currently available on Amazon and many other booksellers!

emily Written with love by Emily
1 Comment
  1. avatar Jackie reply

    What an awesome DIY idea! I definitely want to try this out.

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Juicy peaches, ripe tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, sun-warmed berries, abundant zucchini — whether you cultivate a backyard patch or head to the farmers market each weekend, there’s no month like August for fresh produce. Instead of simply trying to gobble up as much as you can in the summer months (though absolutely NO judgment if that’s the route you take!), why not prolong the season by preserving your favorites through pickling, jams, and jellies?

Photo by Eric Kelley from Southern Weddings Volume 5

One of our most popular posts from the last ten years (!) is this simple jam recipe and accompanying printable mason jar labels from Homespun ATL that we originally featured in 2012. Whether you’re looking for a sweet wedding favor or just a fun newlywed weekend activity, we’ve got you covered!

P.S. This jam is meant to be stored in the refrigerator, so you don’t have to get into the nitty-gritty of actual canning. (But feel free to use pretty jars, regardless!)

What you’ll need:
2 pints ripe strawberries (or about 5 cups), hulled and chopped
1/2 cup organic cane sugar
The juice of a whole lemon

What to do:

Bring all of these ingredients to a simmer in a dutch oven. Mascerate the strawberries until you have a bright, sticky, slightly chunky jam. Transfer to sterilized glass jars with tight-fitting lids. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, if you can make it last that long! Those biscuits are calling!

If you are feeling really adventurous, add a drizzle of balsamic and a few cracks of pepper to the jam while it’s cooking.

For the labels:

Download our PDF template here, and print onto regular paper or sticker paper. Cut along the black outline with scissors. If you’re using regular paper or cardstock, place the label on top of a mason jar lid, then screw the metal ring on top of it. Or, punch a hole through the top and hang it around your jar with a bit of twine or ribbon.

If you’re using sticker paper, cut out and place that pretty little label anywhere your heart desires.

emily Written with love by Emily
1 Comment
  1. avatar Kyla Shattuck reply

    This is such a great newlywed idea! Dillon loves fruit, so this would be such a fun way to spend time in our kitchen together and bless him with a treat afterward! :)

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I think it’s a bit dangerous to hold someone up as a “model wife” – after all, no one’s perfect. But for many people I know, that’s who Sarah Tucker is. Or, if we don’t want to use that term, let’s go with “beloved inspiration” :)

And for good reason – Sarah adores her husband and is not afraid to tell you about it. She’s smart, she’s stylish, she’s a great friend, a gracious hostess, and curates a welcoming home in Florida. It has been a joy to get to know her over the years, so if this is the first time you’ve made her introduction, I’m excited for you! Get ready to be inspired :)

Thanks to Shannon Kirsten for sharing these photos!

The couple: Sarah (33) and JB (35)
Years married: 7
The kiddos: John (4) and Wesley (2)

Tell us a little bit about yourselves. We live in an old colonial home in Palmetto. JB is a financial advisor for Edward Jones, and I’m currently a stay at home mom and blogger. We have two of the sweetest boys in the world and one Boston terrier puppy named Lola.
Tell us your love story in one sentence. I was five and he was seven when we first met, and we’ve pretty much been crushing on each other ever since.

Tell us a little bit about where you live. We bought our house in 2015. I honestly think this is our forever home. I love what our area has to offer, our family is close by, and our neighbors are the sweetest.
Tell us about the process of moving in together. Do you have any tips for blending your two styles? We had a long distance relationship until we were married, so we had no idea what living with one another entailed in the day-to-day sense. We lived abroad for the first two years of our marriage, in tiny apartments with zero style. When we moved back, I was excited to start collecting and decorating. JB is definitely the muscles behind anything I want to do, and he is a good sport about it all. He doesn’t care too much about style, but he does care about function. He has helped me make more practical decisions when it comes to design.

What is your favorite part of being married? Having someone to make the coffee ;) Just kidding…but that is nice! I just love JB. I love sharing my life with him, seeing things through his eyes, and sharing our joy and sorrows TOGETHER.

Which room in your home is your favorite, and why? I love our sleeping porch. We have a sleeping porch swing bed, and I love sitting out there on cool nights with JB and watching the boys be silly.
What most makes your house feel like home? It’s imperfect, just like us. And that is part of what gives it its charm. Our house is a home people can love in, toddlers can be toddlers, and people can spill a glass of wine and no one is going to cry.

Where do you splurge and where do you save when decorating? Our leather couches are the priciest pieces we’ve purchased. Everything else I save on. I love things with a bit of a history, and I prefer shopping at thrift/consignment stores and Goodwill for unique pieces. I also, of course, love Target! I get a ton of inspiration looking through Serena & Lily and Ballard Designs magazines, but rarely buy too much from either.

What is your favorite memory from your wedding? I loved walking down the aisle with my father, and seeing the smiliest JB at the end.
How do you remember your wedding in your home? (Pictures, mementos, etc.) We have pictures of our wedding on the walls and on our bedside table. We also have an oil painting that an artist did of one of Jessica Lorren’s photos.

Which item from your wedding registry do you use the most often? Our cast iron skillet.
Who cooks dinner? We often share in that. I’ll do the salad and sides, and he’ll grill the meat.

What’s your favorite place to find recipes? Real Simple’s Great Food Fast is my all-time favorite.
How does your family handle finances? Do you use a set budget? Finance is in JB’s wheelhouse, so he works the budget. We do talk about finances freely in our home, which I think is important.

What is one small way you love or serve your spouse? I pretty much force anyone within earshot to know what an amazing person he is.
Do you have children? What are your hopes and plans for the future in this area? Yes! We have two darling boys. We do hope to expand our family, but we shall see.
This year, our family is most excited about… Adding a new brother in-law AND a new sister in-law! They are the perfect additions to our family.

If you aren’t already a fan of Sarah’s blog, you’re in for a treat! You can also find her on Instagram and Facebook. Have a wonderful weekend friends!

emily Written with love by Emily
4 Comments
  1. avatar Stephanie Shaul reply

    This is such a beautiful, beautiful: curated but lived in! And I am all for gushing openly about how wonderful your husband is!!

  2. avatar Sarah Tucker – Exterior Paint Colors on a Colonial – Sarah Tucker reply

    […]  More of our home on Southern Weddings […]

  3. avatar Britt | Southern Mama Guide reply

    love love love sarah tucker!! her home is just gorgeous and i loved getting another peek! such a sweet family!!

    xo. britt

  4. avatar Rebecca Wilson reply

    Ahhhh…. the welcoming Red front door. Just the beginning that opens up to such great taste. Sarah’s style is a statement of warmth both personally and in design

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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