Grab a pair of shoes and try out this fun dyeing method for an awesome, one-of-a-kind pair of shoes in whatever colors you like.
Step 1: Gather Supplies
-Canvas or Cotton fabric shoes
-Fiber reactive powder dyes- I used Dharma dyes which work great, you can also use Dylon or Tulip dyes.
-Soda ash or Washing soda- soda ash is often found with the pool chemicals, and washing soda is found with the laundry care products. Or you can order some online.
-Container in which to dye your shoes- I used a small tote and propped a cooling rack on cut plastic cups so the dye/ice could drain.
-Container in which to soak your shoes- can be the same container you use for dyeing, or different.
-Plastic spoons- after using these on dye you shouldn't use them for food again.
-Ice- enough to cover your shoes in a single layer.
-Optional- Blue Dawn dish soap to help wash out extra dye.
-Time- the dyeing process takes about 26 hours (24 hours it's just sitting). Then another 24 hours for them to dry.
Step 2: Prepare Your Shoes for Dyeing
-In your soaking container mix 1 cup Soda Ash (or 1 1/3 cup Washing Soda) with 1 gallon of warm/hot water. Stir until the soda ash is completely dissolved.
-Soak your shoes and laces in the soda ash mixture for 15 minutes or more.
-After they have soaked, squeeze out as much of the excess soda ash water mixture as you can.
Step 3: Dyeing Setup
-Fold pieces of foil around the outside of the shoes and laces to make a barrier to help keep the ice from falling off of your shoes.
-Place a single layer of ice covering your shoes and laces.
Step 4: Dyeing Time
-Put on your dust mask- when dye is mixed with water it is non toxic, but we're going to be using it in it's powder form and there is danger if the powder is inhaled, so it's a good idea to wear a dust mask to be safe.
-Using the plastic spoons, sprinkle powder dye on top of the ice- start with your light colors then fill in with the darker colors. Make sure to put colors next to each other that mix well, study a color wheel if you need some help. Mixing too many colors, or ones that don't blend well will make for brown or a muddy look.
-I used yellow, orange, and light red dye.
-Make sure all the ice is covered with dye.
-Cover your container with a lid or plastic wrap and let it sit for 24 hours or longer in a warm place, this is called batching. I sat mine out in the sun. It should be at 70 degrees or higher. The summer heat helps speed up the process.
Step 5: Rinsing
-Rinse your shoes and laces in cold water until the water runs mostly clear.
-Fill your sink or basin with hot water and a little blue dawn and wash your shoes and laces to get out any extra dye. Or you can rinse in hot water without the soap if you don't have any.
-Rinse again in cold water until water runs clear.
-Hang shoes and laces to dry.
FYI- it takes a lot of rinsing to get all the extra dye out. Keep at it until the water runs clean.
Step 6: You're Done!
Enjoy wearing your awesome new fun shoes!