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Many years ago I shared a post for how to dye a faded pair of jeans back to their original color with Rit dye and it remains one of our top ten articles STILL. I am such a fan of fabric dying and in honor of the back-to-school season, we wanted to show you a way that you can customize your style (or match your uniforms!) for your first day of school. This can also be a fun way to customize your gym shoes.
Not only can your child show off their own personal style, but it can also be a fantastic craft activity to do together before your kids head back to school.
This craft takes about an hour and requires parental supervision!
Rit Liquid Dye (we used Royal Blue)
Faded Glory Canvas Shoes (only $5.87- what a steal!)
Band-Aid Waterproof Tape (over by the first aid supplies in the pharmacy section)
Stainless Steel Pot & Tongs
1. Begin by removing the laces from your shoes. You can dye these in the dye bath with the shoes if you prefer to have them the same color, or you can set them aside like we did until your shoes are dyed and dry. We loved the contrast of those white laces!
2. Cover the plastic edge on your shoe in your waterproof tape. Make sure that it is tight and secure to the edge of your shoe or it will come loose in your dye bath. This tape barrier will keep the edges of your shoe nice and bright just like those laces we set aside.
3. Fill pot with enough hot water for fabric to move freely. We used a 1/2 bottle of Rit liquid dye and 3 gallons of hot water for our shoes. Stir to mix.
4. Wet your shoes in hot water well in your sink before placing them in the water bath with your tongs.
5. Bring dye bath to simmer. Stir constantly (back and forth, up and down). The length of time depends on how dark you want them. We were able to achieve this vibrant hue in just a short ten minutes. We didn’t want them a consistent color, but that pretty weathered look we love. If you want them to be an even color or are trying to achieve a dark color (like black), you can leave them in for 30 minutes up until an hour.
6. Rinse in warm water, then gradually cooler water until water runs clear. Remove tape from the shoes to expose the edge. Wash item in warm water with mild detergent and rinse by hand or in the washing machine. I did an express wash and threw in an old towel with these. Clean washing machine using highest water level with hot water, detergent and 1 cup chlorine bleach using a complete wash cycle (I rewashed the old towel). You can read more about dying in your washer (both HE and top-loading machines) here with detailed instructions from start to finish.
7. Dry shoes in the sunshine and then lace your laces back in to finish. Struggling with tying? Try this super awesome tutorial for a new way to tie your shoes! Wouldn’t these be a sweet treat to give your kiddo after they master it? My kids learned in about five minutes!
We have uniforms so we have to keep it basic. If you don’t- here are some other fun ideas for your kicks!
Want to really get creative? Check out these fun techniques for fabric dying!
Tie-Dye Your Shoes
Dip-Dyed Ikat Sneakers
Painted Faux Saddle Shoes
Have you ever customized a pair of canvas shoes? Let us know your experience and tips in the comments below!