Thursday, January 22, 2009

back to work...custom color shoes!

We are finally back from our very extended holiday break and glad of it!!  The parties are over and our 9-5's have finally slowed enough to let us breath, so we bring you some home craftin'.

Custom Color Shoes!

We always have the hardest time finding a sweet pair of plain tennis shoes in that exact shade desired. The problem is we absolutely  hate being limited to black, white or brown shoes and are limited in the funds to buy all the amazing shoes we see.  So we came up with a simple solution that involves some cheap shoes and dye and tada...custom color shoes!

Step 1: Gather Supplies

To begin you will need a shoe that is completely canvas except for the sole.  A great recommendation for cheap shoes is Rite Aid pharmacy.  They carry two different simple styles of canvas shoes--a slip on and a lace up (the style in all the pictures). Each pair runs you only $5.99!!  Next you will need some dye, an old deep pot and utensil. We prefer to use rit dye because of its simplicity in use and no need for color setting with any additional chemicals.  Although, you can use any other dye that will work with 100% cotton fabric.

Helpful hint: if your not confident you can mix that great shade you want, the rit dye website has a great color mixing chart!!

Step 2: Dye Away!

To dye the your chosen pair of shoes use the dyeing directions specific for the dye being used...
Rit Dye DIrections
- Using an old pot (one you DO NOT use for food) bring water to a strong boil.
- Once boiling pour in dye and mix until shade desired is achieved. We
usually use muslim fabric strips or an old white cotton rag to test the color.

- put the pair of shoes in face down and make sure that they are fully immersed in the dye bath. Even if a little part of the canvas is poking it out it will end up a different shade then the rest of the shoe.

Helpful hint: to make sure the shoes stay immersed, take the pan top to a smaller pot or pan and use it weight down the shoes into the bath.

- let shoes sit anywhere from 10 to 60 minutes depending on the color desired. Remember that the shoes will usually look darker in color than what will actually be after washing them.
- rinse and enjoy!!

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