The Guilty Crafter's Dye-I-Y studio
By Angela Daniels
August 26, 2016
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BIG disclaimer for this project- this was totally an experiment. Swedish clogs can be pretty pricey and I would NEVER attempt a dye project with brand new, expensive shoes. I was willing to take a chance on these because I got these clogs used on Ebay for a good price. They were like new but they were VERY bright white which is not really my style. I thought they might be a good candidate for ice dyeing and I am very happy with the end results. I could have wrapped the shoes better because I did get some dye on the wood soles (which I was trying to avoid) but I actually don't mind but this is totally a matter of taste.
Rit Products Used
You'll Also Need
20 lbs of ice
a cookie cooling rack
a cookie sheet
Step By Step
My Hasbeens swedish clogs as they arrived. Cute. I even wore them once but I am just not a pure white shoes kind of person. Again- I bought these specifically to dye as an EXPERIMENT. Rit dyes are recommended for fabric dyeing- not leather so I had to be comfortable with potentially ruining these shoes or not loving the outcome.
The first thing I did was use Elmer's blue gel glue to create a barrier on the wood soles of the clogs. I wanted to avoid accidentally dyeing the wood soles if at all possible. Wood picks up Rit dye very easily so I knew that was a strong possibility.
For extra insurance, I wrapped the soles the best I could with plastic wrap. Again, I knew it was going to be nearly impossible to protect the wood soles because of how I planned to dye them- these shoes sat in ice and dye overnight so lots of potential for the dye to seep in under the plastic wrap.
Because my shoes were not flat (like fabric would be), I ended up using a full 20 lbs of ice. Really. I bought the giant bag at the grocery store. It was the best way to get full and totally coverage of the shoes. I piled up the ice until the shoes were totally hidden.
My last step was to thoroughly rinse my shoes. As you can see, I was not totally successful in keeping the dye off the wood soles. I am not sure if I am just being optimistic but I actually think it's kind of pretty and I have happily been wearing my custom dyed shoes happily and I've been complimented on them a few times.
And the top. Notice one of the straps was a little more resistant to the dye. Not sure why but I am guessing there just happened to be more leather conditioner on that particular strap during manufacturing? Again, the key to creative dyeing is to be open to surprises. Pro-tip: I'll be using a leather sealer type project to protect the color on these shoes and I am anticipating that some of the color may rub off on my feet inside the shoes for a little bit. No big deal to me but it is something to think about if you're considering refreshing leather sandals.