Techniques . Buttons & Beads
How to Dye Buttons and Beads
Dyeing buttons and beads is fun and easy to do, enabling you to get the exact color you want whether using the buttons and beads on a coat, a pillow cover or in a necklace. They also look beautiful in a vase as part of a flower arrangement, helping the flowers to stand tall.
Most buttons and beads are made out of nylon and Rit is one of the few dyes that will color these materials (it also dyes wood buttons!). That means you can transform plain buttons and beads into colorful accents that match or coordinate with whatever you are making.
- White nylon-based plastic buttons or beads
- Rit Dye, liquid or powder
- Measuring cup
- Measuring spoons
- Plastic containers
- Rubber gloves
- Plastic table cover
- Paper towels
Step by Step
Cover work surface with a plastic table cover.
Wearing rubber gloves, shake liquid dye bottles before pouring. For dyeing a small amount of buttons, measure and mix 1 teaspoon liquid dye or 2 teaspoons powder dye with 1 cup hot water, or follow the color formula of your choice. Use more dye for darker colors. Water should be about 140 F. If your tap water is not hot enough, heat some in the microwave or a tea kettle.
Always test the dye color with a paper towel or scrap of white cotton fabric before dyeing. If color is too light, add more dye; if it is too dark, add more water.
Pour dye and water into a plastic container; stir. Make sure container is deep enough for the buttons and beads to be fully immersed in the dye while moving freely.
Keep buttons and beads in dye solution for 2-5 minutes, or until desired color is achieved. Stir occasionally and check color frequently.
Remove and rinse buttons. Then wash with soap and water and rinse. Allow to dry on paper towels.