Everyone needs a little color sometimes. It puts a spring in your step and just makes life better, at least we think so. But you can't always wear a tie-dye shirt, so what's a body to do? Tie-dye shoelaces! These are quick and easy to make and will make your feet happy! Dress up an otherwise basic pair of shoes and hit the pavement with style!
- Shoelaces: Flat Ones or Round Ones
- Teeny Tiny Tie Dye Kit or Fiber Reactive Dyes in the colors of your choice. We used #1- Lemon Yellow, #25- Turquoise and #13- Fuchsia
- Soda Ash (comes in kit)
- Urea (comes in kit)
- Glauber's Salt (comes in kit)- use with #25 or other (T) colors
- Squeeze Bottles - 4 or 8 oz size (comes in kit)
- Dust Mask (comes in kit)
- Professional Textile Detergent or Synthrapol (comes in kit)
- Plastic Wrap
- Measuring Cup and spoons
- Extra plastic spoons and cups for mixing
Let's get started!
First, mix 1/2 cup soda ash to 1/2 gallon of hot tap water and add in all your shoelaces. Let them soak while we mix up the dyes.
If you bought everything separately instead of buying the kit, measure out 2 teaspoons of dye powder (for * colors double this amount) for each color into separate cups (to make 8 oz dye). Add 1 tablespoon of urea to each cup. If using a color with (T) next to the name, optionaly add 1 tablespoon of Glauber's Salt. Paste up the dye with some warm water. Halve everything if making 4 oz dye. With the kit, you just add warm water to the bottles and shake well.
Pour the pasted up dye into a squeeze bottle and then almost fill the bottle the rest of the way with warm water. Screw on the top and then carefully shake it up to finish mixing the dye. At this point you can also enlarge the hole in the bottle's spout a little by poking into it with a push pin.
Pro-Tip: a little teflon plumbers tape around the bottle rim before you put on the top will fix any bottles that want to leak a little.
Repeat with all the colors you are using.
Now to prep the table. Lay out some old newsprint or paper towels and roll out several lengths of plastic wrap, over lapping them so dye won't (we hope) seap under. Take the shoelaces out of the soda ash (wear gloves) and squeeze out the excess soda ash solution.
One pair of shoelaces at a time, put them down on the plastic wrap in rows. We folded each pair in thirds so they zig zag on themselves bit, this will help make sure the colors hit the laces in a few different spots. Keep going till they are all laid out.
Pro-Tip: If you can, using a raised baking rack to raise the shoelaces up off the table will keep them from sitting in any extra dye, you can get sharper color sections this way.
Now, start with the yellow or the lightest color you are using. Apply the dye in stripes across all the shoelaces. You don't need to really squeeze hard and you don't want to over saturate the laces or they will end up sitting in a puddle of dye.
Repeat with your second and third colors, we did Turquoise next and then the Fuchsia.
Once the shoelaces are covered with dye, lay more plastic wrap on top to keep them damp. Let them sit for 12-24 hours.
Once they have cured for 12-24 hours take them to the sink and rinse them in cool water until the water runs clear. Wash them in the washing machine with hot water and Professional Textile Detergent. Tumble or air dry.
Pro-Tip: a lingerie bag or old pillow case will help keep the laces from tangling up around the washer's agitator
Last of all, lace up your favorite kicks and hit the streets!
Make sets in all your favorite color schemes so you can give your shoes a different look depending on your mood or outfit that day. Make shoelaces in your school colors to show off some school pride, great for birthdays, graduations and more!