Lets dye our shoes! These are a boring color, and we crave something new and custom. Fortunately, leather dyes easily, producing a vibrant, permanent change. For this instructable, we are brush-dyeing two pairs of assembled shoes. That is a bit time consuming, but will cause a hand-painted look that can’t be matched by vat or dip dyeing.
First – the cardinal rules of dyeing.
All dye projects are experimental. Dye can be unpredictable, and everything materials react slightly differently to the dye. There is absolutely no way to correctly predict the results. We can do some what to make the dye more consistent, but do not dye something that you can’t bear to damage, and keep an open mind – the outcome may well not be just what you wanted, nevertheless, you might still love it.
Dye is transparent.shoe dye is not paint – it cannot cover anything up. Dyeing leather is similar to applying very thin layers of colored cellophane – each coat will darken the colour, and mix with the colors below it. You can not dye something a lighter color! If you want to dye a shoe that is tan, don’t think “this blue dye can make it blue” think “this blue dye can make it tan+blue colored”. That mix may look good, or it could not.
Dye is permanent. The dyes used because of this project are totally permanent. No heading back. In the event that you add dye to a location that you didn’t intend – you are screwed (or you can just change plans and dye that area darker!).
This project is not suited to younger children, but children who may use paints without spilling, and know not to put brushes or colorful liquids in their mouth could interact with adult supervision. The dyes aren’t especially toxic, but are alcohol and acetone based and really should not be consumed or placed on bare skin.