DIY Ombre Shoes

Well, it is snowing… on my only day off… :(

I had a ton of stuff planned today for crafts, but now it is too cold to do most of it.

BUT I have these cheap van look-a-likes I bought from Payless a few years ago, and I never wear them.  I decided I wanted to try this method for dying my shoes, and see how it works.  I figured if it didn’t work I was only out $15.

Here is what you will need:

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  • Shoes
  • A container or bucket that will allow you to dip most of the shoe in without anything overflowing
  • Gloves
  • Vaseline
  • Rit or another fabric dye (Rit dye requires salt as well)
  • Hot Water
  • A spoon to stir dye

So to start, you will want to prep your shoes:

1) Make sure they are clean, and take the laces out. Place under hot water.  The shoes being wet will allow the dye to absorb more evenly.

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2) Rub vaseline anywhere you do not want the dye to penetrate.  It acts as a barrier. I just did the rubber sole.

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3) Get the dye ready… for me this was the most confusing part because the instructions were for the whole packet and 3 yards of fabric.  The shoes are no where near that, so I just used most of the packet and dissolved it in 1 cup of boiling water instead of 2 like the package said.

4) I poured the rest of the boiling water in the container I was using.  I had no where near enough when I put the first shoe in, but I just added hot sink water instead of more boiling and it was fine. (you will see the water level rise as we go through the pics haha)



5) Take your first shoe and place it in the dye up  to where the laces start. (this will be the darkest part of the shoe)


At this point, I just did layer by layer until I got the color I desired.  Next time I would definitely use a deeper container, as this one made it hard to get the sides…I had to put the shoe sideways, which made the two sides not completely even in color. It also did not allow me to keep the back as white as I would have liked.

I ended up having splotches and some spots not covered.  I just went in and used a sponge for those parts.  The clean wet sponge also helps even out layers if needed.


6) Do the same thing to your other shoe.


8) Once you are happy with the color and effect you have, rinse with warm water until the water runs clear.

Here are mine, still wet. The color here is much  more accurate then the photos above.

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and DRY!

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They dry a little lighter, so keep that in mind when you are using the dye.

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Cost breakdown:

-Rit dye: $ 2.29 and I had a 50% off coupon- bought at JoAnns

-If you do not already have shoes, you can get them at Payless, Walmart, Target, etc. for cheap.  Usually under $20!

So this whole project can be done for under $20 bucks or if you already have shoes, under $2!!

&& I turned a pair of shoes I hardly ever wear into something great for spring and summer.

Comment below with questions, or link me to your projects using fabric dye. I would love to see them.  I was definitely nervous with this project, but the dye isn’t as scary as I thought.

ALSO, if you make a mess, clean up using bleach, and it comes right off. :)

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One response to “DIY Ombre Shoes

  1. Pingback: The Knowledge – How to Clean Your All-White Trainers | Jimmy Trims Cult Barbershops·

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