Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Dyeing Buttons and Random Supplies

Dyeing Buttons and Random Supplies is a super easy way to update some things around the studio without spending a lot of money. If you are a pack-rat like me then you should already have the necessary supplies to revamp anything; just not enough time to do it. Let's make time to do it with these easy steps :)

STEP 1: PICK ANYTHING that could use a facelift. Worst case you end up with the same thing you started with- PLASTIC, believe it or not will work. It maybe light or just a tint but some plastics work great. Natural materials of course hold the color and intensity better when you do something like tie-dye. Don't expect it to be like that, different techniques yield different results. Just look at it as a fun experiment that can yield something surprising.

STEP 2: In a heat safe container that is not used in food preparation add the contents of a Rit Dye package. Mix colors, add a little, add a lot- Like I said its an experiment.

STEP 3: Add boiling water and stir continuously. When thoroughly mixed add whatever objects you will be testing out. Make sure everything is fully covered in the dye bath to insure even coloration. You can experiment and get an ombre dye technique or just go for uniformity, it's up to you.

STEP 4: Let it Steep. The stronger, brighter, bolder the color desired the long you need to wait for step 5. You could let it set for days if you want to... Just make sure to stir it every so often if you want it to be even. Just because you let it sit forever doesn't mean it will work if the material isn't porous enough- but it gives it a better chance to let it sit longer than not.

STEP 5: RINSE :) SOAP and REPEAT. Then you can lay everything out to air dry.

My favorite is saving buttons and when I get a pretty good batch of them dye them all with some things that may or not dye but at least you get some refreshing "new" supplies. Fishing Line works great for dying especially utilizing ombre dyeing. I had a college roommate do her thesis on jewelry created with dyed fishing line; it was awesome! I will see if I have any pictures or what she's up to for reference as soon as possible :) I have also dyed some feathers with varying results as shown above. The longer they soak the better, and things like Feathers remember that they are not dye fast.

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