Indigo dying seems to be everywhere these days. I love all the creative ideas I’ve seen using shibori techniques to take tablecloths and napkins and scarves to the next level and I think a tablecloth is going to be my first large item!
That said, I’ve been using fabric dye in all sorts of ways for ages (somewhere there’s evidence of a strange tie-dye fascination in my middle school years). Fabric dye is great for practical uses (like dying black pants back to their dark former glory days) and injecting just a touch of fun into every day items. This little project brings an updated indigo look to a plain pair of canvas sneakers and is just the thing to brighten up a summer picnic outfit.
To make these indigo dyed ombre shoelaces, round up:
* a pair of canvas sneakers with white shoelaces
* fabric dye in navy
* a pair of rubber/latex gloves to protect your hands (if you’d like)
First, remove the shoelaces from the shoes.
With gloves on, mix 1/4 cup of the liquid dye with 1/2 cup of very, very hot water into a plastic bowl (preferably one you don’t care about using ever again). Stir with a plastic utensil or straw so that you don’t stain any “good” kitchen items.
Wet your shoelaces in some more very, very hot water and wring slightly so that they’re not dripping but also not too dry. Fold each shoelace in half.
Set the folded end of your shoelaces into the bowl of dye and lay onto your surface. I used a serving tray to avoid staining anything, but you can also just cover your work surface with a plastic bag.
The dye will start to transfer immediately. If you like, separate and fan your laces so that you can see how far the dye has moved.
When your dye has crept up the laces as much as you’d like (mine took 15 minutes), put your gloves back on and gather up the laces. Be careful not the drag the white ends into any of the dye or you’ll ruin the ombre effect! It’s best to lay the laces out on your hand as you transfer them to the sink.
Rinse the laces in cool water until the water runs clear and the dye is removed from the laces completely.
Allow to dry and then lace them right into your shoes!