I have these lovely shoes from my SIL's wedding. I bought them in white from the bridal shop, and they dyed them Marine Blue for me to match my dress. Since I needed new shoes anyway, the plan was to have the shop dye them black for me after the wedding. Well, that was over 6 months ago, and now I need black shoes in 2 days, so I ended up doing it myself! Here's a mini-tutorial so you can too.
Here's the before:
Dyeable shoes (they are kind of satin-y)
Liquid RIT dye
A sponge brush or paint brush
First, a few notes on why I chose to paint them rather than soak them in dye:
Reason #1. I didn't want to dye the suede on the inside of the heel of the shoes. I'm afraid the dye will rub off onto my feet if they get sweaty. You can see in this pic, when the "professionals" dyed them blue, they got a few drops on the suede:
Reason #2. When experimenting like this (this was my first shoe dyeing attempt) it's best to try the least invasive meathod first. I figured if it didn't work, I could try soaking them in dye next. But it didn't come to that.
On to the dyeing!
Step 1: Mix your dye. I added 1/4 bottle black RIT dye (2 oz.), water (8-10 oz.), and rubbing alcohol (2 oz.) The rubbing alcohol helps it dry faster, so if you are pressed for time, add a little more alcohol and a little less water.
I ended up using the paint brush instead of the little sponge brush, because the sponge brush fell apart :-( I recommend the sponge, but the paint brush was ok too, just a tad messier.
PUT ON YOUR GLOVES! Or, go the rest of the day with dyed hands. Your choice. I made the wrong one :-)
Paint a layer on the shoes. Use a damp paper towel to wipe dye from the non-dyeable parts, like the soles, and on this pair most of the inside.
I let them dry for 30 minutes, then applied a second coat. Here's my assistant, hamming it up between coats.
There they are! As black as the bottle.
I think after they dry overnight, they will be good to go. To speed things up, I might put them near a fan.
Much faster than taking them to the bridal shop, and probably cheaper. The dye was only $4, and I have a lot of it left. This technique would be useful for dyeing shoes from a thrift shop. After all, that's where oddly colored bridesmaid shoes usually end up after they're worn once.
I'll be posting pictures soon of the dress that is going with these shoes after I finish altering it. It was a thrift shop find for $9, with the original price tag still on it ($110!). That surely justifies an afternoon of alterations!