How To Galaxy Dye Converses
Hi everyone! My name is Danielle and I am the owner of U-NEED-A Crafty Creation. I am writing this post because I wanted to share with you an awesome technique that I just tried. So this all started in the Converse Store at the mall in Nashville. My little sister and I were shopping for shoes and they were having a buy one get one half off sale. I had recently galaxy dyed some canvas for paintings so I had the idea to dye a pair of shoes for her. She picked out a pair of white high tops in her size and I took them home to dye them!
This first thing I did was soak them in Tulip brand soda ash. You can also make your own soda ash at home by cooking baking soda in the oven at 400° F for 1 hour. If you are using the Tulip brand like I did just follow the directions on the package. If you are making your own then add 1 cup of prepared ash per 1 gallon of water. I also added 1/4 cup of salt per gallon of water. Once you have your solution mixed up you can put your shoes in to soak. I let mine soak for an hour but you can let them soak for longer if you want.
Now that they were soaked in soda ash and ready to dye I set up my dye bath. I used an old baby bath tub I had and the side of a metal dog cage as a grate for the water to pass through. I didn’t want my ice to fall off of the shoes so I created a wall around it using plastic bags and the shoe box they came in. I found an easier way to do this though later when I galaxy dyed some T Shirts. Instead of using the bags and the box I put the dog cage grates on top of a big storage container and stuck the shirts inside the baby bath tub with the drain plug open. That way the ice would stay on top of the shirts in the tub and the water would drain out the tub into the storage tote underneath. I would recommend using that method or you are welcome to come up with your own.
I put the shoes on the grates with bags and box around it and then I poured on the ice. I used a bag of ice I bought at Walmart. You could freeze your own but it takes a lot of ice and I found it to be easier to just go buy a bag.
Now it’s time to add the dye! I added the dye in order of the lightest color to the darkest color as pictured. I used a spoon and spread out the pink dye onto the whole top surface of the ice, then I sprinkled the turquoise dye in some spots spaced out here and there, and then I did the black the same way. You can also add purple dye after the turquoise if you would like the purple to stand out more.
This is hardest part for me lol. You have to wait for the ice to completely melt….and I mean completely! I got a little impatient with it because my sister was just visiting from out of town for the weekend so I had to pull hers before the ice had melted all of the way. It didn’t hurt anything but it can make the colors not as vibrant because not enough of the dye gets passed through the material when the ice melts. Depending on what temperature it is where you are setting up your dye bath and if it is in the sun or not your ice is going to take anywhere between overnight to a day or two to melt all the way. Once it’s completely melted you will probably see some powder residue still on the top. This is ok and it will wash off. You can choose to add more ice until the powder has dissolved and passed through all the fabric though but I didn’t.
This step is optional but if you do skip it just know that your colors are going to fade. You need to wring out your shoes the best you can and then put them into a fixative bath. You can use the natural method of vinegar and salt like I did or you can but RIT brand fixative. If you use the vinegar and salt it is 1 cup of vinegar and 1/4 cup salt per gallon of water. You need to let your shoes soak at least an hour but overnight is best if time allows.
Now you need to wait again and let your shoes air dry. If you own your dryer and you don’t care about it getting dye on the drum you can speed this up and put your shoes in the dryer by themselves until they are dry. Otherwise you can just set them up somewhere to air dry or use a hair dryer.
Once your shoes have dried you can either wear them as is or you can toss them into the washing machine to wash out any excess dye still left. Make sure to wash them alone or with other stuff you don’t mind getting dye on.
I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial! If you decide to give dyeing your own shows a try please comment below and let us know how it turned out! You can also submit photos to be featured on this post by sending me an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure to put GALAXY DYED SHOES as the subject heading.