I am a child of the 80′s. My childhood was a wash of big bangs, wet and wild lipsticks, scrunchies, and peg-legged stonewashed jeans. Oh, and my 4th grade “boyfriend” sported a flat top haircut and hammer pants every darn day. Just for the record, I do NOT love any of the things I just listed! But the 80′s definitely had some good ideas, one of my favorite being the little comfy canvas shoe. When I was in first grade, I had the absolute coolest pair. They were high tops, and had multi-colored pencils all over them. I could not have loved them more. In fact, I would get up after I was supposed to be in bed and put them on, and sleep in them. Yep, I was kind of a weird little kid.
While I think I have gotten over my wear-my-favorite-shoes-to bed thing, I still love those comfy canvas shoes. I saw a tutorial for dip dying canvas shoes on Pinterest a few weeks ago and decided to go for it. But then, I just happened to see these.
Oh my my my. I had to have these. But chuck taylors hurt my feet like crazy, and I had already bought some plain canvas shoes to dye, so I figured i would try to duplicate them the best I could. While they didn’t turn out exactly as I hoped, I still really really like the result.
Here’s how I did it.
Plain white canvas shoes. Thank you Amazon.
Rit fabric dye
Vaseline (weird, i know, but you need it)
A sink or bucket
An old toothbrush
A pencil with an eraser, or a q tip
The first step is, of course, to dye the shoes. Make sure you take out the insoles and shoelaces, and coat the rubber parts with the vaseline. This prevents the dye from getting on the soles and edges. Then wet the shoes thoroughly with hot water. If you skip this step, the dye might go on unevenly.
Dye the shoes according to the directions on your particular dye.
Set the shoes somewhere warm to dry. Go have some coffee. And yes, those are pine trees. The Beehive escaped the ridiculous heat and had a little retreat in Flagstaff this weekend!
When they’re completely dry, remove the vaseline. This is the not so fun part. Dip your toothbrush in the baking soda, and scrub the parts that you coated with the vaseline. It should ball up and fall off, but I had a little trouble getting it completely off. I wouldn’t wear these on the carpet for a while! Or, um on the tile if you don’t want to slip and fall on your butt! I wore mine outside for a while before I brought them in.
Now its time to get dotting! I used a bit of good old clorox bleach, and the eraser on a pencil. Just dip the eraser in the bleach and touch it lightly to the shoes. The bleach bled a bit instead of giving me a crisp polka dot. At first, I was a bit disappointed, but they grew on me. I kinda like the irregularity! More like “spots” than “dots.” Let the bleach dry, then run them through the dryer for a few minutes on high heat. I’m not sure this step is totally necessary, but it will help set the color.
Now, put on your shoes, pour yourself a drink and enjoy!
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