Dyeing Shoes Yourself

Hi Jennifer,
I bought a pair of “Dyelights” dyeable shoes and need to know how to do it myself (need them in 6 days). I bought some turquoise fabric dye (urea) at the craft store. Now what do I do? Should I dip them or brush it on? Should the shoes be damp or wet if I use a brush? Is a hair dryer hot enough to set the color? I really enjoy your advice column.

Dear Maureen,
I really don’t know the answer but here’s what I would do if I were you.
1. Follow instructions as best you can on the package of dye.
2. Dampen the shoes with a wet, clean brush before you start.
3. Apply one coat of dilute dye quickly and as evenly as possible. Let it dry to see what color you have there. Try a sponge-type paint brush.
4. If desired, apply another coat.
If the dye instructions say that the color must be heat-set, your only real choice is to use a hair dryer. If you only plan to wear the shoes a few times, I wouldn’t even worry about the heat-set. This is mainly for things that are going to be washed. Take the shoes to the event in a bag and put them on once you are inside.
have fun!

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