In today’s post: Learn how to make cool single color Tie Dye Shoes using Sharpies and rubbing alcohol! This is an easy craft idea for kids, teens, or adults that you can complete in under an hour.
Related: 30 Fun Crafts for Teens
Tie dye is a classic summer craft, but man it’s a hassle! Tie dyeing with Sharpies and alcohol is a great alternative because it’s quicker, easier, and you don’t have to rinse and rinse and rinse all that dye out of your project. Last year we made Rainbow Sharpie Tie Dye Shoes, but this year I wanted a pair that were a little more sophisticated and a bit less…psychedelic.
Single Color Tie Dye
So I tried a single color tie dye and it turned out great! It’s a fun, easy way to dress up an inexpensive pair of canvas shoes. This is a great DIY project for teens, and would work well as a group activity if everyone brought their own shoes.
Here’s what you’ll need to make these cute shoes:
- White canvas shoes: I found these shoes at Walmart for about six bucks (you can often find inexpensive canvas shoes at craft stores as well). I chose to use a slip on style without laces, but you can absolutely use shoes with laces – just remove them before dying.
- Sharpies: You’ll use a lot of one color, so it’s best to start with a fresh sharpie to make sure you don’t run out of ink.
- Rubbing Alcohol: 91% rubbing alcohol works MUCH BETTER than 70% rubbing alcohol. You should be able to find both versions at any pharmacy or grocery store; just be sure to grab the 91% version.
- Dropper: You can use any type of pipette or medicine dropper. I found the one I used in the eye/ear section of the Walmart pharmacy. If you cannot find a dropper you could use a spray bottle instead.
- Masking tape: optional, if you want to tape off the soles so they don’t get colored
Tips for Success
This is an easy craft project that’s perfect for teens, adults, or older kids (younger kids could do this with some help). For the best results, keep these tips in mind:
Protect your work surface with newspapers or paper towels, and keep some paper towels handy for wiping up any drips. Your hands may pick up some color, so wear gloves if that will bother you.
When you color on the shoes, be sure to leave a lot of white space because the ink will bleed once you add the alcohol. if you want more color you can always add it, but if you put too much on at the beginning you might not be happy with your finished shoes.
Single Color Sharpie Tie Dye Shoes
- White Canvas Shoes
- Blue Sharpie or other color
- Rubbing Alcohol 91 percent works best
- Masking Tape
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- Tape off the soles of the shoes and any other areas you don't want to dye. If your shoes have laces, remove them.
- Use the Sharpie to draw thick concentric circles, leaving white space in between them.
- Starting at the center of a circle (or curve), drop alcohol onto the ink. The ink will begin to spread and blend. Continue dropping alcohol to make the ink spread more.
- As you drop alcohol, you can use the tip of the dropped to gently rub against the ink, which will cause it to spread even more. Continue dropping alcohol until the ink has spread as much as you'd like. If the ink isn't spreading as much, wait about 10 minutes for it to dry, and then you can add more color with a Sharpie and then drop more alcohol on it.
- Remove the masking tape and use a paper towel to dab off any ink that has dripped beneath it onto the soles. You will probably end up with a little color on the soles, but if you are careful they will stay mostly white.Allow shoes to dry completely before wearing. Once completely dry, you can run them through the clothes dryer to heat set the color.
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