All Women's Talk

7 Easy Ways to Update Your Old Clothes with Dye ...

By Kati

Do you update your old clothes? I have boxes of old clothes that I just can’t throw away, but most aren’t exactly stylish. To be wearable, they’d be in urgent need of an update! Luckily, I found some great inspiration a few weeks ago, and I’ve been using dye to give my clothes a fresh new look. It’s much easier than I expected! Just check out these inspiring ways to update your old clothes, and give your favorite a try.

1 The Dip Dye…

Clothing, Street fashion, Jeans, Eyewear, Pink,One of the easiest ways to update your old clothes is by dip-dying, and I found this super inspiring picture at Clones N Clowns. Pick a light-colored dress – white is definitely easiest for the first time – and mix up a packet of fabric dye in a big container. Then simply dip the bottom of the dress in the dye, and either suspend in place using pegs, or hang up and allow to dry. I love this pink-and-white version, and I made my own blue and yellow patterns, too.

2 Go Ombre…

Fashion, Fashion show, Clothing, Orange, Runway,The ombre trend is set to stay huge, and it’s really easy to replicate yourself. Dig out all of your old tank tops, or grab a few cheap ones from the summer sale rails. I followed some great instructions from The Wonder Forest, and it worked just perfectly. First, wet the tank, to help it absorb the color. Then mix your dye following the instructions, and put the bottom of the tank in the dye bowl. Use a stick to cover about half of the shirt in dye. Pull the shirt up by a few inches, and let it sit for a while longer. This will darken the dye lower down, and provide that ombre effect. Repeat until you’ve got enough of a gradient, and lift the tank out of the bowl. Rinse until the water runs clear, and allow to dry. Easy!

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3 Dye Scarves…

Orange, Clothes hanger, Room, Interior design, Textile,If you’ve got plenty of old scarves, or lengths of fabric around the house, try making your own scarves. There’s a whole range of looks that you can create, and it’s great for experimenting! Try creating block colored dyes by putting the whole scarf in the dye, or twisting and knotting the fabric before dying it to create a white pattern through the scarf. I’ve even tried printing on some shapes with a potato stamp, but I can’t say how well that’ll survive the rain yet!

4 Go Bold…

Clothing, Street fashion, Blue, Cobalt blue, Fashion,Everyone has some white pants that they never wear, right? Give them a bold new look by dying them a bright color. I LOVE these neon pink trousers from Dress Corilynn! It’s best to choose a natural fabric such as cotton or silk, because that’ll dye easiest. Choose your dye color, and follow the instructions to make a big batch of the perfectly-colored dye in your sink. Wet the pants in warm water, and put them in the dye bath. Use a stick to swirl them around and ensure that the dye covers them evenly. Most dye packets recommend leaving the dye on for between 10 and 40 minutes, but you’ll need to keep swirling the water to prevent the dye from settling. If you are using a dark color, you may want to leave them in for an hour or so – this part takes a little experimenting! Once they are done, empty the dye bath and rinse the pants until the water runs clear. This might take a few minutes. Then wash the pants using a mild detergent, and the warmest temperature possible. They need to be washed on their own, or you’ll dye all your other clothes, too! Remove, let dry, and they are ready to wear. Looking good!

5 Stylish Shoes…

Footwear, Pink, Finger, Shoe,Got old sneakers? Martha Stewart has a great idea for them, baby – give them a dye job! Make some dye, following the instructions for bucket or sink dying. Grab some canvas shoes, and remove the laces. Wet them using hot water, and put them in the dye bath. Wait for the amount of time instructed, and rinse through. Allow the shoes to air-dry, and wash the sink ASAP to prevent staining. Rock them either with white laces, or try dying the laces a different color – unique, and very cute!

6 Tantalizing Ties…

Eyewear, Scissors, Paper, Still life photography, Sunglasses,Want something quick and easy to do? Try this Oh So Pretty project, using Sharpies. Grab some elastic in various colors. Use a sharpie to squiggle onto random parts, and fill in the gaps with any other type of permanent marker. They don’t need to be the same color! Put the elastic on some kitchen roll, and rub rubbing alcohol into it. Fold the towel up, with the elastic inside, and dab to press the dye. Let the elastic dry, and rinse with hot water. When it’s dry, knot the elastic on one side, and you’ve got some super-cute and totally unique hair accessories. I’ve even got a few on my bag.

7 Completely Remake…

Green, Grass, Finger, Hand, Fashion accessory,Need a more dramatic way to update your old clothes? Dig out those completely past it t-shirts, and make them into stylish fabric bracelets. With the cuff bracelet being so big right now, bolder is definitely better! Grab some neon dyes, and jewelry glue. Wash the shirt first, and use rubber bands to section off different areas. Use a brush to paint the dye onto different sections, and then put the shirt in a plastic bag for 8 hours. Wash and dry the shirt according to dye instructions. Measure off some fabric around 5” wide, and long enough to go around your wrist, and cut it into four segments. Add glue along the metal finding, and place the ends of all four pieces inside the end. Use the flat nose pliers to close the finding over the fabric, and repeat on the other side. Allow the glue to dry, and repeat! Thanks to I Love To Create for these great instructions!

Using techniques like this definitely makes it easier to update your old clothes, and keep your wardrobe looking fresh. I’ve found some totally amazing dye colors, too – Today’s project will be to dye a maxi dress! Have you found a great way to update your old clothes with dye? I’d love to hear about it!

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