Wednesday, April 2, 2014

diy: Watercolor Hi Tops

If you follow me on any social media, you know that I love to dabble in sketching, painting and watercolors. I've always loved the way the colors blend and bleed together when it comes to watercolors - so why not transfer the look into a project? I used 3 colors of RIT fabric dye and some specific techniques. Paired with the Ombre Dyed Shoelaces, these kicks are all set for spring time. Click on below for the step-by-step:


- Converse Chuck Taylor Hi Tops in Optic White
(Purchased with my own funds)
- Concentrated Fabric Dye 
(2-3 Colors. RIT Dye prepared with a heavy dye to water ratio, in favor of the dye. I used about 1/3 of each box for each small container.)
- Medium Paintbrush

Before You Start:
Head outside for this project, if you can! It can be a messy one.

1) Dip the paintbrush into the first dye and create short brush strokes on the sneakers. I went with the denim blue first.

2) Add the next color (in my case, maroon).

3) Add the third color (teal!). Don't think too much about the placement of each stroke - the more random the better. Don't forget about the tongue, too.

4) When you're all done, rinse under hot water.
(This would also be best done outside, but the outdoor hose at my place is currently broken!)

Rinse until the water runs clear.

5) While the sneakers are wet, go back and add more dye. I simply dipped the brush in dye then dabbed in random places; the color will instantly disperse.

At this point, the dye will bleed and blend in a different way than earlier. As a result, you'll get both the brush stroke look and blending. True watercolor status. 

6) When you're done, rinse thoroughly once more. Let dry completely - I let mine dry overnight.

7) Once both the shoelaces and sneakers are dry and good to go, lace up the sneakers.

Don't forget to make the Ombre Dyed Shoelaces for a pair of coordinating laces!

Xo, Kirsten



  1. Great idea, something really unique <3

    The Quirky Queer

  2. love these!!

    doing a giveaway on my blog!

  3. I've been dreaming of watercolour dyed EVERYTHING at the moment, yet it never occurred to me to dye Converse. Love this idea, might have to try it out before being brave enough to watercolour dye a whole dress :)

    Awake + Make

  4. Here's a girl with the same idea as you, or not?

  5. This is so Awesome to sport Hippie converse. Good?

  6. This is so awesome. Well done!
    Btw I have a few questions. What happens if I use cold water when I rinse the shoes?
    And I wanna make orange-coloured watercolour. But I can't come up with good colours to paint along with orange. Any suggestions?

    1. Glad you liked it! I suggested warm water because the higher temperature tends to help get that excess dye out, I've noticed. If you use cold water, the excess dye will still rinse out, but not as efficiently. Just speaking from personal experience. As for a color to pair with orange, maybe turquoise or some shade of blue? Orange can be tricky, but it might work! Maybe yellows or dark red/maroon.


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