About the Project: Now that you know how to make your own denim cutoffs from jeans (link here), vamp them up even more by dying or dip-dying them. This project takes more effort and time than usual, but the end product is definitely worth it. It’s even better if you do this with a friend. As always, feel free to be creative and make your own variation!
-Fabric dye (any color; powder or liquid; best brand is Rit)
-Boiling hot water
1) Optional: If your shorts have a pretty dark wash or you just want to remove all color from your shorts in general, you can use Rit’s Color Remover. This just washes out the color and gives you a whiter slate to work with.
2) If you can, try to do this project outside. If not, try to contain it within your bathroom/bathtub—things can get messy! Boil about 1 gallon of water (depending on the size of your bucket) and pour the contents into the bucket. Immediately pour your dye into the water. If you’re using the powder dye, you can choose to use half or the whole packet. If you’re using the liquid dye, half of the bottle should be enough. Add in about a half cup of table salt into the mixture—this helps make the color richer. Stir with stick.
3) One-Color Dye Shorts: If you only want to dye your shorts one color, submerge all the fabric under the dye and let it sit. Depending on how opaque you want the dye to be, you can leave it in between 3 minutes to 15 minutes. A longer time obviously means a richer color. Use your stick to occasionally mix around the dye and the fabric so it is evenly coated.
4) Multi-Color Dip-Dye Shorts: Determine where you want each color to go. You will need multiple buckets with the different color dyes. Optional: If you want a tie-dye/sunburst effect, tie small knobs of the denim with rubber bands. Dip the first part of the shorts into the first color and hold it there between 3 – 15 minutes. Watch out for bleeding; the dye will seep past where you want it to go unless you hold it carefully. Wring out the dye as much as possible and flip the shorts over to the other side. Dip them into the second bucket and follow the same procedure. Always keep watch on where the color travels.
5) Wring out your shorts (one-color or multi-color) and lay them out or hang them up to dry. You can also choose to rinse out the shorts before drying. They will take around a day or two to completely dry. Take an old pillowcase and throw them into the washer and dryer ALONE. The excess dye will run, leaving you with a pastel or rich color depending on how long you soaked the shorts in the dye.
6) There you are! You now have your own pair of customized shorts that you can show off. I will show you how to stud these babies in my next post.