If You Give a Girl a Needle: Dyeing Pantyhose with Kool-Aid & Food Coloring :: Tutorial! Good for halloween costumes
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Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase those items through my links I earn a commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link. Plus, when you order through my link, it helps me stumble along in this bloggy blog world! I appreciate your support! My husband who has to put up with my craft supply obsession does too :D All opinions expressed are my own, and I am not sponsored by any product manufacturer unless otherwise stated :) ____________________________________________________ Hello, all! I know its been a while...I know, I know, shame on me! The last few months have been INSANE. BUT. I'm kinda getting my craftin' legs back under me and would like to bring you...dying tights! Or pantyhose. Or stockings. Or whatever they are called. NYLONS? There are several tutorials out there along these same lines, so I'd definitely recommend looking around to see what suits you best! THE INTERESTING BACK STORY... I've always wanted to go to a Comic Con...like...literally always, and I've just never gotten the chance. My husband surprised me the other day with tickets to the upcoming Boston Comic Con!! (I love that man ^.^) SO of course this calls for costuming! Since its only a few weeks until the convention, I didn't want to have to order anything in case it didn't get here on time, as most of the costume retailers are oversees. I decided on Poison Ivy, and all I wanted was some green tights. Thats it. Just green. Easy, right? NO. NOT EASY. I looked tons of places and all I could seem to find was a highlighter neon green or a dark hunter green. No bueno. So I gave up and decided to try to do them myself. The awesome thing about this is you probably already have everything you need in your kitchen! Method #1 :: Kool-Aid Go forth and procure: : Tights or pantyhose (I used these) : Pot (not the drugs) : Stove : Kool-Aid : A spoonual utensil of stirring : Water Okie dokie. So as far as what pantyhose to get...the more opaque (not sheer) and lighter the hose are, the better and brighter the color will turn out. Also, try to stay away from those pantyhose that have ten different types of fibers in them; go for 100% nylon or a 85% nylon/15% spandex range. I used L'eggs Sheer Energy in Nude. First step is to fill your pot with water. The hose need enough room to float around in and not be too bunched up. I put it on medium heat...get some hottub action going on! Next, grab whatever color Kool-Aid you want your tights to be. This is the fun part... EXPERIMENTATION!! Mix colors until you get the color you'd like. If you're stuck, this chart is an awesome reference. Its actually for dying yarn, but it gives you a good idea on what colors to mix. I have a bad tendency to overcompensate 'just in case', so I put in two packs of Lemon Lime, a little sprinkle of the blue Berry, and half a pack of Lemonade. Now toss in your tights and stir while it simmers. I kept my heat on medium...your probably don't want to boil it straight up. ALSO. Make sure to use a plastic spoon. Wooden spoons can catch on the hose and pull them. Runs in your awesome new hose? NO BUENO. Make sure you stir the tights. If you let them sit in one place too long, the color wont take evenly. I left mine in until they started to look the color I was going for. Don't freak out (like I did) if you don't notice the color taking right away. Just keep stirring! It will happen, promise :) After you have reached the desired color, carefully (they HOT!) remove the pantyhose and rinse them in cold water until the water runs clear. Wring (or 'wrench' as my grandmother always said) them out (gently) and hang them up somewhere to dry! Mine received the luxury of a creepy-colored orange hanger in the shower. OOHH YEAHH!! Method #2 :: Food Coloring Go forth and procure: : Tights or pantyhose : Pot (please, not the drugs) : Stove : FOOD COLORING : Vinegar : A spoonual utensil of stirring : Water This method is almost identical to the Kool-Aid one, with the exception of adding vinegar to your dye water. For this method I picked up some opaque yellow tights at Target (on sale for $2?? YES.) The food coloring I used was just your average four pack of yellow, red, green, and blue that you find in the baking/spices section. SO, once again, heat up a pot of water on mediumish heat. Again, I wouldn't just flat out boil the water, but you want it to have some steam coming off of it. Add 1 Tablespoon of vinegar for every cup of water in the pot. I didn't measure good. I kinda guessed :) Now add in your food coloring! Again...experiment! No two pantyhose/tights are exactly alike, so you might have to play around with color combinations. **A note on adding the food coloring...when you think you've added enough...ADD SOME MORE. The tights literally absorb the color out of the water. I didn't add enough to begin with and had to go back and add more as I went. Throw your poor innocent tights into the bubbling green lagoon of DEATH. NOW STIR LIKE YOU HAVE NEVER STIRRED BEFORE IN YOUR LIFE. Don't stop stirring. For an even all over color, make sure every little crook, cranny, and crevice is equally submerged. I took my tights out a few times to make sure they weren't twisted. When the color is all absorbed from the water (the water will become mostly clear), take out your tights (REMEMBER, they HOT) and rinse in cold water. Hang these up with your others and go bake yourself some cookies while they dry! The verdict... I LOVE THEM. These are the pair I Kool-Aided. The flash kinda washed them out (mad photog skillz, I have), but they are a wonderful tinted green. And these are the pair that I did with food coloring. They started off yellow, which gave them a lovely lime-y bright green undertone. SO FESTIVE! Even with my obsessive compulsive stirring, the food colored pair had some slight marbling/blotchy places, but not enough to be super noticeable. All in all I loved how it turned out! Super easy, fast, and cheap! I will definitely be doing this again! This is a great option for dancers, cosplayers, and people in general who need tights in specific colors in a pinch! Thank you all!