Cassiefairy – My Thrifty Life

Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog – Saving money every day with DIY crafts, sewing projets, low-cost recipes & shppping tips

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Tuesday Shoesday: How to dye your shoes – step by step video tutorial

When you really love a pair of shoes, you find yourself wearing them at every opportunity. Perhaps they are the comfiest shoes you’ve ever worn, maybe they are the coolest colour or are an on-trend shape, or it can be as simple as ‘they go with everything’. Whatever the reason, it’s really sad when they come to their end of their wearable life. Fabric fades and scuffs appear, and they get relegated to the back of the suede shoes shoe fabric dying makeover before afterThis is especially true for suede shoes, which need a lot of looking after to stop them from looking worn. So if (like me) you’ve been a little too lazy to waterproof your suede, or haven’t given them a daily brushing, and you didn’t not wear them on rainy days, then you might have a pair of rather poorly-looking suede shoes under your bed. When hubby’s favourite suede trainers ended up faded, mucky, scuffed and stained, I knew it was either time to throw them out… or do something about it.renovate-old-suede-shoes-trainers-makeover-diy-customising-dying-shoes-tutorial-video-9I hopped online and googled “shoe dye”. It turns out that it IS possible to give his old shoes a new lease of life with dye, and I picked up this Dylon navy blue shoe dye for less than £4 on Ebay. The bottle of dye comes with instructions and a small brush and can be painted onto onto any shoes that need a makeover. The colours of shoe dye tend to be quite dark, so you can easily go from blue to navy, or something like green to black. If you want to dye your shoes to refresh them year-on-year just go one step darker each time, so red shoes could be dyed brown and next time they could be painted black. Okay, you’ll end up with much darker shoes than before, but they’ll look good as new and you already know they’re comfy!renovate-old-suede-shoes-trainers-makeover-diy-customising-dying-shoes-tutorial-video renovate-old-suede-shoes-trainers-makeover-diy-customising-dying-shoes-tutorial-video-3 renovate-old-suede-shoes-trainers-makeover-diy-customising-dying-shoes-tutorial-video-4 renovate-old-suede-shoes-trainers-makeover-diy-customising-dying-shoes-tutorial-video-5 renovate-old-suede-shoes-trainers-makeover-diy-customising-dying-shoes-tutorial-video-7 renovate-old-suede-shoes-trainers-makeover-diy-customising-dying-shoes-tutorial-video-8 renovate-old-suede-shoes-trainers-makeover-diy-customising-dying-shoes-tutorial-video-10Check out my step-by-step video below (it’s only 3 mins long) to find out how to bring your shoes back to their ‘box-fresh’ best with fabric dye (or view it on my YouTube channel here):


I hope this helps you refresh your own favourite shoes so that you can keep wearing them for years to come – and save cash on replacing them! My husband was really chuffed when he found out that I’d dyed his shoes and that he could carry on wearing his favourite comfy trainers. And when he ruins them again (on more off-road walks!) this year, I’ll simply dye them again. Good plan, eh? Let me know if you have a go at dying your own footwear, and any tips you have for looking after suede in general – it’s pretty obvious that we need some advice on this (!) so please leave me a comment below.


Tuesday Shoesday – Breathing a new lease of life into your pale summer shoes – DIY shoe dyeing

If you’ve recently got married, or have been a bridesmaid, or have simply bought some pale summer shoes, maybe you’d like to extend their wearable life by dyeing them?! Often pale shoes get pretty messed up after a day of walking around churchyards and dancing on a sticky dancefloor, so are pretty unwearable after a wedding! I fancied changing my shoes into a more colourful shade to wear all year round, and you may like to go for a dark colour for the winter months. Either way, here’s a fab tutorial adapted from Yahoo on how to go about dying your fabric shoes – so don’t blame me if it goes wrong, because you only get one-shot at dying a shoe a different colour and the only other option if you don’t like it is to dye them black, so choose your colour carefully!

You can also dye canvas shoes, and if you get the right type of dye you can even refresh leather, suede, nubuck and even imitation leather accessories. Check out for inspiration and to get an idea of the range of dyes you can get. And one of the effects that I particularly like is this dip-dyed style that can be achieved with two contrasting or coordinating colours – so pretty and a good idea if you just want to jazz up your summer shoes ready for next spring/summer – here’s the dip-dye tutorial from State of Unique.

  1. Before you start to dye your fabric shoes, be sure that your shoes are clean and dry.
  2. Completely read and follow the instructions on the container in order to achieve the best results. Some shoes dyes are directly applied to the footwear. However, other dyes, especially if you need a lighter color, need to be diluted before they are used.
  3. Place a layer of old newspapers across your work surface to protect it. Then, place crumpled up balls of white tissue paper inside your wedding shoes so they’ll retain their shape.
  4. You’ll want to wear a pair of plastic gloves on your hands so the dye doesn’t stain.
  5. Usually, a dyeing job on shoes is started at the back seam. The color is applied in light, even coats. The more coats, the darker the end color will be.
  6. Once your bridal shoes are finally the color you want them to be, allow them to dry thoroughly out of the sunlight and away from direct heat.

You’ll also need to get a good brand of water-repellent for your newly dyed shoes. Because, one negative factor about dyed shoes is, the color will run when it gets wet. A good-quality
water-repellent can’t completely stop the color from running, but it can help.

So if you have a pair of pale fabric shoes that you are certain that you won’t be wearing again, have a go at dying them rather than throwing them out and prolong their wearability for autumn/winter.

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