10 February 2011

Mini Tutorial - Dyeing Clothespins

I've been on a dyeing kick lately, having not much experience with this technique before, but envious of the great projects I've seen on blogs I read and various websites I've come across.

I tried the coffee/tea staining to antique a variety of papers, manila tags, and some artificial flowers I had in my studio.  I bought a bag of cheap coffee from a local liquidator-type store and supplemented it with grounds from the morning's brew.  That whole procedure was really easy and the results good, so that's a new skill I can utilize.  I love the look and can envision projects where I'd like to incorporate that antiqued look.

I've noticed embellished clothespins being put to good use and, although I'm not into the glitter, sparkly thing, I thought I may be able to come up with a way to make them fit my "look" so I could implement them in a variety of works.  I decided to try dyeing them.  I did try the coffee staining thing but they just didn't seem interesting enough.

So I bought a few boxes of Rit dye, remembering back to my tie-dye attempts of yesteryears.  I had no idea the whole Rit dyeing thing was still in vogue till I looked at their website - full of projects and great ideas.  And into the kitchen I went!

I lined one of my counters with a bunch of newspaper.  I soaked the clothespins in a bowl of water for a few minutes, remembering that I used to dampen fabrics before dyeing - something to do with more even results, I think.

I boiled some water and mixed it with the dye in another bowl (metal), stirring till the particles dissolved.  Using a pair of thongs, I put the clothespins into the dye bath, submersing them.
I turned them from time to time till they were a shade darker than I wanted as I thought I remembered they dried a tone lighter.
ta da! finished product ... so simple
So I'm really loving the color (red IS usually my color of first choice), and the technique couldn't be easier - I'm delighted!  I will experiment again with mixing some Rit dyes to achieve some custom colors, and would also like to try some natural dyes I've used before, such as onion skins and red cabbage.  This website has a ton of info on natural dyeing - highly recommended.

To put the product to use, a few suggestions:
string a little clothesline for inspiration or to hang photos

put a little magnet on the back
Lastly, I packaged some for my Etsy Nest...ibles shop.
Easy, productive, fun - I'm hooked!  Any other attempts / suggestions out there?  Comment below!

1 comment:

  1. Very cute! And perfect for all holidays :) I would LOVE for you to link up any of your projects to my Ten Buck Tuesday link parties!

    I'm a new follower too :)



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