How to Tie-Dye Ugg Boots
Tie-Dyed Ugg Boots
Before beginning, gather all your materials. You will need:
- Tulip One-Step Tie-Dye Kit in colors of your choice
- Nitrile gloves or other well-fitted rubber gloves (optional, the tie-dye kit has gloves)
- Parafin wax or old votive candle
- Masking tape
- Drop cloth
- Newspapers or brown craft paper
- Plastic cup palette (optional)
- Sponge brushes (optional)
- Water source
- Plastic grocery bags or small garbage bags
- Small amount of detergent
- Ugg boots in a light color
You will also need a work space that can get very messy and possible stained. I worked outside
New Life For Old Uggs
I love my Uggs, but I admit I wanted a change. The lovely lavender Uggs that I bought many years ago were looking a little drab. I admired the multi-colored Vans and Tom's shoes that members of my art class wore each day and I wondered if my Uggs would take color as nicely as canvas shoes?
Tulip One-Step Tie-Dye Kit
I decided to try a tie-dye look for my lavender Uggs using a simple kit available at the craft store. After some research, I chose to use Tulip One-Step Tie-Dye because it needs only water and no soda ash, heat or other fixative to make the color permanent. I did not use color remover or do any prep work on my lavender Uggs, deciding instead to try using the light lavender color to my advantage.
My dye colors of choice were purple, fuschia and turquoise - colors that would work well with lavender - and yellow. I hesitated using the yellow dye, thinking that it would be too light a color to use, perhaps turning to a muddy brown over the lavender Uggs. Ultimately, I decided it would be worth the risk.
While the Tulip One-Step Tie Dye kit came with gloves, rubber bands, design ideas and other instructions, I pretty much used only the dyes and mixing bottles. (The kit also comes with extra dye packets.) The company does not say you can use their dyes on Uggs; you assume the risk if you decide to try this method on your own Uggs. I can only say that it worked for me - your mileage may vary.
You won't be able to do a true tie-dye using rubber bands - you will instead apply the dye freehand. I used sponge brushes to apply the dye, though you could also apply the dye directly from the bottle for a different look.
I suggest using close-fitting Nitrile gloves, the kind you find at drugstores or home improvement stores, instead of the gloves in the kit. It's easier to move your fingers and open the dye bottles.
I used lots of water and a little detergent to wash excess dye out of my Uggs as part of this process. Water will distress your sheepskin boots! If you don't want to take this chance, I don't recommend that you try this tie-dye method.
Step by Step: How to Tie Dye Uggs
Step 1: Gather Materials
Gather all your materials together and set up your workspace. I worked outside where I had a water source and an area that could get messy and wet.
- Cover your workspace with a drop cloth and put out all your supplies.
- Cut your craft paper to the right size or pre-crumple newspaper to fit inside boots to keep them upright while you work.
Tulip One-Step Tie Dye
Step 2: Prepare Uggs
- Rub parafin wax over the back label of the boots so that it doesn't take up too much dye.
- Run masking tape along rubber edge of boots so that the rubber doesn't take up too much dye.
Step 3: Mix Dye
Set your Uggs aside while you mix the dye.
- Carefully open the first dye bottle and add water up to the fill line. Place cap back on securely and then shake the bottle until all of the dye powder is completely mixed with the water. Continue to mix up the dye in each bottle.
- If you are using the brush and palette method, carefully pour a small amount (about 1/4 cup) of each dye color into cup palette. If you plan to use the dye directly from the bottle, you can skip this step.
Step 4: Dye Ugg Boots
Now you're ready to apply dye to your boots! If you have not yet done so, stuff the boots with the paper you've already prepared so that the boots don't flop over while you work. Using a sponge brush, take up your first dye color and apply to your boot. You can apply the dye in a specific pattern, or just apply randomly.
- Use a separate brush for each color.
- Check the design ideas in the Tulip One-Step Tie Dye kit. Even though you can't use rubber bands to get these effects on your Uggs, you can get the general idea regarding designs.
- Use the edges of the sponge brush to your advantage. You can get edge effects or sharper color lines by running the sponge along its edge when you apply the dye.
- Be mindful about which colors you place next to one another, you can easily end up with muddy looking colors. Work light to dark if you are unsure.
- Apply color liberally to get the most saturated color.
- Remember that you can, if you prefer, apply the dye directly from the dye bottle.
- When you are done with one boot, use it as a model as you apply dye to the second boot.
Pictorial Guide to Tie-Dye Ugg Boots
Step 5: Wrap and Wait
When both boots are done, place each into a plastic bag and set in a shady cool spot. Let them sit for 8 hours for the dyes to set.
Wrap Boots in Plastic
Will You Try It?
Will you try tie-dying your Ugg boots?
Step 6: Wash, Rinse, Dry
- Remove any masking tape from the boots.
- Wash the outside of your boots under the hose using a little bit of detergent. Rinse very well, inside and out, squeezing the boots as your work. You want the water to run clear. The dye may have worked its way into your boots, so rinsing may take some time, but eventually the water will be clear.
- Blot excess water from boots using an old towel. The more water you can blot out, the faster your boots will dry. Don't forget to blot water from the insides of your boots as well.
- Dry in a sunny spot (or indoors using a fan) for several hours. You can work more water out of the sheepskin using the towel every now and then if you wish. Check on your boots every hour or so to make sure that air is getting inside to the toes of your boots.
Wash and Dry Uggs
Tie-Dye Your Uggs, the Video
Tips For Tie-Dying Uggs Boots
It takes a little bit of courage to put that first bit of dye onto your Uggs, but I'm glad I took the leap. In retrospect, there are a few things I would do differently:
- I'd start earlier in the day. It takes a good 8 hours for the dye to set once it is applied, so I didn't get my boots washed, rinsed and set up to dry until about 7pm. Alternatively, I'd start after lunch and leave the boots to set overnight and wash them out the next morning.
- I'd add another "coat" of dye after letting them set for a couple hours. If the dye dries out before getting 6 hours to set, the final color is not as brilliant.
- I'd pick brighter colors, maybe even neon! Even though I was afraid that yellow would be too light, it actually showed up really well because it was so bright. Purple, on the other hand, seemed to disappear into my lavender Uggs.
- I'd go rainbow. I tried a random pattern, which I like well enough, but I admire rainbows even more.
- I'd invite a friend. There is enough dye in the kit to do at least 2 pair of Uggs, possibly even 4 pairs if you use the extra dye packets that come in the kit. I ended up tossing out a lot of dye.
I have not worn my Uggs in damp weather, or with light colored socks or pants, so I don't know if there is any color transfer. I'd recommend being somewhat cautious, but do wear and enjoy your tie-dyed Uggs!