How to Tie-Dye Ugg Boots

Updated on October 29, 2013
prokidwriter profile image

KA Hanna holds a degree in Fine Art/Digital Art. She enjoys creating works from small to very large.

Tie-Dyed Ugg Boots

I gave my Uggs a make-over using Tulip One-Step Tie-Dye!
I gave my Uggs a make-over using Tulip One-Step Tie-Dye! | Source

Materials

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.

Warning!

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.

Gather Materials

Not pictured: masking tape, brown craft paper, Uggs, plastic bags, dropcloth
Not pictured: masking tape, brown craft paper, Uggs, plastic bags, dropcloth | Source
Cut craft paper and fit into boots to keep them from flopping while you work.
Cut craft paper and fit into boots to keep them from flopping while you work. | Source

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.

Prepare Uggs

Rub wax over back labels on boots so they don't take up too much dye. I used an old votive candle.
Rub wax over back labels on boots so they don't take up too much dye. I used an old votive candle. | Source
Run masking tape over sole edges so they don't take up too much dye.
Run masking tape over sole edges so they don't take up too much dye. | Source

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.

Mix Dye

Add water to each dye bottle to fill line. Shake vigorously until no powder is visible at the bottom of the dye bottle.
Add water to each dye bottle to fill line. Shake vigorously until no powder is visible at the bottom of the dye bottle. | Source
Pour about 1/4 cup dye into cup palette wells.
Pour about 1/4 cup dye into cup palette wells. | Source
Dye is ready to be applied to boots.
Dye is ready to be applied to boots. | Source

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

Put the newspaper or brown paper into your boots to keep them from flopping over while you work.
Put the newspaper or brown paper into your boots to keep them from flopping over while you work. | Source
Daub your first color onto boots. I wanted a splotchy look, so I used a random pattern.
Daub your first color onto boots. I wanted a splotchy look, so I used a random pattern. | Source
Work one color at a time until you get the pattern you want. Note: take care not to put colors too close or they will become muddy.
Work one color at a time until you get the pattern you want. Note: take care not to put colors too close or they will become muddy. | Source
Use the first boot as a model so that your second boot comes out looking similar in pattern.
Use the first boot as a model so that your second boot comes out looking similar in pattern. | Source

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

Place each boot into a plastic bag and set in a cool spot to allow the dye to set.
Place each boot into a plastic bag and set in a cool spot to allow the dye to set. | Source
Wait eight hours.
Wait eight hours. | Source

Will You Try It?

Will you try tie-dying your Ugg boots?

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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

Wash the outsides of the boots with a little detergent and then rinse very well - inside and out - until the water runs clear. I used a garden hose.
Wash the outsides of the boots with a little detergent and then rinse very well - inside and out - until the water runs clear. I used a garden hose. | Source
Use old towels to blot as much excess water out of boots as you can. Leave boots in a warm, sunny location to dry, use a fan, or put into your dryer on low setting.
Use old towels to blot as much excess water out of boots as you can. Leave boots in a warm, sunny location to dry, use a fan, or put into your dryer on low setting. | Source
It takes several hours in the sun to dry wet Uggs. They can get moldy if you don't dry them quickly enough! Try a fan, keep blotting with a towel to get out excess water.
It takes several hours in the sun to dry wet Uggs. They can get moldy if you don't dry them quickly enough! Try a fan, keep blotting with a towel to get out excess water. | Source

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!


Questions & Answers

    Comments

    Submit a Comment

    • prokidwriter profile imageAUTHOR

      KA Hanna 

      3 years ago from America's Finest City

      Thanks for checking out my Ugg Hub, Kristen!

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 

      3 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Cool idea, Prokidwriter. I love the idea. If I had ugg boots in the future, I would keep those tips in mind. Voted up for useful!

    • kapil231ice profile image

      kapil231ice 

      4 years ago

      This is really nice

    • LongTimeMother profile image

      LongTimeMother 

      4 years ago from Australia

      lol. Better go back and put it in your 'tips' capsule if you are finding the inside of your uggies kind of brittle, prokidwriter. :) Maybe it doesn't matter if the boots aren't real wool, but it does make a difference with the ones I have.

    • prokidwriter profile imageAUTHOR

      KA Hanna 

      4 years ago from America's Finest City

      Thanks for your comments! I do get a lot of people asking me where I got my Uggs, though they never believe me when I tell them I dyed them myself!

    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 

      4 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      Those look cool. Great job and so unique. Bet you get a lot of compliments when you wear them.

    • Hui (蕙) profile image

      Hui (蕙) 

      4 years ago

      Great life tips and great job and hub. I like that step by step instructions and those quality pictures.

    • erorantes profile image

      Ana Maria Orantes 

      4 years ago from Miami Florida

      I like your article Mr. prokidwriter. You are creative. I like it.

    • prokidwriter profile imageAUTHOR

      KA Hanna 

      4 years ago from America's Finest City

      Thanks, Everyone, for your nice comments! I was thrilled to get HOTD! LongTimeMother, thanks for the suggestion about using wool mix instead of regular detergent! That's a great tip and I'll bet it would be less distressing for the Uggs. When I tie-dye my next pair, I will definitely try it!.

    • HollieT profile image

      HollieT 

      4 years ago from Manchester, United Kingdom

      Very well done! You have now given my daughter some new ideas to update her Uggs, which is absolutely cool with me, because they cost a bloody fortune :)

      Seriously, well written and presented! :)

    • loveofnight profile image

      loveofnight 

      4 years ago from Baltimore, Maryland

      You have not only done an awesome job with this hub but your boots as well. I am definitely going to try this one. Thanks so much for the share and happy hubbing.

    • LongTimeMother profile image

      LongTimeMother 

      4 years ago from Australia

      Great hub, prokidwriter. Loved your photos and video.

      I'm not likely to ever dye my uggies, but as an aussie who wears real sheepskin uggs I'd suggest washing them with wool mix instead of normal detergent or washing powder if you want them to stay soft and lovely inside. A blast from a warm hairdryer (safely) inside is also helpful.

      Voted up ++.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 

      4 years ago from America

      Nice it's always nice to read how someone has tried something. If I ever do this I know to come back to your hub. Voted up.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Quite thorough and well explained. I had always wondered how the tie die colors were applied. The finished product was beautiful. Congratulations on HOTD. This is a winner.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 

      4 years ago from Norfolk

      Good Job - very nicely done - such a lovely colorful Hub too - love the idea of up-cycling one of our favorite items of footwear. Thanks for sharing.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      What creativity and a great presentation! Your pictures are very helpful. Congratulations on your HOTD award!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      4 years ago from sunny Florida

      They came out looking professionally done.. and your directions with photos are very easy to follow.

      Congrats on HOTD

      Angels are on the way ps

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Claudia Mitchell 

      4 years ago

      Came back for a visit to say congrats on your HOTD! I just love this hub!

    • prokidwriter profile imageAUTHOR

      KA Hanna 

      4 years ago from America's Finest City

      Thanks for your comment, My Cook Book!

    • My Cook Book profile image

      Dil Vil 

      4 years ago from India

      Cool, really good hub. Thank you.

    • MM Del Rosario profile image

      MM Del Rosario 

      4 years ago from NSW, Australia

      Love it!

    • prokidwriter profile imageAUTHOR

      KA Hanna 

      4 years ago from America's Finest City

      Thanks Krysanthe and RebeccaMealey! I'm putting together a YouTube video to show my process. Look for it "soon!"

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 

      4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      This the cat's meow, and the bee's knees. Awesome pictorial, sounds like a fun project. Votes up, shared, pinned.

    • Krysanthe profile image

      Kathy Hull 

      4 years ago from Bloomington, Illinois

      This is awesome! What a great idea, and they turned out so well.

    • prokidwriter profile imageAUTHOR

      KA Hanna 

      4 years ago from America's Finest City

      Thanks for your comment, Jo! Glad you liked my hub!

    • Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

      Jo_Goldsmith11 

      4 years ago

      This is so cool and retro! I love this idea. And we don't have to limit ourself to "ugly boots". Maybe we could use the same technique to our "ugly" whatever.

      This is worth the vote up +++ and shared. Way to go~! :-)

    • prokidwriter profile imageAUTHOR

      KA Hanna 

      4 years ago from America's Finest City

      Thanks Glimmer! Let me know how your daughter's boots come out!

    • prokidwriter profile imageAUTHOR

      KA Hanna 

      4 years ago from America's Finest City

      Thanks for reading my hub, Paul! SF is a great city !

    • Paul Edmondson profile image

      Paul Edmondson 

      4 years ago from Burlingame, CA

      That is very nicely done. Great guide. My kids loved it!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Claudia Mitchell 

      4 years ago

      This is so cool!!!! Voted and shared all over. Love this and will be trying it with my daughter's scruffy old pair of faux uggs. Great hub!

    • prokidwriter profile imageAUTHOR

      KA Hanna 

      4 years ago from America's Finest City

      Thanks sparkley!

    • sparkleyfinger profile image

      Lynsey Harte 

      4 years ago from Glasgow

      Voted up and useful- great idea to give a new lease of life into an old pair of uggs! Especially if they have scuffs or staining. Great idea!

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