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How to Tie-Dye Ugg Boots: Step-by-Step Guide With Photos

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

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!

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 results 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.

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

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 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.

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 the 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 the 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.

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 eight hours for the dyes to set.

Step 6: Wash, Rinse, and 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.

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 eight 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 six 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 two pairs of Uggs, possibly even four 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!

Comments

KA Hanna (author) from America's Finest City on March 27, 2015:

Thanks for checking out my Ugg Hub, Kristen!

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on March 27, 2015:

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 on December 30, 2013:

This is really nice

LongTimeMother from Australia on November 18, 2013:

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.

KA Hanna (author) from America's Finest City on November 18, 2013:

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!

Marie Hurt from New Orleans, LA on November 17, 2013:

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

Hui (蕙) on November 17, 2013:

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

Ana Maria Orantes from Miami Florida on November 17, 2013:

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

KA Hanna (author) from America's Finest City on November 17, 2013:

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 from Belfast, Northern Ireland on November 17, 2013:

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 Anderson from Baltimore, Maryland on November 17, 2013:

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 from Australia on November 17, 2013:

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 from America on November 17, 2013:

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.

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on November 17, 2013:

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.

Sally Gulbrandsen from Norfolk on November 17, 2013:

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.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on November 17, 2013:

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

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on November 17, 2013:

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

Claudia Mitchell on November 17, 2013:

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

KA Hanna (author) from America's Finest City on November 04, 2013:

Thanks for your comment, My Cook Book!

Dil Vil from India on November 04, 2013:

Cool, really good hub. Thank you.

MM Del Rosario from NSW, Australia on November 01, 2013:

Love it!

KA Hanna (author) from America's Finest City on October 29, 2013:

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

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on October 28, 2013:

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

Kathy Hull from Bloomington, Illinois on October 28, 2013:

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

KA Hanna (author) from America's Finest City on October 28, 2013:

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

Jo_Goldsmith11 on October 28, 2013:

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~! :-)

KA Hanna (author) from America's Finest City on October 28, 2013:

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

KA Hanna (author) from America's Finest City on October 28, 2013:

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

Paul Edmondson from Burlingame, CA on October 28, 2013:

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

Claudia Mitchell on October 28, 2013:

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!

KA Hanna (author) from America's Finest City on October 23, 2013:

Thanks sparkley!

Lynsey Hart from Lanarkshire on October 23, 2013:

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!