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Weekend Learning - How to Dye a Tote Bag

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henry happened: Weekend Learning - How to Dye a Tote Bag

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Weekend Learning - How to Dye a Tote Bag

I found this bag creating my spring uniform and loved it. But $198? Ouch! After the success of this DIY effort, I thought for sure I could make this one too!

I bought a 3-pack of white totes for $7 and 2 boxes of dye for $2.25 each. I taped a diagonal line to give me some sight guidance. Then I stood holding the darn bag in the sink for 30 minutes. I like how the color turned out but in my attempt to use bleach to get a straighter line I made it blotchy. (Yes, I know, ironing would help too.)

My learning: I don't know how in the world you could ever get an even line with dye. But a bleach pen would help. I still want to experiment with putting rope around the handle.

Bag #2: I decided to try something more like this and this. (Wish I had seen these sooner.) 

I taped a line across the top again for guidance and only dunked for 10 minutes this time since the purple dye was so dark.

My learnings
1) Make sure dye is completely dissolved. I got some darker spots as a result. 
2) If you're using the same pot/sink to dye in, make sure you've thoroughly rinsed. You don't want any of the old dye or the bleach used to clean the first batch. Again, spottiness. Arg. 
3) I don't think you need the tape. It creates a rather harsh line at the top. Just eyeball it. 
4) You don't need to keep it in very long - 10 minutes was still too much - since you want a barely there color.

Bag #3: Done with dye, I moved on to paint. This was my inspiration.

My result:

My learning: Pick an apple with an even shape - mine was lopsided. And don't be a goober like me who can't follow a simple pattern. :)

I'm not thrilled with how any of them turned out and will definitely try again now that I've learned a thing or two. But an evening of entertainment for $12? I guess it was worth it.... Anyone need a tote bag? :)



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