Thursday, March 25, 2010

To Dye for...

Not too long ago, I wanted to dye some little 5"x5" canvas totes to use as gift bags and thank you presents but I was out of fabric dye which I find messy and not always dependable as to color intensity. I had read about using ink refills as a dye substitute and had been told by the Tattered Angels rep at CHA that she had sprayed Glimmer Mist on everything.

With this in mind, I turned our kitchen into a mini science lab and played happily the rest of the day.

These are the results:

This is what I learned:

1. Shake up the Glimmer Mist vigorously. You will get some bubbles but you are not going to be spraying the Mist, you are going to be pouring it.

2. The proportion I found worked best was 3 parts water to 1 part Glimmer Mist. If the color is too deep, add more water; if the color is too pale, add more Glimmer Mist.

3. While Glimmer Mist is water soluble, the stain it leaves on porcelain, stainless steel and some bowls is hard to scrub off. I used the lid to a take out salad container to mix my colors and soak the bags. When I was done with one color and ready for the next, I simply rinsed it out.

4. Use a wooden skewer to move the bags around to thoroughly saturate them or wear plastic gloves. If you do go "skinny dipping" in the mixture, Fantastik Heavy Duty cleaner is the best.

5. Fill the plastic container about 1/2 inch. This will be enough to soak one side of the tote at a time. Be sure to get the side seams, the handles inside and out and the inner rims of the openings. I let each side soak for about 2 minutes.

6. If the color is still too deep, simply use the spray hose on the sink to remove some of the color before it sets up.

7. Air dry the totes, checking the color from time to time. They can be redyed but the color will be deeper if you do.

8. Before you throw out the mixture, grab some ribbons, some netting, some flowers and some tags and dye them as well making sure the intensity of the color varies.

and Voila! Darling little totes filled with tags and decorated with matching or contrasting embellishments.

Currently, Glimmer Mist is on special at the Kit N Kaboodle store. The totes are available at most craft stores. Run don't walk and get some today. I would love to see what you come up with!


  1. Really nice! I'm going to have to remember this for the future.

  2. Wow Jules ... These look fab ... great tips too ... I would never have thought of using Glimmer mists as dyes X

  3. What a GREAT idea Jules! Love what you did with those little tote bags :)

  4. Lovely blog. I'm following and I'm going to put this tutorial on my crafty Facebook fan page: vintageterrace2, with you credited of course. Would you follow on my blog so I can more easily find my way back here?
    Thanks, CF