Saturday, October 6, 2012

Dyeing Buttons

  I mentioned the other day that I tried to dye some buttons, but they didn't turn out like I'd hoped. After I failed at making buttons that worked with the dress, I went shopping, but the only buttons that were even close to the right color were some very plain round ones in a variety pack at Wal-Mart. So I bought a few more white buttons and tried again, and I'm really glad I did!

  These are still a little darker than I was originally planning for, but much closer to teal than the first set:

  And they look adorable on the dress:
And look! I finished the cuffs! =) 8 rounds of stitching on each of those teeny cuffs... fun stuff.

  Curious to know how I got it right? I mixed 2 parts (about 2 teaspoons) of Teal dye with 1 part (about 1 teaspoon) of  Lemon Yellow dye. I warmed a glass jar under hot running water so it wouldn't shatter, added the dyes, then filled the jar to the top with almost-boiling water (about 1.5 cups) and mixed. I rinsed my buttons, dropped them in (after a test button) and stirred them for 1 minute before fishing them out and rinsing them off really well.

  Less time, more water, or a cooler temperature probably would have netted me the lighter shade I was aiming for, but I'm actually pleased that they came out darker... I like the contrast it adds. I haven't tried putting these through the washing machine yet, but I think they will do well.

UPDATE: I washed and dried these buttons with cool water, hot dryer, and they came through fine- no bleeding and no changes in color.

Oh, and from the first batch I found out that leaving the buttons in longer than a minute or not getting them wet first can result in a little bit of splotchiness:

  The second batch came out splotch-free though. =)

  This dress will actually be closed in the back with some plain buttons:

  And I am SO HAPPY to have a sewing machine that does perfect buttonholes, with no snagging, bunching, or loose spots.
They are a little 'thready' right now from cutting them open... I'll smooth those edges soon. =)
   Anyway, I'm glad I didn't give up on my first button-dyeing attempt, because now I have super-cute, super inexpensive buttons without ordering them online.

  I am thinking about joining in with the Kid's Week Clothes Challenge on Monday, but I haven't committed to it just yet... an hour a day of sewing is a huge amount for me right now. I'd love to have that much time in a day. =)

Thanks for stopping by,


  1. this is AWESOME!!! i never in a million years would have thought to dye buttons! they look perfect.

    1. Thanks! It was so fun to experiment with them. =)