Another, even cheaper way, to transform cheap white tennis shoes is by using steeped tea. I actually did this before ever thinking to dye shoes with RIT.
I had just picked up $9 white tennis shoes at target simply because of how cheap they were.
However, I'm not a big fan of the bright white. I wanted to tone it down to more of an off-white, a color that more easily fits into my wardrobe. Steeped tea turned out to be a pretty great, inexpensive way to accomplish this. I also added the crochet laces as a sweet, vintage touch.
- Plain White Tennis Shoes (Target has them for $9 and Walmart has them for $5)
- Crochet Tape (Found mine at Joann)
- Tea Bags (Black tea)
- Spray Adhesive
- Fusible Interfacing (not pictured)
Note: Don't use your expensive, flavored tea for this project. I just picked up a big box of cheap black tea at the dollar store.
First begin heating water in a large pot on the stove. I used 18 cups of water and added 24 teabags. This worked for me but yours may need more or less tea depending on the brand.
Remove laces and soles. The soles may be difficult to remove. If you can't get them out then wait until after you've soaked them in the tea. It should be easier then.
Let your tea steep for as long as the package states. Put your shoes in the hot tea bath.
They will need to soak for a while. I would say at least 30 minutes. Be sure to check them frequently though. Your tea may be different than mine.
While your shoes are soaking you can work on the soles and laces.
Iron interfacing to the back of your fabric.
Using the sole that your removed earlier trace the outline of the sole onto the fabric.
Now you have pretty new soles!
Cut a section of crochet tape to the same length of your laces.
Use tape to skinny up the ends.
Once your shoes are stained a little bit darker than how you want the end result to be (They lighten when you rinse them off) transfer them to the sink and rinse well.
Here's how mine looked after rinsed.
This is where using tea gets a little tricky.
I set them outside to dry faster and when I came back they looked like this:
Yuck. not pretty. I almost gave up but I decided to give them a run in the washer and the dryer and thankfully they looked much better after that.
If there is still any dark spots just rub them away with a wet towel.
Spray a small amount of adhesive to the back of the soles you just made. I would suggest that you spray only one half at a time to make it easier to apply to the shoe.
Thread your laces through and that's it you're done! You've got yourself a pretty cute pair of new tennies.
Hope you enjoy your Sunday!