Scatterbox Originals on Etsy

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Blue sky, hello...but sky blue, where'd you go?

I finished the aforementioned bag (complete with care label) a few days ago, and I've been looking at it trying to decide what it is about it that's missing.
I decided more sky blue was off I went in search of sky blue buttons, specifically the 'matte' colour ones, not pearlescent. Three different fabric and haberdashery shops later, I was forced to conclude that nowhere has any at all! There aren't nearly enough sky blue buttons in the world.
I do, however, have a stash of white and cream buttons from charity shops and salvaged from old clothes. And I have a LOT of dylon dyes.

1) Take some white and cream buttons and give them a good wash. (those pictured below aren't the ones I dyed but similar)
2) Put a sprinkling of multi purpose dye in an old bowl you don't especially care about getting stained, and add some boiling water.

3) Add the buttons.

4) Leave them in the hot dye-y water for a bit, and test them every now and then by scooping them out with a spoon to see what colour they are.

5) When the buttons are the colour you're after, scoop them out and give them a rinse, then rinse them again.

6) Leave to dry on some tissue

Some buttons didn't dye at all, and some slurped up the dye more than others. It will take a bit of practice getting used to which buttons dye best, but its definitely something I'll try again - dead easy


ladysnail said...

wow! i didnt know you could dye buttons. they look great cat. i like how you put alot of care and affection into your creations. dx.

natural attrill said...

That was interesting.
Funny, Ladysnail sent Toby a bead magazine this week, which showed dying of beads, the same thing really.
Never thought about it before, what a useful tip - thank you!

Catherine said...

Thanks for the comments folks :-)
Technically you're meant to dye buttons in a simmering saucepan on the stove, but since I don't have a spare saucepan that I don't mind getting stained with dye, I thought I'd give this a go instead. Its possible that dyeing the 'proper' way would make the colours richer or even some buttons take the colour where they wouldn't have with my method. I'm going to scout out a saucepan in the charity shop and see if there's a difference.
I would like to add that if you give this a go, try and find a transparent bowl to dye the buttons in. This will save a lot of time when you scoop the buttons out, since you won't be left wondering if you've caught all of them (very difficult to see through the dark dyed water if any are still swimming about in there!) Failing that, you could use a sieve or a collander, provided of course that you don't mind it getting stained with dye!
(and of course, don't wear your best clothes while doing this...)