I realized early on in my making of the Love Catchers, that I was going to need a steady supply of lace trim to decorate them. Now, I try to use as much upcycled materials & materials that I have on hand as possible, but it’s hard to resist some new embellishments. It is possible to buy ready-made colourful lace trims (which I have done), but I felt a bit limited by colour choices and widths. So often I would find a package of lace trims online that were the perfect colour (there’s hardly any trim readily available locally), but the package would contain short lengths of various widths, many too wide for the Love Catchers.
I finally decided that to flush out my selection of trims, I would purchase plain cotton, dyeable lace trim in large quantities and then dye them myself. Mostly I want to focus on making the Love Catchers themselves, and with limited time for all the crafting, I chose to purchase ready-made dyes to simplify the process. The supplies for this adventure were purchased online at the Dharma Trading Co. or were items I already had on hand. Dharma Trading Co. does offer natural plant dye options, if you would prefer to dive into that. I ordered a small selection of Tumble Dye. The fact that you could spray or dip dye with them appealed to me. Also, lovely selection of colours!
- Dyeable lace trim
- Bottles of Tumble Dye
- Rubber gloves
- Glass pan or large glass measuring cup
- Flat plastic trays or baking sheets
(For air drying the lace. I used the plastic lids from some storage containers)
I wet the lace before applying any dye. Then I laid the lace out in the glass pan and sprayed it with the dye. Then I flipped the lace over and sprayed it a bit more. I didn’t pre-mix any dyes, but did combine some of the dyes simply by alternating which one I sprayed, to achieve desired colours.
Once enough dye has been sprayed on, wring the lace trim, allowing the excess water and dye to fall into the glass pan. Then place the lace trim back into the excess dye, rub it in a bit, flip the lace over and rub in the remaining dye. I did this step, to ensure there wasn’t any large white spots on the trim. *see note below*
Once you’ve got the lace trim the colour & hue you want, lay it out on a plastic try or baking sheet and let it air dry completely. Once it’s dry, pop it into the dryer for about 20min (I just used our medium heat setting). So far I have just been using the lace trim for my Love Catchers, which do not go into the wash. According to the instructions, putting the dyed items into the dryer should set the colour, but I haven’t personally tried washing any of them yet.
Viola! Pretty, pretty lace trims in a rainbow of colours, ready to be made into even prettier things!
*If you wish to a achieve a much more even dye colour, just pour some of the dye into the glass pan, and do a dip-dye method instead of using the spray applicator. I prefer the spray applicator to achieve the vintage shabby chic look, but it’s up to you.*
Keep experimenting (I know I still am) and have fun with your dyeing projects!