As you may have realised from reading my blog and visiting my website, I like to recycle where possible. I hate throwing anything away that may be of use, so I try to utilise items in other ways, such as making my handbags.
About three years ago, I went to a summer wedding and bought a new pair of pale green, fabric shoes to go with my outfit. Being England in the summer, needless to say it rained! My pale green shoes ended up caked in mud as the wedding reception was in a marquee in a field. Despite my best efforts to clean them, my shoes still had mud stains and were relegated to the back of the wardrobe for the next three years!
Whilst the shoes weren't particularly expensive, I couldn't quite bring myself to throw them out as they were perfectly wearable - just grubby. I couldn't even donate them to a charity shop for sale as they weren't in good enough condition. A few weeks ago, it suddenly struck me that I could dye them and try to cover the mud stains.
I bought a packet of black dye which was suitable for leather and fabric shoes. It could also be used to dye belts, handbags and anything other accessories you wanted to change the colour of. I was a bit cautious but thought I really had nothing to lose other than the £5 cost of the dye and a pair of shoes that were ruined anyway.
The kit came with an abrasive pad for roughing up the surface of leather before dyeing. As the shoes were fabric I didn't need to do that bit. There was also a small brush for applying the dye, so I just went for it and merrily painted it onto the shoes. It was actually much easier than I thought it would be. The dye soaked into the fabric really well and spread right up to the edges of the soles, so I didn't even need a steady hand. Even the straps were quite easy to do.
Having left the shoes to dry out over night, I was really pleased with the result. My pale green shoes were now transformed into a wearable pair of black ones. The dye is really even and, according to the instructions is completely colour fast, so it won't run in the rain! I am yet to try the shoes out but with the festive season fast approaching I am sure I will find a reason to wear them soon. The shoes certainly won't be in the back of the wardrobe anymore, that's for sure.