How to Make Cool DIY Ombre Sneakers Using the Dip Dye Method

by Sophiesophss
8 Materials
2 Days

Today, we’re going to be making DIY ombre sneakers with tie-dye laces by dip-dyeing! We’ll be using ombre dip dye which means it’s going to turn out two-toned.

Most dip dyes don’t come out too vibrant or look too pale, so I’m going to show you how to dip-dye sneakers so you can get the most vibrant dip possible. Let’s get started!

Tools and materials:

  • Sneakers
  • Dye
  • Bucket
  • Acetone (optional)
  • Dish soap
  • Salt
  • Gloves
  • Paper towels
Removing the shoelaces

1. Prepare for dip dyeing

It’s a good idea to remove the laces and the insole first. 

Rubbing acetone on the shoe

I also wanted to experiment a bit by rubbing acetone on the shoe before dipping and it made a really big and unexpected difference. If you decide to do this, make sure you scrub thoroughly and be sure not to leave any areas untouched. 

Pouring hot water into a bucket

2. Boil and pour water into a bucket

Grab some gloves, preferably a pair that fits extra-large, and put them on. Then, take a bucket that’s big enough to fully submerge your shoe and pour water into it.

The temperature of the water is definitely going to affect the vibrancy of your dip, so it needs to be pretty warm. I recommend boiling the water first and then pouring it in after as the water from the sink might not get hot enough.

A very important tip is to not fill the bucket. I repeat: do not fill the bucket. You only need to put enough water for the shoe to be dipped, so put in as little as you can so the dye isn’t diluted by a bunch of unnecessary water.

Adding the colored dye into the bucket

3. Add dye

Now it’s time to add our first color. For maximum vibrancy, I poured the whole thing in but you can also get away with pouring in half.

Adding dish soap and salt

4. Pour in dish soap and salt

Now, we’re going to do two really weird things that are going to help the dye stick: pour in dish soap and salt.

Mixing the dish soap and salt together

5. Mix

Mix the dye, soap, and salt all together.

How to dip dye sneakers

6. Dip

Hold the shoe from the sole and dip halfway. For our ombre look, hold the shoe in place for about 20-25 minutes while periodically moving and mixing the dye around the shoe. Let the excess dye drip out and you should have your half-dipped shoe.

Dip dye results with acetone

Here’s the comparison between the two sneakers. The acetone did make the shoe a lot more vibrant and for some reason, it made the swoosh and tone a cool blue color.

However, the acetone also left visible stroke marks from the scrubbing. If you don’t mind them, however, then this is a good way to get a darker color.

Making tie dye laces

7. Dye the laces

For our tie-dye laces, I’m going to do a cool two-tone dye by using a paper towel to dab areas with purple and then later fill the white in with blue. 

how to dye sneakers

8. Repeat with the second color

Pour out the dye from the first color and clean the bucket. Refill the bucket and pour in the second color dye.

This time we’re going to dip the bottom half of the shoe for 20 minutes again until we have the color we’re going for. 

DIY tie dye laces

I’m also going to dab blue in all the areas that I left white on the laces.

Ombre dip dye sneakers

9. Dry

Leave the shoes and laces out to dry for about two days. Once they’re dry, everything will lighten up a bit and the laces will give you this very cool kind of tie-dye effect.

DIY ombre sneakers

DIY ombre sneakers

Here are the finished DIY ombre sneakers! Now you know how to dye sneakers. Let me know down below what you think and what you decide to come up with when you dye your very own!

Suggested materials:
  • Sneakers
  • Dye
  • Bucket
See all materials

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Join the conversation
2 of 3 comments
  • Nicole Nicole on May 25, 2022

    Love this idea !

    I wonder if this technique would work if tried on the tennis shoes that have the canvas-like material ? I guess they would absorb too much dye ?

  • Asuncion Asuncion on May 26, 2022

    i admire your tricks