DIY Colored Jeans (Mint)
I like everyone else I know has been Jonesing for some of those awesome colored jeans that are so in style right now, especially the mint.
Unfortunately, mint ones are SOOOOOooo expensive. Not only are they expensive, but most stores (Forever 21, H&M, Urban Outfitters, etc) version of “colored jeans” are more like “colored stretchy pants.” I don’t want stretchy pants! So I was thinking about the possibility of dying my own, and found this blog post that pointed me in the right direction.
What you will need for this project:
1. White jeans (regular or bleached jeans don’t look right).
2. Fabric DYE (I used RIT available at Hobby Lobby, JoAnn’s etc)
3. A Bucket
4. Hot Water
Optional:Salt, Dish gloves, a glass bowl, a stirring implement – I used grill tongs.
I went to Clothes Mentor (which is always right next to Plato’s closet, but I’ve gone up a few sizes and nothing at Plato’s fits me these days) and went looking for some white denim jeans. The nice thing about Clothes Mentor is they basically only take “brand name” (their definition is a bit different than mine) AND they appeal to an older demographic who apparently lives in white jeans (hello mom, I’m talking about you!). I quickly found 3 pair that fit: Levi’s, Ralph Lauren and Coldwater Creek. REAL denim, not that gross strechy stuff in varying cuts.
Now I wanted either cigarette skinnies or boyfriend cut to roll up, but right now, I don’t care about that stuff – if it looked good in the “hip/thigh” region, then I bought them. After I colored them, I was planning on doing a DIY skinny jeans project too. Any pair of pants can be skinny pants with a sewing machine. You could probably find some much more affordable than the $10-$20 a pair I found at your local Salvation Army. I’m going to check there next – this “dyeing jeans” thing is addicting.
I went to Hobby Lobby to get some RIT dye. Now you guys could get a better quality dye online, or a cheaper price on RIT with a JoAnn’s coupon or something, but I was impatient. I looked at RIT’s website for their color formula guide and found the colors I wanted for mint green, pale yellow, and salmon pink.
I lined with a plastic bag because I plan on doing this a couple times with different colors, and the bottom of the bucket was gross. That step is totally optional. Then I warmed up my tap water and started filling the bucket, while simultaneously boiling a pot of water on the stove. Did I mention I was impatient?
First, I wet my white jeans with very hot water – good and saturated.
I followed the color formula directions for Green 1 #234 – I had dye in a powder and liquid form. I mixed this in a glass bowl with boiling water and dumped it into my bucket full of hot water (WITHOUT THE JEANS IN THERE YET).
[this is from my yellow batch]
Things I learned from this: The RIT recipes are to create a very saturated version of the shade. For the pastel color that I was actually shooting for, I should have used WAY LESS color. Live and learn. Two more pair of jeans. ALSO when mixing with powder, make sure you use boiling water in a glass bowl first, and pour the mixed potion into the pot, but leave out the “dregs” at the bottom of the bowl. Those particles that didn’t really dissolve all the way will leave weird spots on your clothes. If you’re using a higher quality dye, or all liquids, I don’t think you’d have those problems.
After I’d mixed up the hot batch of dye in the bucket, I slowly added the wet jeans. Then I started stirring them with the BBQ thing. My green pair, and first attempt, I had some pretty potent dye and only left them in the mix a few minutes. My yellow dye bath was much more watered down, and they soaked for about 30 minutes.
[rinsing, again this is my yellow pair]
I pulled them out of the dye bath, and rinsed them off in the sink. I took them out to dry in the back, and noticed that there were some splotchy spots so I dumped them back in the dye bath to get more evenly color. More rinsing, then I threw them in the wash, and dryer and TADA.