The Cheap Dye That is Surprisingly Decent

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Dying things can be a long and expensive process sometimes. Not to mention all the steps you have to go through to prepare it so that it’ll stay. Thankfully, the internet has come to our rescue once more! Today I’ll be sharing the secrets of using the cheap drink brand Kool-aid as your all purpose dye.

I first started looking into this when I can across a post were a leather user talked about how they decided to try this just for laughs while making a drink:

I was making a drink while cutting the snaps off some new straps for my pauldrons and I got curious, so I tried it, thinking, “ok even if this works, it will just wash out.”

Nope.

It took the “dye” (undiluted) in about 3 seconds. After drying for about an hour and a half, it would not wash off in the hottest tap-water. It would not wash out after soaking for 30 minutes.

They then go on to talk about how it took boiling the dyed leather to even slightly remove the dye. O.O That’s some pretty powerful stuff there. So, what can we learn from this and apply for ourselves? Well, after some experimenting and reading on my part, I’ve found that Kool-aid as a dye works pretty well for a variety of natural fiber mediums such as leather, wool, cotton, hair, flax, jute, silk and so on. You’ll also need to make sure that you’re not just making Kool-aid proper and then adding your items to it. It needs to be the flavor only packet/liquid as the pre mixed once have sugar. The sugar will make your end product sticky and unusable down the line. That’s no good for anyone

Also, you’ll want to heat the dye water up, just like you would with commercial dyes. This helps stimulate the molecules and ‘activate’ the dye to help the color permeate. Once it’s set for 20-30mins, let it dry and then rise in cold water to remove the excess. 😀 Several people have even made charts to help others achieve desired colors! A quick google search gave me this one, but there are loads more, including yarn results which very much so appeal to me, lol.

So there you have it. Never think that dying something it out of your budget as long as you have access to Kool-aid. ^_^


Holiday DIY Gift Ideas on a Budget

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Yup, it’s that time of year where even though you know you don’t have to give someone a gift and that they’ll understand your shoestring budget, you really want to anyway. Well I’m hear to help you out fellow crafters with another list of gifts you can make for very little that can mean a awful lot. I’ve group them by skill this year (bath making, sewing, etc.) with a few options listed as links under each one so feel free to pursue the whole list or just skip on down to your preferred skill set. Hopefully it will provide some idea you hadn’t considered yet. 🙂

Sewing

First up, are some DIY Key Fobs.  Inspired by the Kate Spade line, these can make a great custom gift for that hard to shop for family member. If you have a sewing machine and extra fabric/thread lying about you’re already most of the way there. Infinity scarves have become very popular in the past few years so why not make a custom one instead? You can make it their favorite color or even make several to match their favorite outfits. Got some old jeans or beach towels that are on their way out? Give them new life baking a Country Jean Apron or a Towel Beach Bag. Both are very inexpensive but easily customizable to fit any taste.

Dinnerware/Glasses

Coaster sets are always a great stand by gift that can be simple to make and look great in a home. These Terra Cotta ones are a nice twist with their raised edges. Know someone that enjoys some humor in the everyday dishes? Give these easy Mason Jar ‘I’m so Fancy’ tumblers a try.

Jewelry

Jewelry on the inexpensive side can be very hard to pull off, so I only recommend making these for people that you know that enjoy costume jewelry as part of their everyday wear. That said, these sequins bracelets hold a lot of creative possibilities. If you don’t know anyone that uses fashion jewelry, then make them a Personalized Jewelry Holder out of a simple ceramic dish and some adhesive vinyl that you print your design out on.

Towels & House Gifts

(Working with Dyes and Paints)

Kitchen towels can be a great gift for new families and singles alike and I’ve found a few variations that can appeal to various skill sets. My favorite are these Ombre Dyed ones as I love the chromatic design that’s easy to make. If working with Dye is not your thing then maybe give Stenciled Towels a try. You just need cheap acrylic paint, fabric medium to mix with, towels, foam brushes and a stencil. Speaking of paint, just pick up some wooden handle roasting sticks and custom paint the handles to make a great personalized gift for the outdoors/s’mores maker in your family.

Beauty Products

Soap is of course the simplest DIY gift as many recipes are simply heat, mix and pour. These Milk and Honey bars being a prime example. Just be sure you know the recipient’s allergies when making your beauty products. Perhaps your person is less of a bar soap and more a scrub person, make them some custom Lemon Sugar Scrub that will help exfoliate their skin. This one in particular is for your lips, but could be used all over if made in larger sizes. Not into showers and more into baths? Try your hand at making a jar of Fizzy Bath Salts. Just like bath bombs but you don’t have to get a mold to make them with. Can’t decide? make all of them and give them out as little treat yourself baskets to your various family members! Most of these recipes make 9-12 pieces/uses so the cost still remains low.