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You are here: Crafts / Fashion Crafts / Dyeing Suede with Excellent Results

First of all, so sorry for the delayed Shoesday. I’ve had some fellas on my roof this morning and if I feel weird taking pictures of my feet in front of the neighbors it is ten times worse in front of total strangers looking down on me. Literally.

So, I had to wait until they finished their business and departed before I could snap my feet and get them sent out into cyberspace.I do believe that I have mentioned a time or two that I really dig oxfords. I liked them before they were in and I’m going to be crazy about them long after. This beat up suede pair found its way into my cart at the thrift store for less than 5 bucks.
Normally I don’t buy things unless I get a half off or $1 discount because I’m weird like that, but for these, I refused to wait for the right color tag to make it up to the sale board. They looked pretty good in store but when I got them  home I noticed that they were really well worn and that they were missing an insole and laces.
It is amazing how I didn’t notice these things when I first fell in love with them but I guess that is the way when you fall in with anything really. The flaws start to come out only after you’ve had possession for a bit. So these bad boys didn’t go into my closet but in my Shoesday stash instead.


I researched how to dye suede and while I have tons and tons of liquid RIT dye I found that it wasn’t the best idea unless I was willing to experiment. Instead I  hopped on Ebay and found what they had for sale and did some internet research to select the dye that I inevitably wound up purchasing and using. What I got was Fiebing’s Suede and Roughout Dye and with free shipping it cost me under $7. I used half of the bottle for this one project so I could conceivably use it two dye two pairs of shoes or a matching purse!

Learn how to dye suede - Dream a Little BiggerThe obligatory BEFORE pic. Ew.

For this project you will need:

Learn how to dye suede - Dream a Little BiggerTake your stuffing and fill in your shoes. I stuffed mine a bit too much and the opening is stretched out, so take care.

Learn how to dye suede - Dream a Little Bigger

Take your brush, I used a toothbrush, and knock away any loose dirt, etc.

Learn how to dye suede - Dream a Little Bigger

I went ahead and dyed the sole of my shoe also, mostly because I wasn’t sure if I would like the original red against my orangey British tan suede. If you don’t want to dye your sole, it would be wise to tape off as this stuff is pretty runny and unruly.

I used the toothbrush to rub the dye into deep seams as the first step of dyeing. You’ll also notice that I didn’t wear gloves. BIG mistake. HUGE. Learn from my mistake and wear gloves. This stuff is serious!

Learn how to dye suede - Dream a Little Bigger

For the rest of the suede I used the puff ball on a stick that came in the dye packaging. It worked really well for the big expanses. It isn’t crazy absorbent so be careful as it will drip dye all over the place.

Learn how to dye suede - Dream a Little Bigger

One down, one to go. Isn’t the difference staggering? It didn’t do as well covering the stained areas, but perhaps I should have used a darker stain if I was overly interested in that. And to be honest they look awesome in daylight so whatevs.


Overall, I am really, really happy with the results. For less than $15 I have a pair of awesome shoes that are going to start hitting my regular rotation. And that British tan is a bright neutral that I absolutely adore. Happy Shoesday shoe lovers!