Thursday, December 9, 2010

Toy Dying Tutorial ~ How to change the color of your plastic!

I got a couple of extra fairy winkles in the mail today and I thought that instead of reselling them or trading them I would dye them and do a little tutorial.

You can find Rit dye at any grocery store. Look for it in the laundry soap section. There are a variety of colors. For this purpose I chose brown because I wanted to make a few African-American Fairy Winkles.

Other supplies you will need:

* A junky pot
* A junky set of tongs
* Rubber gloves
* A paper plate
* Masking tape (if there is hair)

Fill the pot with warm water and stir in your dye. You can use liquid dye (slower acting, but better results) or powder (packs a punch but can often end in splotches). The amount depends on the shade you want. Start with a little and work your way up if you are unsure.

Turn the stove on medium heat and let is simmer for about five minutes. I don't know if letting it boil helps or hurts it. That merits further exploration.

Since this little guy has hair, I want to protect it by wrapping it in masking tape.

Time to dip!

Now turn the stove to low and stir! Stirring the figure guarantees even distribution.

 After the item reaches your desired shade, plop it on the plate. Be very careful at this stage. If you let the dye pool in any crevices it will splotch! Put it under cold water immediately!

Depending on the toy, you might have to let it dry for several hours. Since this guy was not hollow and he was small, it only took a few seconds.

Here's the little guy next to his twin. As you can see the wings got darker but they shimmer just the same!

Now, I went ahead and dyed the two other fairies the same. But they were so small I used a tong with holes.

 As you can see the small ones went way dark in the wings and hat, but that's okay! Of course you can protect painted parts with hot glue (just glue on the parts you want to preserve, then pull off after the dying process is finishes) but it would have been really hard to do that with such small pieces.

Look at the cute camouflaged fairies!

 This little guy was dyed "wine."

Not really sure if I like the way this guy turned out. Oh well, you win some you lose some.

Remember to dye only the soft kinds of plastic. No hard, polystyrene plastic. You can another dye job custom of mine here.

I am about to wrap up the Fairy Winkle posts soon. I am getting ready to fill my white shelf full of Moon Dreamers!


  1. Great tutorial! I especially like the wine-colored winkle. Did you ever consider dyeing one pink? ;D

  2. Yep! I just didn't happen to have pink dye. I think I will try again when I get more.