All Change

I look after my shoes well. They are regularly polished, and are heeled as necessary. Some are years old – and I don’t mean a few years. There are those which date from the last century! The oldest are from the mid-eighties. Most are ballerina style but there are several pairs of heels for ‘occasions’. The majority of ballerina shoes are by Gabor, a brand which is perfect for my feet. They always fit and are very comfortable. I have a particular penchant for coloured leather, and as I wear quite a lot of black and navy, I like the bright pop that they add to an outfit.

Geeen, lilac dye


I’m happy to dye shoes if I can’t find the colour I want, and have even bought them with the express intention of dyeing them.  Unable to find a pair in the shade of green I wanted, I bought a white pair and here’s the result. The lilac ones were once beige.




I’ve been using TRG shoe dye (available from Amazon) for some years and it always produces an excellent result. The great thing about TRG is the ease of application and the huge variety, not just of colours but of shades of colours. They also offer metallic silver, gold and copper. The bottle of dye comes with a sponge  – a rough side to gently rub the shoes to remove any wax or polish and three soft sides to apply the dye. I also use cotton wool buds to access the nooks and crannies, and to do the edges. Inevitably a little dye gets onto the edges of the sole and heel but another bud, this time dipped in nail polish remover, does the trick. Any dye that gets on the metal trim can be removed in the same way. My foolproof method for making the colour really fast is to leave the first coat overnight, and then to apply a second coat which I leave for at least 12 hours. After that, a good rub with a clean, dry cloth and a wipe over with a silicone Express Shine sponge (I use these routinely on all my shoes, apart from suede ones, of course) and you’re ready to go.

Pink nubuck shoes are never a good idea in the rain, especially if it’s the sort that is dirty and splashy underfoot. In my defence, such weather hadn’t been predicted. This was late last summer and the shoes, which hadn’t been worn all that often, had remained unworn since, which was just laziness on my part  but I finally got around to ordering the dye last week. Something of an improvement, don’t you think?


These black and tan ones were originally white and tan. They proved a bit trickier than most as I wanted to keep the tan trim so that they would go with a black & tan leather handbag.


I’ve dyed boots too. A tan pair had become a bit faded; they are now burgundy.  Dyeing is also great for revitalising in the same colour. Dye an already black pair with black dye and they’ll looked like new.

clothIt’s not only shoes that I change the colour of.  I’ve been dyeing clothes for years, ever since I searched the shops for a terracotta coloured t-shirt for my daughter, nearly thirty years ago. I thought about the little pots of cold-water dye but the shop assistant recommended Dylon machine dye. Marvellous! It used to involve tipping the dye powder into the machine and adding salt . It could be a little messy but today it’s a simple as opening the box and putting the pot in the machine, and it works a treat.  There is no residue and no colour transfer onto a subsequent wash. The colour is fast and doesn’t fade. Ideal for revitalising jeans (especially black ones which are prone to colour loss).  The interesting thing is that it doesn’t coat the fabric with a flat colour but retains some of the original patterning – both these items were previously black and white.

Over the years, I’ve dyed tea towels lime green, pillowcases purple, and a white jacket brown.  And numerous other things that I can’t remember!  And these hand towels (there are bath towels and a bath mat too) were once white but no longer looked as bright as I’d have liked.   It’s a strange hobby but very satisfying!




  1. Good morning! I have just discovered your blog via Down to Earth by Rhonda Hetzel. I love your hobby!! I have dyed various things over the years but mainly black pants and jeans to freshen their colour. After reading this post I am seriously considering dyeing my son’s white sport socks black. He has a habit of running around outside in his white socks. No matter how much soaking and nagging I do, his habit remains.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Welcome, Vicky. It’s a blog full of mostly unimportant witterings but I do hope you’ll enjoy it. Having brought up two sons and a sports mad daughter, I know only too well the trials of white socks! Just beware that if they have a high synthetic content, the dye won’t take, or at best turn them pale grey!


  2. I love your shoes and you have inspired me to try dyeing certain items! Henna – a true blast from the past, especially when I was a student. I loved the results on my hair, as I have a lot of natural red highlights – but what a performance and mess. I usually managed to persuade a sympathetic friend to help me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My hair had quite a lot of red in it too, and (at the time) it seemed that henna was the best thing but you’re right…what a mess! Glad you like the shoe dyeing efforts.

      Liked by 1 person

    • No Pam, so long as you follow the instructions, it doesn’t leech at all. Mind you, I probably wouldn’t risk washing dyed black jeans with white underwear!! Seriously, it is brilliant for re-colouring jeans


    • I used to henna my hair in my thirties, until I discovered blonde highlights. Apart from an occasional, short-lived return to brown, I’ve had highlights ever since. Glad you’re impressed with my shoe-dyeing efforts!


  3. Oh my goodness, you took me right back to the 70’s this morning. I used to dye shoes a lot then as I too love coloured footwear. I’ve been thinking recently about dyeing a load of white towels that have gone dull so you have given me a good idea! We’re decorating the dining room which is a pain as it’s got big units in it and huge plaid woolen curtains. They are now outside on the washing line and I hoovered them to remove the dust. Enjoy wearing your bright shoes-it’s a lovely day here today in Hamilton.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dye those towels, catriona – you know it makes sense! I’m always happy with the outcome; just once the dyeing didn’t work. I tried to turn a cream and navy knit jacket into shades of teal but the colour just didn’t take. I think the synthetic percentage was too high. Oh, I hate decorating. It’s great when it is finished but I can’t stand the upheaval.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s