Wow, I did it: I dyed my wedding shoes!

I have some good news and some bad news.

I ordered (what I thought were) THE perfect wedding shoes in pure white (so I could dye them) for only $30 on Amazon.  They're $90 Nina shoes, but Amazon had them brand new for a deal for some reason.  So I ordered them and thought about what to do with them for a while.

Many of you advised me not to dye them myself, to let a pro do it.  That was good advice.  You were right.  It would have been better to bring them in somewhere to have someone else do it.  But I didn't really know where, and I knew it'd be more expensive than doing it myself, and I am a DIY-er at my core... I geared up to do it myself.

I have dreamed of bright yellow wedding shoes for a while, so I went out and bought the fancy dye, or, the fanciest I could find--iDye for polyester.

I unpicked the stitches attaching the bows to the shoes, and dyed them first to test the dye.  I figured, if they don't work, I can put on a contrasting shoe pouf!

I used a big metal bowl on the stove with the dye... stinky!

The bows came out pretty cute!  I had to leave them in there a while to get them to take the dye enough--I didn't want pale yellow shoes.

That worked well enough, so I dyed the shoes!!  I had to do one at a time since the bowl wasn't big enough for both at once.

And it worked!

It even dyed the buckles a little!

There are a few darker/slightly splotchy places on them, which I imagine wouldn't have happened if a professional had done it.  Not too bad, though.

This story doesn't have a happy ending, however.  Literally the moment I finished dying these, I realized, "Wait... these won't go with my dress..."

And sure enough, I held them up to my soft grey/ivory/pale pink dress, and... they looked terrible!  It makes them look neon, almost, tacky and bad and clashing!  What was I THINKING?!!?

So, I'm still on the hunt for wedding shoes.  I could dye them again but any processing you do to fabric makes it less nice, and this yellow dye was pretty strong... I'd only be able to make them orange or green or something.  Good thing they were only $30!

Thanks, everyone, for your help when I was debating what to do with them.  Now we know what happens...

(If you did any other DIYs for your wedding or for a friend or loved one, I'd love for you to share them in the Adventures in Dressmaking DIY Weddings Flickr group!!)

21 comments

  1. It looks like these same shoes are still on amazon if you wanted them in a different color. My advice would be to pick one of the colors from your dress "slightly popped" so there's just a bit of contrast but it still matches...some of the gray nina shoes are stunning, for example. I'm on the hunt for a pair of blue flats for my wedding so my shoes can be my "something blue" and I can wear them again. Urbanog.com just got a whole slew of new shoes in, too, if you wanted to just look for something completely different. Good luck!

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  2. i still like the shoes, even tho they won't go with your dress. yellow is such a fun & happy color--i LOVE it! maybe you can wear them with one of the other beautiful spring or summer creations you make!! :)

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  3. Can you just dye over them? On YHL they used the same dye on their chair coverd. They dyed two of the covers green... didn't like them and then tried dying all 10 (green included) brown. The brown totally covered the green and they looked identical to the ones that were white.

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  4. Those were my wedding shoes! For your sake, I'm sort of happy they didn't go with your dress, as they were the most painful shoes I have ever worn. And I am a PRO at heels. I literally spent the whole ceremony shifting from foot to foot in agony. Then after the 30 minute ceremony, I ditched them.

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  5. This is my fear about getting awesome, bright shoes, too - what if they just look insane with a delicate white dress? How do these other DIY brides do it?

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  6. :( Sorry to hear they didn't look good with the dress. They still look pretty cute on their own--maybe they're wearable for the rehearsal dinner or something?

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  7. I was bored: https://docs.google.com/leaf?id=1f77ISCNuZy9ZPaBh4iqPhq2acP2OKAB7Qv64vOozsVjOHz1e-HWtyDFqDHO8&hl=en_US&authkey=CMTM1vkO

    Not sure if that particular picture is true to color or not, but I love trying things out paper-doll style. The shoes are all from urbanog.com

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  8. I needed deep pink shoes to match my wedding hat and of course couldn't find them anywhere. However, I had some soft leather sandals and my mother gave me her Chanel nail lacquer and I got busy. It took me about an hour per sandal, but it worked. The nail lacquer "sticks" to fabric.

    Seeing as there is pale pink in your dress, how about trying a nail polish colour first - you must have one you could test behind a strap?
    I would try to wash out any excess yellow dye first though.

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  9. Yellow actually makes a great base for a lot of colors. More than just orange or green. If you dyed them purple, they would end up a dusty purple. Make sure you review your color wheel and do some tests before diving in, when I dye yarn I often overdye to get the most saturated and best looking colors.

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  10. they look Great... too bad it didnt match., the pink with the yellow is awesome though, how didnt the pink change. I know nothing about dying shoes, but even if they wont work for the wedding, you have some sweet footware.

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  11. Were the shoes marketed as "dyeable" shoes? bc i am facing a similar problem, I bought the perfect shoes and now the people at the dye-ing place are telling me they arent dyeable because they have a scotch-guard coating of some sort to keep them from getting dirty which will keep the dye from sticking. So I was on the hunt for dyeable shoes and found a good option from www.myglassslipper.com

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  12. aww sorry to hear they didn't go with your out fit :( but good effort trying, they do like nice so maybe your efforts won't be wasted and you could wear them another time.

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  13. at least you have cute yellow shoes now! hehe

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  14. The shoes look amazing...even if you can't wear them for the wedding. I am loving your posts and am very impressed with all the work you are doing to make your special day even more memorable.

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  15. What about pink or purple shoes? You'd still get a nice pop of color without it clashing.

    Oh! And you could totally still wear the cute yellow shoes on your wedding day, just wear them with whatever outfit you're leaving the reception in. :)

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  16. It's a pity these shoes won't match your dress but they do look very pretty and fun!

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  17. Those shoes are still very adorable, even if you don't end up using them for your wedding!

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  18. I love that yellow!

    Im having a leather bracelet giveaway on my blog...head over to enter.

    www.suite4e.com

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  19. They are cute shoes even if they won't work out. The yellows perfect for summer.

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  20. Anonymous6/22/2011

    inspiration piece:

    http://www.glamazondiaries.com/2010/08/foot-notes-badgley-mischka-xavier-lavender-satin-heels/

    an opalescent satin might work-to play off all of your tulle colors. or a really light lavender satin like your sash (and ties in with the bridesmaids purple shoes)

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  21. First of all, shoes must be comfy. Of course, wedding shoes are stunning are stunning and perfectly suit your wedding gown.

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