Now that it is officially autumn, everyone is starting to get their layers out, especially girls who are still wearing dresses in the colder weather. One way to stay warm and stylish is with tights, whether for everyday wear or costumes. To spice up your tights I will show you how to make your own colored tights at home! They can be used to brighten up a plain outfit, or to add to a Halloween outfit. If you need to purchase all/most of the below supplies, this craft will cost you about $10.

DIY at URI: Dyed tightsWhat You Need:

  • tights/pantyhose-(can be found at your local CVS)
    use either white or nude-colored, I used white, but not sheer!
  • pot and stirring spoon- should be deep enough to hold the tights under water, and you will need a spoon to stir them with
  • food coloring- one color, or multiple for creating your own shade
  • vinegar- (you’ll need enough to have one tablespoon for every cup of water used)

Step One: Preparation

You should fill your pot high enough that you can fit your tights completely below the water level. Then set the temperature of your stove top between medium and high, the water should be very hot but does not need to boil. If the water is boiling it will make it harder to see what color your tights are turning, and then harder to know when to take your tights out as well.

Step Two: Filling the Pot

Personally I had a wider pot, so I had to use about 7 cups of water to be sure that I could cover the tights. This also means that I had to add 7 tablespoons of vinegar to the pot of hot water, because you must use one tablespoon of vinegar for every cup of water used. Leave the burner on the whole time that you are making your tights, keeping the water at a simmer.

Step Three: Food Coloring

You only need one bottle if you are just making your tights one color (whether red, yellow or blue). Or if creating your own shade, such as orange, green, or purple, make sure to get the appropriate two bottles. I decided to create fire engine red tights so I only needed red food coloring. In the process of choosing the number of drops to use, less is NEVER more. Once the water appears to be the color you want keep going! I used 40 drops of red to be certain that the color would be dark enough, since the food coloring will look much lighter once your tights have absorbed it than it will sitting alone in the pot. Once you have put in the necessary amount of drops, stir them around evenly using your spoon.

Step Four: Cooking Your Tights

You should soak your tights for a minute before you place them in the pot (with the hot water, vinegar, and food coloring). Then continually stir them, as you would pasta, so that the color is spread and absorbed evenly. If you are nervous you can lift them out to check the color with your stirring spoon, but if you have added a lot of food coloring as I did you should be fine. Once they are the color you want, continue stirring again for the same length of time that it took for them to get there. For example, it took my tights five minutes to fully color, but I stirred for ten. A sign that your tights are done is when the water becomes a lot lighter or almost clear, because this means all the color has gone into your tights.

DIY at URI: Dyed tights

Step Five: You’re Done!

You can now pour the hot water, carefully, out into your sink. Then, let your tights sit for a minute or two simply because they are too hot to touch. The food coloring won’t stain your hands or anything else from touching the tights, and you can wring whatever water is left of them out by hand. Then just hang to dry!

This craft was inspired by examples on Chezlin’s “Dyed Tights with Food Coloring”.