How to Dye Socks Without Dye

by Zora Hughes

Turn boring white socks into colorful works of art requires a little ingenuity.

Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

Sure, we all need white cotton socks for everyday wear, but sometimes plain white gets a little boring. Perhaps you need to dye your socks for a sock puppet or some type of costume you plan on wearing. If money is tight, skip the trip to the store for a tie-dye kit. Instead, you can dye your socks using colorful permanent markers you may have around the house. Whether you are going for a colorful tie-dye look or one solid color, permanent markers and rubbing alcohol are all you need to tie-dye your socks at home.

Items you will need

  • Plastic tablecloth
  • Paper towels
  • White cotton socks
  • Colored permanent markers
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Rubber gloves
  • Rubber bands
Step 1

Cover your work area with a disposable plastic paper tablecloth or newspapers, and put on rubber gloves.

Step 2

Place rubber bands on bunched sections of the socks about an inch and a half apart, which will help maximize the tie dye look. If you want a more blended look or if you are only using one color, you do not have to use the rubber bands.

Step 3

Draw randomly all over the sock with the permanent markers in different colors until you have little to no white area left on the sock. You can also use only one color or draw in one section of the sock if that is the look you are going for.

Step 4

Hold the colored socks over a bowl one at a time.

Step 5

Pour rubbing alcohol over the whole sock and watch the colors run together.

Step 6

Twist, scrunch up and wring out the socks to blend the colors.

Step 7

Lay the socks on the table to dry, flipping it over occasionally until both sides are dry.

Step 8

Iron the socks to set the color.

Warnings

  • Do not hang the socks up to dry using clothespins or you will be left with a white spot where the clothespins were placed.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

About the Author

Based in Los Angeles, Zora Hughes has been writing travel, parenting, cooking and relationship articles since 2010. Her work includes writing city profiles for Groupon. She also writes screenplays and won the S. Randolph Playwriting Award in 2004. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in television writing/producing and a Master of Arts Management in entertainment media management, both from Columbia College.