I’d like to preface this post by saying it was half craft FAIL and half craft win! It’s okay though, because now you can learn from my mistakes. You’ll see what I mean shortly. 🙂
I started out with two different sized wooden clothespins – the small ones from Walmart in the office supply section, and the large ones from the dollar bins at AC Moore. That would be why I have it classified as a “Dollar Store Craft;” the rest of the supplies you will likely have on hand!
For the large ones, I simply soaked them in some really strong coffee. I did end up putting a glass bowl on top of them to push them down, so they were completely covered. I left them soak for about 2 hours.
For the small ones, which I wanted to be multi-colored, I followed tutorials found online at random craft blogs. I used regular food coloring with a dash of vinegar. I’m not sure what the vinegar does, but the website looked legit so I figured there must be a reason. lol. To help the colors adhere better maybe?
I filled up mason jars with hot water and added about a 1/4 cup vinegar to each one, and about 20-25 drops of food coloring. I also did a batch of the small ones in the coffee. I let them all soak for about 2 hours.
Then lay them out on a paper towel to dry. Be careful to protect your counters because the food coloring tends to stain.
I let all of these guys dry for about 3 days to make sure the large ones were dry all the way through.
Here’s where the “FAIL” part comes in. The various tutorials and instructions said to remove the metal springs before dyeing. However I was feeling lazy and decided to skip that part. And now I see why you SHOULD! They rusted pretty bad and then the rust seeped into the wood, creating a lot of dark streaking. They look pretty yucky. I am sure I’ll find a use for them but I did not think they were nice enough to stamp and sell in my Etsy shop as I had planned! 😦 Other than that little snafu, the actual dyeing seemed to work great! I shall try it again some day!
For the large clothespins, I wanted to make some stand-up photo holders.
I found it was easiest to apply the ink to the stamp, and then lay down the stamp on the table and press down the clothespin onto the rubber face of the stamp.
I did them by sections, above and below the spring, since the stamp wasn’t tall enough to cover the whole thing. 🙂
I did the same thing with the small clothespins – the ones that were coffee stained. For some reason those did not rust liked the colored ones. Maybe it was the vinegar that did it??? Hmmm….
And here are the final products that I photographed to go in my Etsy store. I love the results!
They were easy and fun and would make a great product for craft shows. Thanks for stoppin by and happy crafting!