Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Can You Dye Pantyhose?

My Aunt showed me this post on how to dye your pantyhose (which would be ideal for Halloween, Cosplay, a number of things!) and asked, "Is this idea cute, inexpensive and fun...or the worst idea ever?" If I had to choose from those four options, I'd definitely choose inexpensive. Colored tights can run you up to $15! Because I read the original instructions wrong, I tried this twice: the first time (red) Kool-Aid and the second time with (green) Jello and food coloring.

I wanted to follow the blogger's exact steps so I bought L'eggs Sheer Energy in Nude and only used 3 packets of Kool-Aid (though I bet two would have been enough).

The Kool-Aid Method:
Start by boiling some water in a medium pot.

Once the bubbles start to form, add your Kool-Aid and stir with a plastic, not wooden, spoon.

Next, add your nylons. Now depending on what color you use, it could take 5 seconds or 5 minutes until the nylons are dyed. With red, it was 5 seconds, but I gave it a full 5 minutes, constantly stirring, so the color would completely saturate the nylons and not leave any splotchy patches. Splotchy is a word, right?

After you're sure the color has set, carefully (since they're hot!) run the nylons under cold water until the water runs clear. As you can see here, there was still pink coming out. It should only take a minute or so.

And hang them up to dry! WARNING: If you dry these on a plastic hanger, make sure there are no snags in the plastic. My hose got caught on a snag and now my new pair has a big hole in them!

The Jello/Food Coloring Method:
Again, start by boiling some water in a medium pot and add your Jello mix (I actually used a whole box of lime).

Next, add your nylons...

And here's the trick - add 10 drops of food coloring. The more, the better.

After an hour, nothing will change, so don't expect immediate results like with the Kool-Aid. I had to wait a good 6 hours (the stove was off, don't worry) before the color finally dyed the nylons!

And just like before, rinse and hang.

Now the color from the Kool-Aid nylons was much more vibrant than the Jello/food coloring nylons, which came off as an olive green. If I had to choose a method, I'd recommend going with the Kool-Aid. It's faster, easier, and the final color is much better, in my opinion.

UPDATE: I washed the red nylons in the washer/dryer with a bunch of other red items (sheets, mainly) and the color didn't change one bit! The photo on the left is "before" and on the right is "after." As long as you wash with similar colors, it doesn't look like it'll fade anytime soon!

TOTAL COSTS: Depends on method
Kool-Aid Method: $5.99 for L'eggs nylons, $1 for 3 Kool-Aid packets
Jello/Food Coloring Method: $5.99 for L'eggs mylons, $1 for Jello, $3.49 for food coloring

TOTAL AMOUNT OF TIME: Depends on method
Kool-Aid Method: 5 minutes to boil water, 5 minutes to soak, 1 minute to rinse, 6 hours to dry
Jello/Food Coloring Method: 10 minutes to boil water, 6 hours to soak, 1 minute to rinse, 6 hours to dry

EASY-PEASY SCALE (1 super easy - 5 very difficult): 1 out of 5
This is the easiest of peasiest of projects! So whether you're going to a costume party, ComicCon, in a school play, dressing up for Halloween, or are working Hollywood Blvd. this time of year, this is an easy and inexpensive way to add to your wardrobe without the added cost!


  1. Question: did they pass the sweat test? I'm wondering if a day in them would leave me unscathed or equally colourful...

    1. As long as you completely and thoroughly rinse them, the color won't get on your legs while you're sweating (I know because I've been wearing the red ones for 3 hours today, in LA, in the summer, with no air conditioning and my legs haven't absorbed the color!)

    2. This is awesome... I'm going to snag a pair of my mother's compression hose (she LOATHES them and calls the color they're in "dead white") and see if it'll work on them. They're SUPER-spandex, but it can't hurt to try.

  2. I was wondering what happens to the dye when you wash your pantyhose in the washer?

    1. The color didn't change one bit! I updated the post to include my "before" and "after" photos :)

    2. Guess I will be wearing my new green dyed pantyhose to work today. Wait till the gals get a look at these, we'll all be buying up kool-aid. LOL.

  3. The Kool-Aid method is the one I used and it worked very well! I can't wait to wear them for my halloween party Saturday!

    1. What color did you dye your pantyhose? What are you dressing as for your halloween party?

  4. Really need yellow pantyhose (dressing as Marge Simpson) but I am worried Yellow wont actually show up. Thoughts?

    1. I haven't tried yellow so it's hard to say but my gut is saying yellow would show up better on white tights than nude nylons. I'm not sure, though, so I encourage you to experiment and let me know how it goes!

  5. I tried to dye faded suntan hose with very potent regular tea, I think I needed my water hotter than I had it.

  6. Did your pantyhose smell like the flavor of kool-aid you used until the 1st wash?

  7. Did this tonight on nude pantyhose used 2 packs green apple koolaid put in water 7min. It came out a pretty green shade. Cant wait to see them dry. Found on pinterest. Tysm for tips!!