When Catching Fireflies approached me to host a giveaway of their Soji Solar Powered String Lights, I offered to also do a tutorial as soon as I saw how cute the string lights are. Their email came right on the heels of my painted Chinese lantern cluster tutorial, so I was in the mood to be creative with spherical lanterns. April from Catching Fireflies mailed me a set of the white Soji lanterns and I immediately started to envision all kinds of painting/dyeing ideas. The two catches with working with this product that April warned me about were that they’re designed for outdoor use (so you need to use colorfast dye or paint), and they’re made with nylon, which is harder to dye than cotton. Luckily, I did some resarch and discovered how good old Rit dye can work well with nylon.
Â **This giveaway has ended.**
two 12-inch dowels
2 unstainable wash tubs to dye your lanterns in (a double sink will work well. if you use a separate tub, just make sure it’s immediately next to the first tub/sink)
Gather your supplies ahead of time. Set your water on to boil and string the lantern shades onto a dowel with some twine as shown. The key for stringing your shades onto a dowel is to knot some twine on one shade and string four more onto the dowel. Each Soji String Lantern set comes with ten shades total, so I found it easiest to string two sets of five shades onto each of my 12-inch dowels.
Mix two ounces of concentrated liquid Rit dye with approximately two quarts of boiling water. According to Rit’s website, the water should be at about 180 degrees farenheit since these shades are made from nylon. Add two ounces of white vinegar to your dye bath. Next, half-submerge one set (one dowel’s worth) of five shades in the water and hold them at a consistent depth for 5 to 7 minutes.
Next, lift your dowel from the water and let excess dye liquid drip into the dye bath. Move the first dowel’s-worth of lanterns to an adjacent shallow pool of cold water, trying to keep just the dyed parts submerged to avoid excessive dye spread into the white parts of your lanterns.
Repeat the dyeing process for your second set of shades. When you move your second set of lanterns into the cold bath. Hang the first set from the edges of the tub to drip dry. After the second set of lanterns have set in the cold water for 10-15 minutes, dump the cold water and hang both sets of shades from the tub’s edge to dry overnight.
When the shades are dry, follow the string lights’ packaged directions for attaching them to the lights themselves. Mount your dip-dyed creation in the sun and watch them light up at night! So pretty :)
You can enter the giveaway in a variety of ways – just leave a comment on this post each time you enter!
Ways to enter:
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Best of luck, you guys! I’ll have this giveaway up through Tuesday, June 19!