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Performance Hack #1 - Coloring Pointe Shoes

Need a pair of pink pointe shoes to turn black (or one of many other colors)?  Conventional dye can be tricky as it's quite wet and the shoes can soften too much from it (not ideal if you have your shoes at the perfect broken in level).  Fabric paint is a less than ideal solution as it will alter the surface too much, sometimes cracking, sometimes sticking, sometimes flaking off.  Spray paint doesn't work that well either, what's a dancer to do?

Permanent Magic Markers (like Sharpies) or Permanent Fabric Markers (like Tulip) are great solutions.  Both work on new or used shoes.  Both need well ventilated spaces.  For both you will want a broad tip.  The fewer passes used for the marker, the better the outcome.

Shoes need to be dry - so really air them out after class if you are doing an old pair.

If you are going to wear pink tights with them, you can leave the casing and ribbons pink, so use a smaller tipped marker to mask out those areas.  If you are going to wear black tights, you need to do the casing and might want to just swap out the ribbons for black ribbons.  

If you sew your elastics to the outside you will need to color the part that is showing on the shoe black (but again with pink tights can leave the rest).  If you are wearing black tights, I would swap out for black elastic.

Then also decide if you want to do the sole.  If not, mask around the sole with the thinner marker as well.

Using the broad tip marker, use long strokes and cover the rest of the satin fabric.  If the marker is new, one coat works quite well.  As the marker gets older, you will find that you need a second coat to get a good black. The permanent magic marker dries fairly quickly, but I would still suggest giving them 24 hours before dancing in them, just to make sure they are fully re-hardened.  The fabric marker says to allow 24 hours, so I did that.

If you are playing with other colors, use an old pair of dead shoes to make sure the color really comes out the way you want it.

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