Dyeing Clothespins with Household Objects

In my glittered clothespin vs. plain clothespin debate, plain won out, mainly because you guys thought the effort of glittering them wasn’t worth it (and I agree!). But when I read that people have dyed clothespins with food colouring successfully, I thought I’d give it a shot, because soaking pins in hot water isn’t really a big challenge.

To be totally honest, this project didn’t work out quite the way I wanted, but I think it could work really well for someone else, so I wanted to share!


Basically, all you need is pins, hot water, and food colouring. I started with two cups of microwaved water and about 10 drops of yellow colouring, poured over my pins in a bowl.

The dye is where I went wrong—because the pins were already sort of yellow-ish, they weren’t taking on anything with just the yellow dye. I thought maybe an orange-r colour would work better, so I added some drops of red and rewarmed the water, but I went a bit too far with the red dye and my pins ended up peachy pink after soaking for an hour or so.


I don’t really care that they’re pink, though. Not everything has to match!

I imagine if you used a heavier duty dye than food colouring yellow would work, but you’ll get muted colours using this method. Still, if you want blue or green or purple or pink, it’s worth a shot!

Did you do any DIY’ing with things you already owned?


Mrs. Dragon

Sioux Lookout/Brockville, ON
Wedding Date:
September 2012
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  1. Guest Icon Guest
    B, Guest @ 4:32 pm

    If you want to try again, use Rit dye, it will be true to color and works in wood

  2. msdragon Bee
    Mrs. Dragon 814 posts, Busy bee @ 5:09 pm

    @B: Thing is I had to order the clothespins online, and I’d have to make a two-hour round trip to get Rit dye!

  3. beanstalk Bee
    Mrs. Beanstalk 770 posts, Busy bee @ 6:11 pm

    I never would have thought to dye clothespins! I have to say, I really like the pink… it’ll be a nice contrast with the yellow!

  4. Member
    kokosandy 81 posts, Worker bee @ 7:06 pm


  5. Member
    MrsACarpenter 725 posts, Busy bee @ 5:29 am

    You could try adding in some vinegar. It always helps to darken the colors when we do tye-dye and other projects. And keeps them from bleeding too.

  6. mspony Bee
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 5:54 am

    I think they’re cute, even though they ended up darker than you imagined!

  7. sunhat Bee
    sunhat 1453 posts, Bumble bee @ 6:28 am

    I never would have thought to dye them! I think it’s a fun touch.

  8. Guest Icon Guest
    Robin, Guest @ 1:25 pm

    I bought the same mini clothespins, strung them all on fishing line and sprayed half of them gold and half silver with the Krylon Glitter spray paint. I tied them up between 2 folding chairs and separated them just a bit so they wouldn’t stick. It worked like a charm!

  9. msdragon Bee
    Mrs. Dragon 814 posts, Busy bee @ 2:17 pm

    @MrsACarpenter: There’s a little bit of vinegar in the mixture I used! 🙂
    @Robin: Oh, that sounds like it’d be pretty! I’m at the point where I don’t feel like spending any more money, honestly, but had I done this earlier on I would’ve glittered them, I think.

  10. coyote Bee
    coyote 2051 posts, Buzzing bee @ 7:01 am

    I never would have thought to dye them! I know it’s not the color you originally wanted, but I think they look cute!

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