If at first you don’t succeed

Try three more times!

So I’ve spent the majority of the day trying to dye the lenses of my Carrie Kelley glasses. I’ve read several methods on the interwebs and figured it’d be pretty straightforward. Man, was I wrong!

trial1First Method : Rit dye method

So I decided first to try the method I’d seen the most online. To get the lime green color I wanted I used 3 tsp lemon yellow, 1/2 tsp aquamarine, and 1c water. I got it to boiling, and then pretty much followed these directions from wikiHow:

  • Prepare clothing dye according to package directions in a shallow pan of distilled water. Most dyes require distilled water and distilled vinegar.

  • Bring clothing dye solution to a boil and then reduce to a low simmer. Keep the heat as low as possible while still maintaining a simmer.
  • Drop the plastic lenses into the dye and allow to simmer until you achieve the desired color. If you want only slight coloration, 10 to 15 minutes should be enough time, but intense coloration may take up to one hour.
  • Remove lenses from dye with a pair of tongs and place on a cooling rack to dry. Place a clean paper towel under the rack to catch drips that could dye your work surface.
  • Pop the lenses back in the frames.

Well that didn’t freaking work. I left them in for over an hour and nothing. Completely clear. Alright. That sucks.

trial2Second Method : Sharpie Dying

I’ve had experience with dying wigs using sharpie and since those are plastic I figured maybe this would work. I cut open a neon green sharpie and a yellow-green sharpie to get the color and mixed with Isopropanol. I put the lenses in and let them sit for an hour. Results: Again, nothing. The edges slightly stained green but everything else was friggin clear. This is getting frustrating!!!

trial3Third Method: Acrylic Ink Dying

I’ve also had experience dying plastic wigs with Acrylic Ink + Isopropanol, so I figured okay maybe this will work. I mixed the acrylic ink with the isopropanol (ignore the Rit in this pic) to get the desired shade. I then put the lenses in for 30 minutes. Again, nothing. The lenses were still totally clear but now with the added bonus of having huge scratches all through them.

All I ended up with today was cracked lenses and green hands! I’ve ordered some window tint film samples and the hubster and I will be trying that on the other pair of glasses. Here’s hoping. I also kept the cracked lenses to use as a guinea pig first. The samples were $2.00 each and are 8×10, so one sheet should be more than plenty but I went ahead and ordered two to be safe.

Moral of the story : Don’t give up, cosplay is all about trial and error and soon maybe I can write up a tutorial for a SUCCESSFUL method! Stay tuned…

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