I see her pointe shoes and I want to paint them black, a how-to guide

Recital time is fast approaching for the dancing people here under the Big Top. We have (more) costumes which are not custom made (like the competition costumes) so some alterations might be needed on some.

Except for Jodie’s ballet costume. Oh the trials of being a hanger! We should suffer like that.


Actually I’m kind of relieved that I don’t have to do any alterations for hers. I have enough to do already.

Dance Mom problems.

Daniel’s pants for his Hip Hop number, Suit & Tie, need to be hemmed and taken in because his pants pretty much always need to be hemmed and taken in. Now why can’t dance costumes have adjustable waists?


Oh well, I will power through and get it done. But first, Jodie’s pretty pink Gaynor Minden pointe shoes need to be dyed black; because Mockingjays in the Hunger Games ballet wear black pointe shoes. Oh sure one could just buy black Gaynor Mindens. But they are a special order. Plus Jodie’s current pointe shoes are broken in and, in her words, perfect. So we must dye them black. I could take them to a cobbler and have it done for $30 or so. Or I could do it myself. How hard could it be? Her dance teachers tell me not hard at all. So do assorted how-to guides found on the Internet.

Yay Internets!

So, after a little research and discussion with other dance moms I was ready to get to work.

Yes, I found myself singing Paint It Black because I’m nerdy that way.

To start, first the shoes must be nice and dry. An afternoon out on the patio here in Manteca insures they are dry. Next make sure they are clean by wiping with a soft, dry cloth.

Now let’s paint these babies black! Supplies needed are:

  • a black Sharpie marker
  • Rit liquid dye
  • white vinegar for satin pointe shoes
  • newspaper
  • gloves, unless you want black hands
  • a sponge

First I took the Sharpie and colored all along the stitching and elaastic of the shoes because the dye doesn’t seem to take there.

I also used the marker on the soles of the shoes because Jodie thought it would look cool.

Definitely cool!

Next, stuff the shoes with newspaper or plastic bags. This helps to protect the inside of the shoes as well as makes it easier for you to dye the shoes.

Pour about half the bottle of Rit dye into a small bowl and add ½ cup of white vinegar to it. Stir to mix. Then dip your sponge into the dye. Squeeze off the excess. Start dabbing dye onto the shoe.

Yes, I wore white shorts while working with black dye. I’m pretty bad ass that way.

It’s important to wring out as much liquid from your sponge because excess liquid might cause the satin to shrink as it dries and possibly warp your shoe. Allow the shoes to dry completely after the first coat and repeat until the desired color is reached. Remember that you can always go darker, but it is impossible to remove color once it has been applied.

It is this moment that Bill walks by to admire my handiwork and tells that I used his favorite sponge. Um, sure honey.

Once you have achieved the desired color, allow the shoes to dry overnight. The next day touch up with the Sharpie, if necessary.

And now Jodie’s pointe shoes are black, sexy, bad ass and ready to dance on stage for recital.


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