DIY Craft - Dip-Dyed Ombre Leash
We simply swooned over this DIY dip-dyed leash, so we asked the very cool Capree Kimball, blogger/crafter extraordinaire of dog-milk.com and curbly.com fame, to show us how it’s done. Turns out it’s not as tricky as it looks—a length of rope, some fabric dye and you’ll be the envy of the dog park! Take it away, Capree...
Colourful rope dog leads have been all the rage in the pet accessories world lately—and I am obsessed! But with prices ranging anywhere from $70 to over $150, they’re a little outside most people’s “dog stuff” budgets. If you’d still like to get your paws on a stylish leash for your pooch (in whatever colour your heart desires) without breaking the bank, give this easy DIY rope leash project a whirl!
Many rope leads use traditional nautical splicing and whipping techniques, but today we’re going to employ a bit of a shortcut! (If you want to learn how to splice rope, there are tons of video tutorials on YouTube.) So, are you ready to make your own rope dog leash? Awesome. Pawesome. Here’s what you’ll need!
- 2 - 2 1/4 yards of ⅜ thick cotton rope
- Fabric dye
- 2 Rope clamps
- 1 Snap hook
- Rubber mallet
- Large cooking pot
STEP 1 Determine about how long you want your leash to be (anywhere from 4 - 6 feet is pretty standard) and cut it accordingly. Be sure to tape or tie off the ends so your rope doesn’t unravel.
STEP 2 Soak your rope in some warm water. Meanwhile, prepare your dye according to the instructions on the bottle. You won’t need very much! A bottle of RIT Liquid Dye will go a long, long way.
STEP 3 Now for the fun part! For an ombré/gradient/dip-dyed effect, quickly dip and remove your rope from the dye. Then re-dip at different heights/levels, until you’re happy with the gradation. Want your rope all one colour? Submerge the whole rope in the dye, stirring constantly until the desired colour is reached.
STEP 4 Remove your rope and hang it up (outside or in the garage), dark end at the top, to allow the dye to creep down the rope. You can help it along by squeezing the excess dye/water down the length of the rope.
STEP 5 Once you’re happy with the way the gradient is looking, rinse the rope in cold water until the water runs clear or use some RIT Dye Fixative before you rinse out the rope if you want to super-seal the colour.
STEP 6 Allow the rope to dry thoroughly. This may take up to 24 hours.
STEP 7 Now that your rope is dry, it’s time to attach the clamps and snap hook. Decide which end you want to place the hook. Feed the end of the rope through the ring then fold the rope over, creating a small loop.
STEP 8 Place the clamp on a flat surface with the prongs facing up. Lay the base of the rope loop inside the clamp, between the prongs. With a hammer or rubber mallet, hammer all four prongs securely over the rope.
STEP 9 On the other end, fold the rope over to create a 6 - 7" loop (bigger or smaller depending on how big your hands are and what feels comfortable to you). Then repeat step 8.
Now, after you’ve attached the rope clamps, you could call it a day—you have a perfectly functional leash at this point. (Heck, you could skip the dyeing altogether and just attach the clamps and snap hook and—BAM—you’d have a leash.) If you really want to take this project into über-stylish territory though, you’ll want to add some finishing touches and cover those ugly clamps up!
There are multiple ways to cover the clamps: you could wrap them in twine/yarn/string/ leather cording/etc. I chose to use some scrap leather and create a sleeve with some colourful stitching. If you'd like to do the same, get the how-to for the leather finishing here. Then sit back and await the compliments!