DIY Dip Dye Shoes


It’s getting colder in Scotland, and the change in the weather is getting me down.  Not that I don’t love Autumn, but I’ve been stuck inside working all summer and would have appreciated enjoying some of the lovely sunshine.  To cheer myself up, I decided to spend a morning dip-dying a pair of shoes, so even if it’s dull outside my feet can look bright and happy.

There are a few great tutorials for this already on the internet.  My method was a combination of these tutorials: Frankie exclusive diy: dip-dyed shoes and iLovetoCreate’s Ombre Tie Dye Sneakers

What you need:


  • A pair of plain canvas shoes (Primark sells them for only £3!)
  • A packet of dye
  • Salt and warm water to make the dye mix
  • A cloth
  • A paintbrush
  • Vaseline



1.  Prep the shoes:  Remove the laces and set aside (if you have removable inserts take them out as well, my cheapo pair didn’t, so I’ll just have to live with the insides being pink as well).  Cover the soles and rubber bits with a tin layer of Vaseline to protect them from the dye.  Then throughly wet the shoes to help the dye spread.


2.  Mix the dye:  Mix the dye according to the instructions on the packet (dissolve in warm water and add salt), be sure to do this in as deep of a container as possible for dunking the shoes.


3.  Dip the shoes:  Dip the tips of the shoes into the dye and hold them in for a while depending on how dark you want the colour to be.  Take out of the dye and dip again, this time letting to dye spread further up the shoes.  Repeat as many times as you like until you’ve got as much colour as you want on the shoes.  I also dipped the heel into the dye to make it darker as well, leaving the shoes lighter in the middle.


4.  Add more colour:  To get a really bright colour on the darker areas, use a paint brush to add some more dye to the shoes.


5.  Blend the colour:  Using a damp cloth, gently pat the dye to blend the colour more evenly.  You can even dip the cloth into the dye to add more colour or spread the dye to areas the dipping missed.


6.  Allow to dry:  Once you’ve achieve the colour you want, leave the shoes to dry for 5-10 minutes.


7.  Rinse:  Rinse the shoes under running water until the water coming off the shoes is clear (hopefully this means that they won’t turn my feet pink).


8.  Leave to dry:  Remove the shoes from the water and leave to dry overnight and rub off the Vaseline.


These are bright and cheery, just what I need to lift my mood when the weather gets cold.  I forgot how fun using dye is.  Keep a look out for some more tie-dye projects as I can’t get enough of it!






Bedroom Makeover 2: Wall Art Picture Frames

wall art

If you follow me on Pinterest, you’ll probably have noticed that I’ve been a little bit obsessed with pretty walls full of picture frames lately.  I’ve been collecting cheap box frames and colourful postcards in order to make my own version, and thought I’d share the (kind of) finished result.



I filled the frames with pretty postcards I picked up at Paperchase (and used the Fitzgerald inspired frame I made a little while ago), found some picture hangers and a hammer, and got to work.  It was much harder to get the frames level than I had anticipated, but I don’t think it looks too bad.



I think this will remain a bit of a work in progress, and switching the pictures will be an easy way of updating my room.  In the meantime, I’m enjoying the colour and brightness that they bring to my walls.



Bedroom Makeover 1: DIY Cork Mousemat

DIY cork mousemat

Lately I’ve been trying to turn my bedroom into a place that I look forward to coming home to, rather than a place that I dump my stuff in while I’m not at work or uni.  I’ve recently received a new desktop (first blog post on this baby!), but the mouse is useless on my desk.  I thought making  a cute mousemat would be a good place to start with my bedroom makeover and luckily found a couple of cork pot stands on sale that were the perfect size (in case you haven’t noticed, I really like the look of cork – see my cork noticeboard and cork coasters)

What you need:

mousemat supplies

  • Cork base
  • A design (my mum kindly created a stencil for me using her fancy-smancy printer)
  • Acrylic paint and paintbrush
  • A piece of felt
  • Glue

Here’s how: 

1.  Paint the design onto the cork (I stuck the stencil on, used a brush to stipple on the paint and peeled the stencil off once the paint was almost dry).

step 1 cork

2.  Paint around the edges (use tape if you want a straight(ish) line – mine still isn’t perfect, but I tried).


3.  Cut the felt slightly smaller than the cork and glue onto the back.


4.  Leave to dry properly before using.

Ta-da!  This seems to be working well so far.  I was a bit worried the paint would need fixing with something, but I’ve been using it for a bit and nothing has come off on my mouse.  I’m turning the other cork mat into a present for a special someone, so I’ll probably be posting about that later.




Hummus and Spinach Melts


I’ve got a confession to make.  While I enjoy cooking, I’m not particularly great at making myself consistently healthy meals.  To change this, I’ve been searching for quick, easy (and somewhat healthy) recipes to try out and came across this recipe for Hummus Melts which turned out great.  To save time I didn’t make my own hummus, but the shop-bought seemed to work pretty well.



  • A wholegrain bagel (the original uses an English muffin, but surprisingly we don’t actually have those in the UK)
  • Several handfuls of spinach
  • 1 cove of garlic (crushed)
  • Olive oil
  • Grated cheese (the original uses mozzarella, but the cheddar I used seemed to work nicely)




It’s as simple as toasting a wholegrain bagel, sautéing some spinach in olive oil with a little garlic, topping with hummus and grated cheese and grilling in the oven until the cheese is melted and bubbly.



I even served it with some salad – aren’t I doing well?

The Little Things (June) …

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these posts, but there is a lot making me happy at the moment.  Here’s some of the little (and slightly bigger things) making me smile this month…

1 year old

amesstobemadex is officially one year old today!  I’ve had such fun sharing my little projects with everyone over the last year.  It may not be the biggest or most popular blog in the world, but being able to escape into the world of blogging has been a great form of stress relief.  I’ve definitely become more confident taking photographs and having a place to show off what I’ve been working on has encouraged me to try and find the time to be creative every now and then.  I’ve loved all the positive feedback I’ve received and it’s been great getting to know other bloggers.  So thanks for reading!

little things

Having time to relax and to start reading for pleasure again.


Making the most of being done with uni work and living near the sea.  Enjoying myself with friends, booze, sand, bonfires and some actually lovely weather.  Scotland isn’t so bad sometimes.

uni work

And here’s something not so little that I can’t help but share. All my hard work paid off because I’m graduating with a First Class Honours degree.  I was also awarded the Minto prize for English.  Take that 4th year!

Here’s hoping the rest of the summer is as lovely.

DIY Galaxy Print Shoes

galaxy shoes

I have been dying to have a go at tie-dying with sharpies ever since I stumbled across this awesome tutorial for galaxy print shoes.  It took a bit of effort to track down rubbing alcohol (which I discovered is called surgical spirit in the UK – and they sell it in Superdrug), but this was so much fun it was worth all the confused looks I received when searching for it in the shops.  I found a super cheap pair of white canvas trainers and got to work.

galaxy shoes supplies

Time for Tea has a great step-by-step tutorial that is really straight forward to follow.  It basically involves drawing on the canvas shoes with the sharpies and dripping over the surgical spirit (open a window – this stuff makes you dizzy!).  It didn’t seem to matter that I made some mistakes getting the technique right, as any ugly bits can be covered up with the next layer.


It is a good idea to start with the lighter colours and add the darker, brighter ones later.  It took about 6 layers to build up the colour, and you need to wait for the shoe to dry completely before adding subsequent layers.


Once dark enough, I added white spaces and stars with acrylic paint.  I used the end of the brush to create most of the big stars, and a toothpick for the really small ones.


I’m pretty much in love with these, but I haven’t worn them out yet as I’m afraid that the unpredictable Scottish weather will ruin them and I will end up with purple feet!




BBC Good Food’s Chorizo & Apple Sausage Rolls

sausage rolls

Not everything I bake is covered in frosting or sugar!  These sausage rolls (featured in BBC Good Food Magazine, June 2013) caught my eye.  I love most combinations of savoury ingredients and fruit (pineapple BELONGS on pizza – don’t argue with me) and these do not disappoint.  The chorizo gives them a spicy kick and goes nicely with the sweet apple.


Knob of butter

1 eating apple (peeled and diced)

6 chorizo-style cooking sausages (skins removed)

Handful of parsley (chopped)

375g pack of puff pastry

3 tbsp apple sauce

1 egg (beaten)

Poppy seeds (for sprinkling)



1.  Cook butter and apple until apple is soft and set aside to cool.

2. Put sausage meat, apple and parsley in a bowl and mash together.



3. Heat oven to 200c.

4.  Roll out pastry (mine was pre-rolled, I just cut it in half) into a large rectangle and cut in half so you have two, thin strips of pastry.

5.  Spoon the apple sauce down the middle of the  two strips.  Lay sausage meat on top.  Brush egg on the edges.


4.  Fold over the pastry to enclose the filling.  Seal by pressing with a fork.

5.  Cut into smaller rolls.  Brush with egg and sprinkle with the poppy seeds.  Cut several small slashes into each roll.


6.  Bake for 25-30 minutes.  Can be served both hot and cold.

These disappeared so quickly! They would make a great Father’s Day treat as well.

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