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How to Make Painted Lace

Photo: Sloan Howard

by Cindy Losekamp

Lace is romantic, but painting it with multicolored dyes can make it sophisticated, fun, or wild, as well. Dyeing lace trim with a paintbrush opens a kaleidoscope of possibilities-color depth, precise application, and artistic blended effects-not possible with dip-dyeing. And it's an easy way to create a beautiful, unique detail for garments and accessories. 

You can paint lace of nearly any fiber using the proper dyes, but lace made from rayon-especially Venise lace-takes color much better than any other. Rayon Venise lace trims have a wonderfully fluid hand and come in many designs and widths. Their heavier, satin-stitched motifs also provide substantial surfaces for you to paint with colors. 

I use a kit of seven color dyes specially formulated for lace, and the colors can be mixed to expand the basic palette. Dye bonds to the fibers without changing the lace's hand or feel, unlike most paints. Other good fabric dye options include Rit and Jacquard's I-Dye and I-Dye Poly

Use beautiful dyed lace trim to embellish anything you wish-garments, purses, frames, shoes, pillows, curtains, or even a pair of sweet anklets. You can also cut the dyed lace apart to use as appliqué or to create unique jewelry.


• Permanent Lace Dye Kit (, Rit Dye,  or Jacquard I-Dye or I-Dye Poly (

• Rayon Venise lace trim in any width (,

• Bottle dropper caps or eyedropper (the tip of a toothpick or spoon also works)

• Fine-mist spray bottle

• Old towels or paper towels

• Small dish, divided plastic plate, or other sectioned container

• Sumi-e or other paintbrush (

• Waterproof dropcloth or large plastic bag

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Comments (7)

petricjoshua petricjoshua writes: Great tutorial
Posted: 3:45 am on January 30th

JonaWilloughby JonaWilloughby writes: Very creative ideas!!!!
Posted: 3:26 am on January 18th

LoritaGable LoritaGable writes: I reallly like yur ideas
Posted: 4:29 am on December 5th

WillowMchenry WillowMchenry writes: I really apprciated yur ideas!!!
Posted: 4:11 am on December 3rd

TheThreadLady TheThreadLady writes: Since I dye and paint all kinds of fabric all the time I was happy to see the advice to practice on a less costly piece of lace of the same fabric type first. I learned my dyeing and painting practices from an expert and that was one of her first tips---always practice on something inexpensive before you do the real stuff. It has saved me many, many heartaches over the years.

Posted: 2:42 am on August 29th

Buttonscreates Buttonscreates writes: I really like this idea as well. It looks like an ombre effect.
Posted: 5:46 pm on August 28th

buggalcrafts buggalcrafts writes: Love this idea! Great way to get exacatlly what you want! I have "dyed" my natural raffia with a permenant marker when I needed just a little. This would prob work a treat on raffia too!
Posted: 7:47 am on May 5th

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