Upcycling with Cupar’s charity shops …

We highlight all of the town’s charity, second hand and recycling outlets – and this Blog looks at two of them: the British Red Cross on Bonnygate and the Salvation Army shop on Crossgate. Another young member of CuparNow’s team – Fiona Baldwin – took time out to find some bargains when the shops re-opened this summer, all with an eye on some creative upcycling. This is her blog …

Hello everyone! I had an idea about tie dyeing clothing from my local charity shops. I asked my dad if we could go into Cupar to see what we could find. We had to wear masks because of Covid-19 … I got mine from The Wee Pin Cushion on Bonnygate.

The first shop we went to was The British Red Cross – also on Bonnygate. I found this really lovely, summery lace top for under 3.00. We then walked to the Salvation Army shop on Crossgate. We had a good look through their racks of clothing and I got some plain white trousers and a basic school shirt – for under 10. When we got home, I took some photos of the things I’d bought so I’d be able to show a ‘before and after’ of my lockdown project.

I soaked all three in warm water. I forgot to mention where I got the dye! I bought three colours from R Dott Thomson, Cupar Hardware, on Bonnygate. They were really helpful in advising me on what to get.

Back to the soaking …

I added some table salt because the dye I got needed to have dissolved salt in it. It helps to bond the colours to the material. Once all was soaked, I wanted to get each item of clothing to be dyed with a specific pattern. I’d already seen some tips on TikTok and checked a couple of YouTube videos too. All you need is some rubber bands.

I did a Scrunch for the lace top, a Spiral for the trousers and then a random/mix for the shirt.

I took them outside to dye. It gets messy, so make sure you are wearing old clothing and rubber gloves because the colour will stain your hands. I also got an old decorating sheet and laid it out on the lawn to avoid making too much mess!

You can buy tie dyeing bottles, but this is all about upcycling – so I made use of old Lucozade bottles that I’d kept. They are a decent size. The dye comes out quickly, so you need to be careful. I’d picked 3 colours: purple, blue and yellow – and used a combination of different colours on each item. All you need to do is apply the dye onto the item of clothing, flip it and then do the other side … but how you do this helps to make the pattern, so you can try different ideas. Where you want the material to be coloured, make sure to drench it!

You then put all the clothes into a plastic bag and let them sit for 24 hours – either outside (if the weather is dry) or inside where they won’t leak!

Once they’ve sat for 24 hours, you cut off the rubber bands and pop them in the washing machine for a small wash with warm water but NO SOAP! Then you hang them up to dry.

Finally … you get to wear some DIY tie dye clothing! Three items ‘as new’ but with my own style and all for under 15.00.


Thanks for reading!