Hand-dying Makies: step-by step - By Makielabs

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Hand-dying Makies: step-by step - By Makielabs Empty Hand-dying Makies: step-by step - By Makielabs

Post by Purple_Monkfish on Fri Feb 06, 2015 7:03 pm

Hi folks! For those of you wanting to have a go at colouring your Makies, here's an outline of the process we used. We'll add some photos a bit later on.

Things to be aware of before you start

It’s best to assume that colouring your Makie using these methods will change his or her colour permanently.

Makie components are 3D printed in layers, so their surfaces aren't uniformly even. This is particularly true of facial contours. The end result after colouring will have some variations too, and it’s handy to have some basic art supplies at the ready to ‘finish’ your Makie once the colour is dry. Chalk pastels and coloured pencils are great for evening out small areas as well as adding details like eyebrows, eyelashes and freckles.

If you have handled your Makie often, there may be invisible marks or areas where the oils from your skin will prevent the colour from soaking in. The colour result may be lighter, or even white, in those areas. If you've played with your Makie a lot, it might be best to opt for a lighter shade.

If your Makie came with a glued-on wig, light or white patches may remain on the scalp unless you are able to remove every last bit of the glue. You can use rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol or surgical spirit to dissolve it. Avoid scraping it off, as this will seal the pores of the plastic and may cause white patches.

We’ve found that natural colouring agents like tea, coffee and onion skins (yes!) produce nice light shades, but they tend to be a little bit more uneven than the results we’ve had from industrial dyes. Industrial dyes such as Multi-Purpose Dylon are good for darker colours: if you want to use dye, make sure you use a type that can dye nylon – most commonly available hand dyes can’t.

Colouring with TEA

Ingredients and supplies

1 Makie FACE + BODY, disassembled (leave the elbow and knee joints intact)
6 bags of black tea, we used PG Tips and Yorkshire Gold (regular caffeinated tea bags)
per 1 litre of water
one stainless steel pan/kettle (1.5 litre fits one Makie; if using a bigger kettle, make sure to adapt the liquid to that size so the Makie will be covered)
a timer
a spatula or spoon
a sieve or similar to lift/drain the parts
a bowl of water (for rinsing Makie bits to check hue)
paper towels
a lint-free cloth
plastic gloves, to protect your hands and prevent transfer of oils from your skin that may cause uneven colouring of the Makie’s surface


1. Collect supplies and ingredients, and check that you have all your Makie’s parts at the ready

2. Boil water in the pan or kettle

3. Put tea bags into the boiling water (100° or bubbling)

4. Brew the tea for 3 minutes

5. Take the teabags out

6. Heat up the liquid again to near boiling

7. Put on your gloves!

8. Carefully lower the Makie bits into the liquid. Different bits soak up the colour differently, so it’s useful to dip them in small batches, checking the colour often, to get a good colour match throughout the body. You could try this 5-batch method: face / scalp+backplate / torso / arms+legs / hands+feet

9. Lower the temperature to a simmer, approx 80°: you want to avoid a rolling boil while the parts are soaking, as that tends to make foam which causes uneven colouring

10. Set your timer for 10 minutes, or if you want a really light hue, leave the bits in for a minute or less. Don’t worry about taking it out too early - you can put it back in as many times as you want.

11. Stir the parts in the liquid occasionally. Check for patches or uneven colouring: if you see any, remove the part and rub it gently under a running tap using a sponge until the colour evens out, then re-immerse.

12. When the timer goes off after 10 minutes, drain the parts through a sieve (make sure it’s not possible for smaller parts to disappear down the plughole!)

13. Rinse the parts in the pan or sieve until the water is clear. It’s important to remove any excess dye, otherwise the surfaces will dry unevenly. You can also wash the bits in the upper rack of a dishwasher - use the utensils basket to hold the small bits (make sure they can’t fall through the holes).

14. Place the parts on a paper towel and let them dry completely. You can help this along by gently patting them dry with a lint-free cloth. Try to avoid towels or kitchen paper that will leave paper/fabric dust on the surface, and don’t use a blow dryer or the colour could become patchy.

15. When all the parts are dry, assemble and admire your Makie’s new look!

For colouring with Multi-Purpose Dylon or other synthetic dyes, follow the package instructions to prepare the dye and then follow steps 7 - 15. With synthetic dyes, the colour soaks in faster so it’s worth checking it often. Some colours can become quite dark in 10 minutes.

It’s normal for the parts to leak colour while drying, so prepare your surfaces accordingly. Once dry, you can rub off any remaining coloured dust from the bits with a cloth.

Hope this is helpful, Makie-makers!

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Hand-dying Makies: step-by step - By Makielabs Empty Re: Hand-dying Makies: step-by step - By Makielabs

Post by Sioux on Tue Feb 10, 2015 10:36 am

I'll stick my recent dyed Makie link here as it's very recent (there's a category in troubleshooting too.. wasn't sure of the best place for it) http://www.littlemoo.me/#!Dying-a-white-Makie/cmbz/0843C331-76EF-46F7-B36D-714DFD72F2D0


Hand-dying Makies: step-by step - By Makielabs Favico12
I can't stop Making Faces!

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