Subscribe to Make Magazine Today!

If you want an extension cord, power cord, or other plastic-insulated cable in an unusual color, and you can find one in white, there’s a good chance you can dye it to suit your preference using this technique.

Turns out many cables are sheathed with PVC, and will take the same oil-based stains as PVC pipe. If you want a purple cord, for instance, you can treat a white PVC cord with purple primer. If you want some other color, it is easy to prepare your own custom stains from clear PVC cleaner and concentrated solvent dyes.

Sean Michael Ragan

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c’t – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.


  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matthew-Miller/1178810793 Matthew Miller

    I never before considered the prospect of tie-dye cables but now I’m tempted to give it a try.

  • http://profiles.google.com/muzick William Parrott

    Both links in the article are broken for me. They still working?

    • http://smragan.com Sean Michael Ragan

       I just now clicked through to make sure, and they work fine for me.  Are you still having problems?  Thanks for taking the time to let us know.

      • http://profiles.google.com/muzick William Parrott

         They work for me now. Don’t know what it was before. I tried in two browsers on different computers.

        Weird.

        Thanks.

      • http://profiles.google.com/muzick William Parrott

         They work for me now. Don’t know what it was before. I tried in two browsers on different computers.

        Weird.

        Thanks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1400444654 Elizabeth Marzili

    I love my new Tie Dye Cable! Thank you for posting this!