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I’m not surprised about the popularity of Sean Michael Ragan’s PVC dyeing technique write-up on Make: Projects. So many projects we feature use this boring white pipe because of its low price, widespread availability, and versatility. Since PVC doesn’t take paint very well, this PVC dyeing technique is perfect for adding those crucial finishing touches to a project to make it more polished.

This technique can also be used with many plain white extension cords. Of course, you can purchase colored extension cords, but with Sean’s technique, you can get that perfect shade of blue you’re looking for. And our amazing readers have taken it even a step further. Take for example, Elizabeth, who has used Sean’s technique to create these tie-dye style and star-spangled extension cords.

Even if you’re not picky about the color of your extension cords, you could use this technique to identify different plugs after the inevitable ball of electrical cord spaghetti is formed underneath your computer desk or TV console. If you’ve got a great way to use this technique, leave a comment!

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Matt Richardson

Matt Richardson

Matt Richardson is a Brooklyn-based creative technologist, Contributing Editor at MAKE, and Resident Research Fellow at New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP). He’s the co-author of Getting Started with Raspberry Pi and the author of Getting Started with BeagleBone.


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Comments

  1. Timothy Gray says:

    I have never been able to do that effectively, every time I tried that technique the dye comes off every time you touch it.  Yes even cords I dyed 4 years ago,  if you handle it on a humid day, you get that color in your hand.

  2. I’m wondering if, for an item like the power cord shown in the video, you could fill a large, shallow tray (like the cooking tray he used as a work mat) and just soak the cord in the dye to colour it.  I guess you’d need to protect the socket and plug ends to stop the liquid dye from touching the electrically conductive parts of the cord (maybe poster putty?), but it seems like it would be faster and result in more uniform colour.

    Now if only I had a reason to try this out…

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  4. Can you bleach a green cord to make it white? Or use the same technique to dye a green cord to black? Thoughts?