How to Dye a Deer Hide

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Deer hide can be dyed with clothing dye and fashioned into clothing, blankets or other crafts.
Deer hide can be dyed with clothing dye and fashioned into clothing, blankets or other crafts. (Image: deer image by david purday from Fotolia.com)

Deer hides have been used as clothing and in crafts for thousands of years. The hides are warm and are a readily available material for those who hunt deer. This practice makes use of parts of the deer that may otherwise be discarded. If you want to make something from deer hides, you can dye the deer hides to vary the color. You will need a prepared, tanned deer hide. You can tan the deer hide yourself if you have one, but this is a long and laborious process. As an alternative, you can purchase craft deer hides.

Things You'll Need

  • Craft deer hides
  • Clothing dye
  • Plastic tub
  • Boat oar or metal pipe

Soak the craft deer hides in warm water in your sink or bathtub.

Fill the plastic tub with hot water. A plastic storage container works well, but you can also use a metal washbasin if you have one.

Add clothing dye and mix according to the package directions. You may need several boxes of dye depending on the size of the deer hide and container.

Add the wet deer hides to the dye solution and push them down to make sure they are completely covered with dye.

Agitate the deer hides by stirring them with a long sturdy stick. An old boat oar or piece of metal pole works well for this.

Leave the deer hides in the dye and agitate them constantly for about 45 minutes or until you're happy with the color of your deer hides.

Wring out all the water from the deer hides with your hands.

Soak the deer hides in cold water for about 30 minutes to set the dye in the hides.

Hand-wring the excess water from the deer hides and hang them up until they're completely dry.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you have an old wringer washing machine, this will work very well for dyeing deer hides.
  • Never dry deer hides in the clothes dryer.

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