The Digital Camo dye job has been a long time coming for me. It has been done before by patient people with steady hands. I wanted to do my own take on it, and it took me a long time to do it exactly how I wanted to. To begin, I created a design on the computer in the shapes of various digital camo pieces. I make a bunch of them in all shapes and sizes. I made sure to make some smaller, and narrow ones for my sidewalls, too. From there, I went to a print shop and got them cut out of high performance sheet vinyl. I don’t know exactly what kind it is. I’m sorry!! BUT, I do know that it’s usually used for car decals, if that helps. Make sure to test your stuff before spending a bunch, the stickers can get expensive. I had a pattern idea basically in my head. I wanted to model it off of the colors from some Washington Capitals jerseys I had made last season. This is the season for the CAPS, by the way…
I started by dyeing the head a very light red. As soon as I thought it didn’t look pink anymore, I pulled it out. I used Scarlet red for my base, as well as my second color. You’ll notice that I did it end to end, instead of all at once. I was in between moving, and lacked all my usual equipment. If you have a container that fits the whole head, I recommend using it.
When I pulled it out the first time, I put down a bunch of stickers, spreading them out all over the head. I handled each sticker with tweezers, making sure not to touch them. It will make them less sticky. I then pressed each down firmly, making sure all corners were as firm as I could get them.
I put the head into another hot pot of fresh red dye. Water doesn’t have to be AHAP (as hot as possible… I made it up) for two reasons. One, we’re really looking for a specific shade of red here. The hotter the water, the quicker it dyes, and the shorter window you’ll have to take it out at the right time. Secondly, the stickers will start to loosen up in extreme heat, so if you DO have it AHAP, you’ll get some soft edges, peeling stickers, etc. When you have a nice medium-red, like a true scarlet, pull her on out. Want to make sure not to make it too dark, or it will look too much like the final red, and make the light red stand out too much. I think I did this a little bit, which is why I’m warning you not to. OR, you can just use different colors that stand apart. A good combo would be white, grey, and a darker shade of blue. Red is a really difficult color to make look differently, especially in pictures.
Anyway, moving along. Now we have stickers on the head, covering light red. First, I moved some of the existing stickers around, very carefully. I also removed some altogether while leaving some right where they were. Then, I replaced them with differently shaped stickers, making the pattern break up between the shades of red. I tried to keep it as random as possible, filling in blanks and covering parts of the lighter shapes, but not all. I really added a bunch of stickers this time, because I didn’t want the final dark red to dominate the head.
Dipped it a final time in Scarlet Red, with a little bit of Wine (RIT) poured in. That’s how we kick it up a notch around here. Food Network? Anyone?? Anyway, try to pull it out without making it TOO dark. You want it to stand apart from middle red, but not so much that it makes light red stand out terribly. This is a camouflage, remember? When you have a color you’re happy with, pull it totally out and rinse it off. The annoying part is next.
If you thought applying a ton of stickers sucked, you now get to peel them all off. Most of mine left behind a sticky residue. Normally Goo Gone would take care of it pretty quickly, but this stuff was relentless. You might even be able to see some of it leftover on the close ups. When you have it fully peeled and shiny, you’re halfway there. It’s time to string it up. I don’t give you the tutorial in this episode, but make sure to catch the next one for some brand new stuff.
In the gallery below all the pictures should be in order chronologically, so you can look at them in order as you read. I had it strung with a triple-turtle. It had worked on a previous head, but time it was just too stretchy and inconsistent. To finish it off, I decided I needed to match the raw power of the dye with an equally fresh and ridiculous pocket. Tune in next week to see an original, never-been-done-before custom traditional that I named the Highwire Pocket. Gave you a little sneak peek of the tutorial below.
Also, make sure to check out the dye contest! Win those revolvers I dyed a while back, they need a good home! The best part is, if you suck at dyeing you can still win a sick head.
Until next time,
PS: Hi r/lacrosse!