Using dyes to make your discs personal

By Kevin Morrow — For Rattling Chains

I like personalizing my stuff, making it unique to my personality and sense — or lack thereof — of style.

When I bought my Harley Davidson, the first thing I did was take the tins off and do a custom paint design, which is still unique to anything I’ve yet to see. When I got back into disc golf, I jazzed up the old camera bag I used. I took some patches I had been given, sewer them on and even spray painted some graphics on the bag. My new backpack is heavily decorated with patches, tags and other things.

This design took about 24 to cut over the course of three days. It’s my all-time favorite because it’s my most detailed dye and it was a perfect dye — clean detail cuts and no bleeds.

I like to believe it’s a way to tell my story.

I’ve always wanted to do custom art on my discs. But the only way I knew to do it was drawing art with a Sharpie.

Then I found out you could dye custom graphics on Champion and Star plastics. I’d still like to find the first person to discover this process. I can imagine a disc golfer in a dark and damp basement and he accidentally spills some Rit dye on his favorite disc, making a cool pattern. Just like that, custom dyes are invented.

It boggles my mind to think someone actually may have had the thought of “I wonder if I apply cloth dye to a disc, will it work?”

The Hawk Hollow trophy disc is a favorite because it was my first attempt at a multi-color disc.

Dyeing discs has become a new fun obsession for me, but it took some time before I started on my journey. Luckily, there are plenty of tutorials, videos and other disc golfers that will always answer questions if you have some.

It’s really not a complicated concept. Cut the mask, apply it to the disc, warm up the dye a little and float the disc in the dye. Remove the mask, and, ta-da!, you have dyed a disc!

Simple, right?

It can be if you find out as much as you can before you start. Once you have a plan, you’ll need to figure out what supplies and stuff you’ll need. The interesting thing is there are several alternatives to materials, the process and dye effects.

Mr. Spray was one of my first dyes. I like this one because I learned how to do intricate cute.

It has been quite easy for me to get into this. I have been cutting masks and stencils with an X-Acto knife as long as I can remember. I’m familiar with a lot of the materials needed, so I was pretty comfortable with the concept. Even though I started out with a simple design that was easy to cut. But, in all honesty, with my first idea, my hand wasn’t cutting too well, so I trashed it and started over.

Dyeing a disc is a step-by-step process, so it’s an easy learning curve once you figure out how to do it.

If you’re curious what can be achieved, start by checking out the disc dye threads at Disc Golf Course Review. There are guys who are doing some amazing dyes that could be hung up on the wall as custom art work.

The only thing that will limit you is your imagination and willingness to put time into improving your skills.

Coming soon: The step-by-step way Kevin uses to dye discs.

Kevin Morrow is a disc golfer based in Virginia. You can see more from Kevin at his blog.


0 thoughts on “Using dyes to make your discs personal

  1. Nice article Kevin. Looking forward to the step-by-step write-up as I’ve been wanting to get into dyeing and should have time this winter.


  2. Pingback: A beginner’s guide to dyeing discs

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