While it’s true that keycap colorways abound these days, one can’t always find exactly what one is looking for. And once found, the set is often either prohibitively expensive, or it doesn’t come in the desired layout, or both. So, why not color your own keycaps?
That’s exactly what [amphiboi] did, while standing on the shoulders of [CrowningKnight]’s imgur post on the subject. Essentially, you use Rit dye and PBT keycaps for best results. Rit has a comprehensive guide to mixing their dyes to achieve pretty much whatever colors you want. Once that’s all squared away, it’s time to gather your cooking supplies.
Starting with a pot you don’t care about and four cups of boiling water. Add about a teaspoon of dish soap, which helps the dye settle evenly across the keycaps. Then you just add the dye(s) and stir with an expendable spoon, then add your keycaps. 5-10 minutes later, depending on your desired outcome, the ‘caps are ready to be rinsed, dried, and pushed on to your switches.
Satisfied with the color of your keycaps, but wish they had cool legends? Check out this waterslide decal tutorial.
11 thoughts on “Easter’s Over, But You Can Still Dye Keycaps”
I like this idea. I wonder how deep the dyes penetrate, and how well the color of the keys stands up to wear.
The dye penetrates deeply enough that dying rifle magazines show none of the original color after handling or typical scratches from dropping to the ground.
It’s not just at the surface – it’s in there
Talk about a choking hazard. All I could think about was eating cheese.
I had cheesy thoughts of the Title Photo as well!
Rit works great as an anodizing dye too.
Most manuals i saw online were using bit of ACETONE in the water to improve penetration. I wonder how much can the results vary with and without it.
Those “orange” keys look like cheese cubes! I think it might make me hungry to have them on my keyboard!
Seems like this would be the same process as dying a 3d print wouldn’t it? Dipping plastic in Rit.. But most of what I have seen about that had much more involved schemes heating and cooling the liquid, adding acetone, etc…
Seems like it, but throwing a print in boiling water could be risky, especially with PLA. I know it’s under melting temperature, but still.
it’s a good trick for extracting heat set inserts from parts too, by the way: heat your buildplate up to a 100, toss a printed with heat sets on, wait a few minutes, carefully take it out, insert a screw and pull those suckers right out.
Also works well for forming bits to odd shapes. I’ve used it several times (over sleeves) to make stuff conform to my arms.
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