The sun is out and holidays are near! This week I thought I would show you how to dye your old t-shirts with bleach to get a new look for the summer without having to spend a penny. Although working with bleach may sound a little daunting, it’s actually really quick and easy. You’ll kick yourself for not trying it sooner!
a dark tshirt (it needs to be cotton)
some cardboard and newspaper
an old jar
and some bleach! You’ll find that in your bathroom, ready to take on the world 😉
Before you begin, make sure you wash and dry your old tee and cover the floor with newspaper or cardboard so you don’t ruin it. Insert a thick piece of cardboard inside the t-shirt so the bleach doesn’t go all the way through and dye the back too.
You might want to wear disposable gloves (or marigolds) to protect your hands too.
Fill a small jar with some bleach and get your paint brush ready to work with. The bleach will probably weaken the brush bristles, so it’s best to use a cheap brush that you can throw out if it gets wrecked. Bleach is a little hardcore!
As you can see, I’ve used a template stencil for my design as it’s quite specific. Check out our previous DIY on how to make your own. Can’t be bothered? No worries, this tutorial works great freehand too; I’ve made a polkadot version without one, but you could do absolutely anything. Chevron print? Lovely! Aztec design? No problem 😉 You could even try this project with different objects to see how the marks work out. The more creative you get the better!
Test a little piece of the material before you start to see how quickly the bleach gets to work and to see how it’s going to effect the fabric. Do this somewhere hidden as it’ll be there forever! Different fabrics will react differently to the bleach. Thinner ones will react faster than thicker, but it might also bleed (spread) more. It might effect your pattern if it’s intricate so be sure to test first.
When you’re ready, start applying the bleach onto the t-shirt.
It’ll only take a couple of minutes to start changing the colour of the fabric.
When you’re done, let it dry for a few minutes.
If you find it’s not bleached enough, go over it again. You can also flip your T-shirt over and do the back once it’s dried.
You need to work fairly quickly when working with bleach; if you leave it on for too long it could corrode the material (and wreck your tee). Try to finish it under 20 minutes.
When you’re done, chuck it into the washing machine and give it a good clean. Once it’s dried you’re good to go…
What do you think?
I have to admit I love my new t-shirt much more than before, plus I saved money for my holiday. What a winner! It’s pretty darn close to the one I would have bought too – check out my t-shirt inspiration here. Disney never looked more rock n roll!
We’d love to hear what designs you’d create when bleaching your clothes! Got any tips? Please share them below 🙂