Thursday, 17 October 2013

Bleached Beauty!

Hey folks!
One of the current trends I've been seeing all over (and really liking) is the DIY bleach-design T-shirt. I pinned a bunch of tutorials on Pinterest, and, after seeing a regular silkscreened tee with an image I really liked, I thought now was the time to give it a shot.

So the first thing I did was come up with a similar image to the one I'd seen to use as a stencil. Then I traced it onto freezer paper and cut it out. Then I ironed the stencil onto my shirt.


Then came the most exciting part. I stuffed the shirt with a plastic bag to keep the bleach from leaking through onto the back, and I lay down a bunch of newspaper to protect the floor. (I did do this in my laundry room, on the concrete floor.) I also put on a rubber glove to protect my hand. My bleach solution was 50/50 bleach and water.

After *one* spray. You can see the change already!

I didn't count the number of spritzes I used; I just gauged the color change as I went along.

After multiple sprays; maybe 5 or 6.

At this point, I pulled the stencil off. It came off fairly easily, which was good, because I had my rubber glove on and it was difficult to grasp the edges. But it did come off.

Spraying complete!

At this point, I put it in the sink in cold water, to rinse out the excess bleach. After this, I put it in the washer and dryer. I've seen other tutorials where the instructions indicate to just toss the item in with your regular laundry, but I was concerned about the possibility of any remaining bleach making its way into the rest of the load, so I just ran a small load of a few things that wouldn't be hurt if they got a little bleach on them.

The finished product!

I have to say, this turned out GREAT! I am so happy with the results! My only final thought is I'm debating whether or not to add long sleeves to the tee so I can wear it more up here in Northern Canada!

I'm going to make a bunch of Christmas gifts now that I know how easy and unique this craft is. I know other colours will turn out differently, but I also know that darker-coloured tees will give you a more dramatic result.

My takeaways:
  • The hardest part of this craft is designing and cutting out your stencil. Feel free to get as detailed as you want, just be careful that you iron the freezer paper on thoroughly, particularly around edges.
  • Go easy on the bleach. Do a couple of sprays and watch the reaction, rather than dousing the shirt to begin with. It's always easier to add more than take it away!
  • Use 50/50 water-bleach solution. Use rubber gloves. Protect your work surfaces and surrounding area. Ventilation is good.
  • I recommend rinsing the shirt right away, and laundering it as soon as you can to keep the bleach from sitting on the fabric. You want a cool design; you don't want holes in your shirt!
Good luck, and happy crafting!

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