Friday, July 6, 2012

Tie Dying with Bleach

You can never have too much tie dye.
Or at least, that's what I keep saying to reassure myself that I don't have some sort of sick obsession or something...
But I FREAKIN LOVE to tie dye things :'D

Lately though I haven't been using plain dye though- I've been experimenting with using bleach because you can really get some cool effects with it. I'm still working on the right way to use bleach, but this is one of the latest shirts I have made:

I started off with a dark purple shirt and then doused it in bleach. Next time, I probably would not have used as much bleach so that I could have more of the darker purple in there, but ah well :]
Now, there are a million ways to tie dye and bleach tie dye, but this is how I do it...

Step one: Gather your materials. you will need:
-A bucket that you wont mind getting bleach in.
-A big ol' bottle of bleach, of course.
-Rubber bands.
-Rubber gloves, because the bleach will take the color from your hands, trust me haha.
-Aaaaand a dark colored shirt. I have found that black, navy, and dark purple shirts work the best, but I have tried with red and dark pink. But it's always good to experiment!

Step two: This is how I did the swirl design. If you already know how to do the swirl, then you can go ahead and skip the next few steps. But to start, make a pinch where you want the center of your swirl design to be.

Step three: grabbing the area where you made your pinch, swirl your shirt flat out the ground so that the whole shirt starts to spin around this center pinch. Does that even make any sense? I'm not sure, but it should start to look like the photo above haha.

Step four: continue this swirling motion until you have the entire shirt spun up into a condensed bunch like this. It's perfectly okay if the shirt isn't a perfectly circular swirl- the sleeves are going to make the shape a little wonky anyway...

 Step five: rubber band the heck out of your shirt. I'm serious. Wrap a good amount of rubber bands around the shirt so that it holds its shape. Make sure that they are tight! Otherwise you won't get as much of the dark purple, like how I messed up. Whoops.

Step six: throw your shirt into your bucket. Now, there are two ways to do the bleach. The way that I did it here is that I just poured bleach straight onto the shirt.when doing this, you don't need a whole lot. just pour some on and kind of mop up the excess that runs off so that the shirt is mostly wet. If you want less bleach, you can just pour a little in the bottom of the bucket and mop it up bit by bit with the shirt. I'm experimenting with the second way today, so I'll let you know how it turns out!

Step seven: promptly take your shirt out of the bucket of bleach and set it on some news paper or something. I made mine in my garage [where most of my craftiness happens anyway haha] where I already had newspaper taped to the floor. Now, only let your shirt sit with the bleach on it for about five minutes. The longer you leave the bleach on, the lighter the shirt will turn out. [and here you can see some of the other shirts I made!]

Step eight: remove the rubber bands and throw your shirt in the washer right away with some soap. This stops the bleaching process and keeps your shirt intact.
And there you have it! Tie dying with bleach! Not that difficult though, no? I would just be careful if you tried to do this with kids...

Oh! And here is how the red shirt turned out! with this one I just did a fan fold, then folded it in half. 
Good luck with your own shirts! I'm off to go finish mine :]

Ps: Linked up to Here and Here :]


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  2. This is great! Did this with a black t-shirt and it worked so well! Thanks

    1. Thanks! I'm so glad that yours turned out well!

  3. I'm going to try it with some old jeans, do you think it will still work? :)

    1. Totally! I think it would work just fine :] I'd love to see the results too!

  4. I was looking for inspiration for bleach tie dying a denim dress of my daughters to upcycle it a bit for going back to uni. Thanks for the idea's I had not seen the 'swirling' method before.

    1. Oh my goodness, a denim dress? That sounds like it would turn out just wonderfully!