This project requires minimal tools, and it comes together fairly easily.
The robot stencil shown is now available for download
Enough talk, let's get started!
Step 1: Gather materials
- Sharp hobby knife
- Sheets of cardboard (flattened cardboard boxes work well)
- Spray bottle (got mine from the Dollar Store, though they charged $1.67, what a crock!)
- Bleach (again Dollar Dollar, but was more. Seriously guys, change your name)
- A fun shape (any object will work so long as its silhouette is easily recognizable)
- Plain t-shirts
Mix the bleach and water 50/50, you're going to need a bit so I'd recommend a minimum of 250ml (1 cup) of each. Now is a good time to wash your shirts to get the shrinking out of the way.
Step 2: Design
For this shirt I used a blue whale I found on the www.
Step 3: Cut it out!
A word of caution is not to make the shapes too detailed, as this method tends to let the bleach bleed a little and fine detail will not show up.
Step 4: More cutting
Step 5: Prep work
Place a sheet of cardboard inside the shirt to stop the bleach from stenciling the image on the other side.
Step 6: The fun part!
Wait until the fabric starts to turn the colour intensity that you desire, then quickly rinse the shirt thoroughly to stop the bleaching process and remove any excess.
Step 7: Finished!
Wash again to remove that awesome bleach smell, and you're ready to show off your new shirt to your friends down at the library, falconeering enthusiast club, or just wear it around the lab.
I decided to embelish these guys a little more. The one on the left is done with fabic paint applied with a brush, and the one on the right has fabic squares sewed to it with fabric paint directly applied to the squares.
Step 8: Some final thoughts
Remember to make sure your designs are not too intricate so your bleach spray doesn't bleed and ruin the crisp edges of your design.
Pros of this method: Fading effect, and some crisp edges where the spray meets the card.
Cons of this method: Potential for the bleach to bleed under the card, so be careful.
**update** - September 6, 2010
Uploaded the robot image, feel free to download the PDF and make your own!