Introduction: Color Galaxy T-Shirt

About: I like making little treats and pretty much doing anything crafty. I want to learn new techniques and share how I do what I do. Edit - I took a break for awhile but I'm ready to get back into sharing my work …

Make a visually interesting T-shirt design using household bleach and a little creativity.

**Caution - Chemicals and Sharp Instruments used in this instructable**

Step 1: All the Goods

You will need:

Rubber gloves,

Protected workspace,

Safety glasses,

Household bleach,

Sprayer bottle (never to be used again for food or watering plants)

Adhesive vinyl stencil (About $5 for two sheets - at craft stores) ,

Exacto knife,

Sketch paper,



Spray fabric paint in multiple colors (optional),

Black fabric.

Step 2: Prepare the Design

When it comes to drawing out a design, think about designs on jack-o-lanterns. You will need to think of it as a shape but no lines. Keep the negative and positive spaces in mind. Speaking of which, you can do this design as either a negative or positive stencil. If you do the negative stencil it will black out one area and leave spray around it. I think that leaves a lot of room for adding color. If you use the outer part of the stencil for the negative stencil effect, you will end up with a smaller area to add color to.

Layout your vinyl square sheet and trace onto paper. This will help you from drawing your image bigger than the vinyl you have to work with or fitting multiple sketches on onto one sheet.

Draw out your design and erase inner lines so you have an idea of what your end result will be. When you're satisfied, cut out the paper and lay it onto your vinyl. Trace with a pen and then place on a cutting mat and CAREFULLY use your Exacto knife to cut out the design.

Peel off your vinyl and place on a pre-washed and dried black piece of fabric or shirt. Press on firmly.

If using a t-tshirt, place a piece of cardboard between the front and back layers and keep flat.

Step 3: Prepare the Bleach

Put on some old clothes first.

You will want to mix a 50/50 mix of bleach to water.

Put on your rubber gloves and safety goggles and over a sink, carefully pour bleach into a sprayer bottle until it is half full. Then fill up the rest with water. Rinse the sides of the bottle and anywhere bleach may have come into contact with.

Move your shirt and bleach outside to begin.

Step 4: Spray Away

Cover your work surface and keep your fabric flat.

Spritz your bleach mixture starting in the center and then spread as desired.

Right before your eyes you can see the black changing to an orangy color.

Don't go anywhere because the process is fast.

Once you see your design achieve it's desired bleachiness (3-5 min), you are ready to stop the bleaching process.

Take the fabric to a sink (with the cardboard still behind it if it's a t-shirt) and start to rinse in the sink. Keep rinsing and rinsing and with your gloves still on, wring it out. Remove your stencil and cardboard. You may wash and dry the shirt in the wash but try to keep it separate from other dark colors ( I skipped washing mine - just make sure it's rinsed really well).

You could stop here, or continue to make it fantastically colorful!

Step 5: Color (optional)

Next comes the fun part. After, your shirt is dry from the rinsing you can start adding color.

Put your shirt back over a cardboard sheet and follow directions on the fabric spray paint.

The paint works best on lighter colors. The end result I wound up with was subtle color but still looked cool.

The colors should be concentrated on the area that is bleached out. The black won't show color but also won't show mistakes with your paint!

Another option is to add white dots of the squeeze-out opaque fabric paint for "stars."

Allow to dry fully for 72 hours. Flip inside out and wash in cold water. Air dry or dry on a delicate setting.

Step 6: Flaunt

Wear your designed shirt with pride! If people ask where you got the shirt you can say "I made it!"

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