How to Create Custom Shirts With Bleach





Introduction: How to Create Custom Shirts With Bleach

About: I like turning boring things into awesome things! Usually on video.

This bleach staining process has been around for a number of years but has remained relatively unknown. The potential complexity and variety of images that can be made is virtually unlimited. More examples of what can be achieved and alternative staining methods can be found here:

Things you'll need:

  • Bleach
  • Spray Bottle
  • Cardboard
  • Freezer Paper
  • Iron
  • X-acto Knife
  • Dark Cotton Shirts
  • Gloves
  • Eye Protection
  • Dust Mask or Respirator

Here are links to the first two designs used in the video:

If you can't buy freezer paper in your country you can make your own using this guide:

Be sure to let me know if you give this project a try!

3 People Made This Project!


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36 Discussions

Made some band shirts

16, 6:25 PM.jpg16, 6:25 PM.jpg

I'm planning on doing this on a denim jacket. Do you think it yield same results?


3 years ago

This is awesome! I'm totally going to try laser cutting a stencil!

Excellent design and execution. Thanks for sharing.

I love this, and can't wait to try. I am also thinking that I would want to cut out the design from the paper before ironing it on the shirt but I see it would make it more difficult to use layers. Thank you for sharing this project!

I had problems with either the bleach strength or the freezer paper. Couldn't get any fading on black shirts without applying enough solution to saturate the paper. Also the paper didn't stick to the shirt well at all. Can you tell me more about the products you used?

I absolutely love this idea! I'd love to try it soon! Thanks for the amazing Instructable!

This seems like a very simple process with a very impressive product, I'm gonna try this next time I get around to clothes shopping. I'll post pics when I do!

Couldn't you cut the stencil first then iron it onto the shirt? Then there would be no holes from the X-acto knife.

2 replies

Could you use the same design on two shirts? Or you have to use the stencil only once? Anyway, it looks ridiculously cool

2 replies

I was just wondering, in my experience with bleach and cloth the bleach invariably "rots" through the cloth after a period of time (sometimes just starting with a pin prick hole but always enlarging over time).

Is this not going to be a problem with this method?

1 reply

The shirt is weaker after bleaching, but a small enough amount is used and at a low concentration that it should last quite a long time.

Thankyou for a well described and laid out clip. I really felt like you wanted to share. I have been a member here for - well almost since inception and your instructable could very well be used as a template for other peeps to learn 'how to' make a clip for 'instructables' projects. You are extremely insightful on 'what' will make the 'process' to undertake the your 'instructable' do-able. Congratulations on a your 'instructable'. As well, what you shared with us while not in itself unique, the description was to the point, clear, and presented in a manner and tone that indicated your true intent - to share. And it has motivated me to GIAG (give-it-a-go) ;)

I'm glad you made it very clear you had sponsors. And simply because of your considered and respectful approach in disclosure over sponsorship I was 'engaged' and consequently interested in what you wanted to present.

If the admins are modding over comments still - and they prolly are watching (; - I hope they might even see this as a model for implementing over site.

1 reply

Hey thanks for the instructable! Loved the turn out. Any idea how to make different colors? All i'm getting is orange.