This is an 'ible for all those old t-shirts that you may have that have holes in the seams and bleach spots or what-not. This is only an idea for what YOU could do with a bit of bleach and your clothes. So take care and have fun :D
This is really fun and easy. It didn't cost me anything at all, and it doesn't take much effort either. However, safety and patience is a must!
Step 1: You Will Need:
For this project, you will need the following:
- An old t-shirt.
Preferably a plain one, with no stencil. I had a shirt in mind that I HATED which I planned to use, but I couldn't find it on the day D: So I had to make do with this one. It was a bit too small for me and had a few small holes in the arm seams. In addition, it was fading at the back.
-Rubber bands (optional)
This is for the 'tie-dye' effect, and aren't necessary if you don't want stripes
As in rubber gloves. I just used disposable, thin rubber gloves but the thicker, heavy duty ones are recommended, just to be safe (although I suffered from no side effects.)
I used really basic all-purpose bleach. It had a lemon scent :D
Just a bucket. Should be able to hold a couple of litres.
Step 2: From Shirt to Tank Top
So you have your shirt. As I said, my shirt was really old and fading and holey, so I felt the need to hack it up.
To do the same, cut off the sleeves before the seam and the collar too. As this shirt was also a little short on me, I went ahead and unpicked the hem.
Step 3: Optional 'Tie-dye/bleach' Effect
I wanted a striped, tie-dye effect down the top so I rolled up the top and tied rubber bands as shown.
This step is totally optional of course, but it's what makes it fun! Remember, because we're using bleach, where the rubber band is there will be colour.
*Note about Tie Dye*
What really irks me is that there are a few people out there using the term 'tie dye' incorrectly. Tie dye does not have to be rainbow coloured and swirly. Tie dye is when fabric/cloth is tied tightly in certain areas to stop the dye from reaching it. This is what creates patterns. What I did is the reverse of that, as I used bleach.
Step 4: Soak It
Now for the fun part! First of all, put on your gloves (both hands). Before you do anything with the bleach, read through the cautions and warnings. If you're really worried, wear eye protection and make sure you do this all outside, or in a well ventilated area. Keep away from small children!
In a bucket, mix together bleach and water. I had no idea how much to put in of each, so I started off really cautious, with around 2L of water and 0.02L of bleach. BAD IDEA. That takes FOREVER to set in. I kept adding more and more bleach as it was taking forever to have an effect. I asked my friend, who does this more than I do, and she says that she goes in a 1:1 ratio.
You could try that, but definitely use gloves!
Once your solution has been mixed, fully submerge your clothes. For me though, in addition to the tie bleach, I wanted to create an ombre (a gradient of colour). To keep the bottom half of my top from being bleached, I pegged it to the lip of the bucket. :D
In total, it took about 3 hours for the bleach to take effect. Next time, I'd use less water and a little more bleach for a greater effect.
Step 5: Wash, Dry and Wear
The final step is to wash whatever it is that you were bleaching. Remove from the bleach and wash thoroughly in cold water. I rinsed it three times after removing the rubber bands. It's important to wash it to remove as much of the bleach as possible to stop the bleaching process. Leaving bleach will deteriorate your clothing.
I've heard people say that you can use commercial bleach stoppers or hydrogen peroxide. I don't have commercial bleach stoppers nor hydrogen peroxide, so I hope that my clothing doesn't totally disintegrate! *fingers crossed* If you do have those, soak your project in some of that for 15 - 20mins. Then wash again.
After rinsing/washing, let your clothes drip dry and then try them on! Be amazed at your artistic skills and revel in your awesome clothing!
Thanks for reading. This was my very first time using bleach, ever, so any tips and suggestions would be great. This is totally open to criticism too! Cheers!