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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

CRAFT: Bleach Art Tees (with Tulip Fabric Dye!)

I just came back from an eight-day cruise where we crafted, ate, and had as much fun as possible. I came home, unpacked and was excited to get crafty with some new t-shirts I bought for $8 each.

The technical term for this technique is called "discharge dyeing", it's where you use bleach to remove color from fabric, but I like to think of it as "bleach art."

I'm going to show you four ways that I used bleach to design some cool summer tees! Ready?

OK, supplies:

- cotton t-shirts - this is crucial. It has to be at least 60% cotton or the bleach and dye will not grip the fabric.
- bleach (a bleach pen is good too)
- spray bottle
- plastic table cover
- Tulip One-Step Dyes
- Tulip Sticky Fabric Stencils


Place stencils all over the front of the shirt. You can use all parts of the stencils!

Apply bleach over areas you want lifted. TIP: For a cleaner  edge, brush on lightly. I gobbed way too much on, which is why my design is blurry, but I still like it!

Let it sit for 20 minutes and then peel away stencils. Wash in cold water and a bit of laundry soap. Hang to dry.

Wash shirt and dry. Apply bleach in an extra Tulip Dye bottle and make stripes across the shirt. Let it sit for 20-30 minutes, wash in cold water with a bit of laundry soap in the machine, let dry.

Dampen shirt with water bottle and mix Tulip One Step Dye in teal and mix according the package directions. Apply to the top and bottom of the shirt. Let sit for about 6 hours and then wash and hang to dry.
Finished look!

This is one of my favorite techniques! Wash and dry your new black t-shirt. Cover the top portion with a bag or cardboard. Scrunch the bottom. Use a spray bottle with bleach and heavily saturate the black fabric, but don't move it. The color will life to a bronze/orange/grey.

Wash with a bit of laundry soap in your machine and set out flat. 

Mix the Tulip One-Step Dye in teal, lime green and purple. Apply to all the bleached areas, randomly. Let it sit for about 6 hours and then wash in your machine and hang to dry.

Here it is! Doesn't it look like patina?

Use blue painter's tape to make stripes. You can also add dots. Use bleach in a spray bottle and spray over entire shirt. Let sit for 30 minutes and then wash with a bit of laundry soap in the machine, hang dry.

I as going to add dye to this, but after I looked at it, I decided I liked it as is!!

Love, Maya
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  1. Hi Maya! One question for you. On the last t-shirt did you spray straight bleach on it or do you water the bleach down a little bit?

  2. Hi Charity! Straight bleach but you can also water it down if you don't want it so strong. BTW - we're sending your boxes out today!

  3. Thanks Maya! Hug your Daddy for me!

  4. I see the talent really runs in the family. LOL I love the t's. I think this calls for ripping through my closet and find some boring shirts to play with.

  5. Thanks for the ideas, I have a few shirts I thought I had ruined that I could do this to.

  6. Hi! Where did you get the v-neck tees?

    1. I love the ideas you have. I would also like to know where you bought the v-nck tees from.

  7. Do you take the tape off before laundering?

  8. what do the back of these shirts look like?

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  10. Nice idea about the bleaching the t-shirts and if it wants look more attractive means it should be good designed and good quality t-shirts.design a tshirt

  11. I like it! Would the third technique work on a dark coloured tshirt instead of black?

    I really like the last one, too; I think I can envisiage me doing that!

  12. Totally going to try this with peroxide!

  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. These look fantastic! I love what you've done with the addition of colored dyes to the bleach techniques - especially for the faux patina black shirt! One concern, though: won't the bleached areas develop holes sooner (in months, as opposed to years), if you don't neutralize the bleach before washing the shirts in the machine? http://www.ehow.com/about_6658259_bleach-neutralizers.html


Thanks for the comment, love!!