Sunday, July 8, 2012

Experimenting with Bleach

I've seen a few fun uses of bleach on t-shirts lately and just had to try them out for myself. The first technique I read about on MADE. When I saw it I immediately thought of this shirt.

tshirt before

Its one of K's shirts that I accidentally bleached after she had only worn it a couple times. She came home from daycare with a mystery stain on the shirt. When this happens I spray it with OxiClean and wash it whenever I get around to it. Well this time leaving the OxiClean on it for a couple days left bleach spots. I was bummed! So it's been sitting in her drawer for a few months because I've been mad at myself for having ruined an almost-new shirt.

tshirt front

I think I got a little heavy-handed with the spray bottle. I wish it had turned out a little more mottled. I like the results on the back better.

tshirt back

And shirring strikes again! Since I didn't think she would fit in this shirt when long-sleeve weather comes back, I decided to give the sleeves a trim. Rather than try to hem the sleeves, I stitched two lines of elastic thread to give the shirt a cute puffed sleeve.

tshirt sleeve

Bleach experiment #2 came from this post via craftgawker. Although I couldn't read it (it's in Danish), the photos were self-explanatory. I wanted to use something with simple lines and what's better for a 6 year old boy than Transformers?

I traced the design onto contact paper and cut it out with an exacto knife- definitely the most time-consuming part of the process. I peeled off the backing and stuck the contact paper to the shirt.

transformer tshirt 1

I put a cookie sheet inside the shirt to keep the bleach from reaching the back of the shirt. I'm glad that it's summer and I can do all this bleaching outside! This time I mixed the bleach with a little bit of water. Here's a photo after I sprayed the bleach- you can see the color just starting to change.

transformer tshirt 2

I sprayed it off with the hose after a few minutes and here it is drying on the bench. Shirts dry FAST in these 100 degree temps!

transformer tshirt 3

I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out! And so is the kid.

transformer tshirt 4


  1. Great idea! Especially for those pesky bleach spots. What a great fix.

  2. very cool! my guy would totally dig that transformers shirt, lol.


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