Monday, April 15, 2013

Find & Keep Project #1: DIY Bleached Tee

A couple weeks ago I started reading Beci Orpin's book Find & Keep and, while I've finished the main text of the book (I couldn't put it down!), I have only just started the 26 projects in the book.

For the first project, "Fun with Dyes & Bleach", I decided to use the bleach method to customize a T-shirt for myself, and one for a friend celebrating her 40th birthday. This is a relatively easy project, and only requires a few materials:

  • Plain, dark T-shirt, washed and dried
  • Newspaper or scrap paper
  • Piece of thick cardboard
  • Bleach and a bowl to pour it in
  • Rubber gloves
  • Objects to apply bleach

  • In her book, Beci uses a small paint brush to dot the bleach onto her tee. I decided it might be fun to use some small plastic lids to apply the bleach. I've been saving the lids, which cannot be recycled, so that someday, when I have enough of them, I can use them to make a funky chandelier. So after covering my work table with several large sheets of newsprint, I picked out various sizes of lids. I inserted the piece of cardboard inside the shirt, so that the bleach would not bleed through to the back side of the shirt. Then I put a tiny bit of bleach in a small bowl.

    Next, I started dipping the lids in the bleach and stamped the shirt in a random pattern. I was worried at first that nothing was happening, but slowly the color started to come out. Occasionally I would pull up the shirt and look up through the top from the inside. I could tell by how translucent the rings looked from the inside that it was working.

    Beci says in the book to leave the bleach on only about 20 minutes. It took about an hour for my shirts to really bleach as much as I wanted. I would suggest keeping an eye on your shirt while the bleach is working. Using too much of the bleach, or leaving it on too long, could cause the fibers to disintegrate.

    Let your shirt completely dry. You can then turn the shirt over if you want to do the same thing to the back. Once you're happy with your shirt and it has dried, you can wash and dry it as usual, though I washed mine separately for the first wash, just so no bleach would harm any other clothes.

    Please note that not all fabrics dye the same way, so you might want to test a small drop of bleach on a test spot of your shirt to see how it works.


    cat and vee xoxo said...

    wow, they are so cute Amy, they've come up so well! I am so happy you have that book too, my brother gave it to me for Christmas (after he drew me in our family Secret Santa and I asked him to please buy it for me ;-D). It's awesome isn't it. x

    penny candy handmade said...

    YES! And it's designed so well. I just love all of the photos of things she has collected. I'd like to learn how she stores it all.

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