Bleaching tees has been around for a while in the craft DIY world. It’s a fun and easy way to upcycle old clothes, and an alternative to tie-dye.
When combined with a little HTV or some stencils this DIY craft is taken up a notch or seven…
AND I LOVE IT!
Bleached Tees = FUNKY tees!
The first time I bleached a t-shirt was a few years ago when I was heavily into tie-dye. I was able to take a kids’ black t-shirt and create a very cool spiral pattern. Bleach on a black t-shirt results in orange and the contrast looks great!
Since this first attempt, the closest I’ve gotten to another bleach project has been Pinning them on Pinterest!
It was time to stop pinning and start doing!
My craft toolkit has expanded over the years. With my trusty Silhouette Curio and Heat Transfer Vinyl, I am able to take the bleached shirt and make it better!
We aren’t talking about simply throwing down some bleach and leaving it at that anymore. Now it’s HTV quotes, print transfers, stencils, and fabric paint.
Let’s take a look at some bleachy goodness!
The following four examples are my own creations…
This red/black check flannel has been a favourite of mine for a while and seemed an obvious choice for a makeover. Using the lid from the bleach bottle to ‘splash’ the liquid, I was able to create a concentrated space on the back of the shirt. When the desired colour was achieved, I rinsed the bleach out before washing and drying as normal.
The ‘Adventure Awaits’ design was purchased from https://www.creativefabrica.com/product/outdoors-super-bundle-designs/ref/311271/ , then cut from black HTV using the Curio before heat pressing on after the shirt was dry.
Made for a friend who loves her some leopard print, this shirt has become my favourite so far! For this one the bleach was applied using a spray bottle.
The skull image was purchased from an Etsy seller and printed using an inkjet printer onto Jet Opaque Transfer Sheets for Dark Fabric. Then cut using the Curio’s print’n’cut feature. The text was then cut from black HTV and both heat pressed onto the shirt once it had been washed and dried.
Another one using the spray bottle to apply the bleach as I really like the sprinkled effect outside the main section, however instead of heat pressing a design I wanted to use a stencil.
I’ve had a roll of freezer paper sitting here for a while as I’d read it’s great for stencilling. As it has a wax coating on one side, you can adhere it to the fabric using an iron and it will stay in place securely while you apply the paint. Then it simply pulls off when you’re done!
The design was painted using acrylic craft paints and a sponge.
This blue check flannel is my son’s and he requested a dinosaur. Of course I couldn’t say no! This one bleaches up really well and as you can see from the photo, it’s basically bleached the entire back panel. On the front I sprayed it lightly to get a very nice sprinkled effect.
Once the shirt was washed and dried, I purchased a dinosaur file bundle from Creative Fabrica. Then it was simply a case of cut and press to complete the shirt. You can check out the dinosaur files that I used HERE
Even more bleachy goodness…
Now you’ve seen a few of my efforts, let’s take a look at some more bleachey inspiration from other creatives…
Bleached tees are now very popular in the sublimation craft world as it allows designs to be printed onto darker coloured tees! No doubt there’ll be even more variations of this t-shirt design process as people experiment more.
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