September 28, 2023


Make Some Fun

bleach dye a shirt

8 min read

how to bleach dye a shirt

Right here is how one can make a bleach dye a shirt. It is a good venture for anybody who’s on the lookout for one thing a little bit completely different than conventional tie-dye.  Quite than including coloration, we’re eradicating coloration. There are some things to know earlier than you begin this venture. 


Bleach is fairly robust, so ensure that to put on a masks and gloves.

Dilute the bleach in a sprig bottle, half water, half bleach will work properly. If you happen to use an excessive amount of bleach, it may well create holes within the material. Now if you’d like that type of look, cool, however maintain it thoughts that even after you wash out the bleach it can nonetheless weaken the fibers.

Work in a ventilated space.

Line your work space with plastic overlaying so that you don’t get bleach in your desk or different gadgets.

The Shirt!

Verify the label to verify it’s 100% cotton. I discovered 60% cotton works as effectively, however something lower than that it gained’t work. 

Wash your shirt, particularly whether it is model new or if it has material softener on it. You need it to be as pure as potential, simply good, delicate material!


Slide a bit of cardboard between the layers of your shirt. That is the the bleach gained’t soak via to the opposite facet. For this venture, we’re utilizing an in depth stencil and we wish the design to be good and crisp on the entrance. 

Set the shirt flat on the desk.

Apply some  Aleene’s Repositionable Tacky Spray to affix the stencil to the shirt. That is so the bleach gained’t go underneath the stencil. Easy the stencil down together with your fingers, ensure that all of the seams are sfle=ush with the floor of the shirt.


Apply the bleach:

Dilute the bleach with water, 50% ratio. 

Use a paint brush or pouncer to coat the bleach gel over the stencil. Let set for 20 minutes or till the colour lifts. Watch out with thinner materials! You probably have very skinny material, solely let the bleach set for a couple of minutes. You’ll know since you’ll see the colour carry. 



Shortly take the shirt to the sink and use a sprayer to rinse out the bleach. Give it a great soak. As soon as it appears to be like just like the bleach is rinsed out, wash it within the machine.

You possibly can cease right here and luxuriate in your shirt – or add new coloration!

Take away the shirt from the washer, insert a brand new piece of cardboard between the layers. The opposite cardboard in all probability has bleach on it!

OR fold it or tie it nonetheless you need.

Set it on a clear space of the plastic liner on a desk. Put together your dye! For this we used the Tulip One-Step Dye. Select your coloration, take away the lid, add water to the fill line on the bottle, and shake. till absolutely combined.

Ensure that to put on gloves!


Add a beneficiant quantity of dye.

Until you might be utilizing a sprig bottle of the dye, then spray over the bleached space. When it’s all finished the bleached space would be the coloration of the dye you utilize. Fairly cool, proper?

Wrap your shirt in plastic and let it set for six hours. That is how lengthy it takes the dye to activate.

Rinse out the dye within the sink till the water runs clear. 

Wash the shirt within the washer once more.

Hold dry.


And there you have it! Maya used orange dye, however you should use teal or one other contrasting coloration.


Listed here are some extra concepts I attempted.

High left: I added masking tape and spherical stickers  after which added the bleach from a sprig bottle.

High proper: This one got here out type of wonky. These have been sticky stencils however they didn’t stick very effectively after I added the bleach.

Backside left: I tied it with string to create the stripes, added bleach after which added dye.

Backside proper: This was a black shirt and I simply sort loosely added the bleach in random locations. Following the instructions above, I then added dye.


bleach dye shirts

Thanks for trying out my put up on how one can bleach dye a shirt!


Past the essential provides

Apart from gloves and desk coverings, your venture will look higher in the event you relaxation it on a raised baker’s rack as you add the colour. This prevents the dye from spreading the place you don’t need.

Tongs work nice for fastidiously choosing up your venture and turning it so you may coloration the bottom.

Damp vs. moist material

Do you know your venture may have a very completely different look relying on how moist your material is? In order for you sharp strains, maintain your material dry, nonetheless, if you’re working with heavy material, like cumbersome t-shirts, the dye possible gained’t journey via as deep as if the material is moist. You’ll find yourself with quite a lot of white areas.

I often begin with damp material and I maintain a sprig bottle of water available to maintain it moist as I add the colour. 

You don’t need it soaking moist as a result of then the dye will unfold an excessive amount of and bleed the place you don’t need it. It is going to additionally water down the colours.

That results in the most effective follow of…


Prewash your clothes earlier than tie-dyeing

This can take away the sizing and the stiffness of the shirt. If you happen to attempt to dye the shirt with out washing it first, the dye would possibly roll proper off! 

Wash on the essential cycle, then take away, shake out and dye. It’s the right quantity of dampness!

Rubberbands will do however zip ties are even higher!

Each tie-dye equipment will include rubber bands, these are nice for first-timers. However when you get rolling, you’ll need to improve to zip ties. You’ll get a lot cleaner strains and they’re simpler to connect and take away.


Put on gloves

Use plastic gloves, rinse them (whereas carrying) as you’re employed so stop cross coloration contamination. And have an additional pair prepared as again up! The dye will stain your pores and skin.


Since your material will possible be moist/damp, the dye will unfold. Hold this in thoughts as you add the colour. Go away a little bit little bit of spacing between every coloration. Not an excessive amount of, however simply sufficient, perhaps a centimeter or so (the area of the rubber band is ideal).

Tie-dye checklist #craftychica #tiedyeideas

Observe, follow, follow

Okay if you’re tie-dyeing for the primary time only for enjoyable, you may skip this half. However in the event you actually need to study the craft and the completely different methods, decide up a yard of 100% white cotton material. Reduce it into 12×12” swatches so you may play with folding and arranging coloration. 

That is additionally a good suggestion if you wish to dye one thing huge like sheets or a costume. 

Critically, when you follow, you’ll know what to do and what to not do to your huge venture!


Selecting material

Pure materials work greatest. Cotton, rayon, hemp, linen, silk, wool. At all times learn the tags, search for 90% cotton. I steer clear of 50/50 blends as a result of the colours don’t come out as vibrant.

Tie-dye won’t work on polyester, lycra, spandex, and many others. I realized this the exhausting approach in my early days!

My faves: Silk, rayon, light-weight cotton. They arrive out so crisp and vibrant! 

Check out my tie-dye shopping list here.

Fancy folding

Whether or not you’re making a swirl, an accordion fold or crumpling, do you greatest to make clear folds. This can stop massive blobs of coloration. The fantastic thing about tie-dye is the results from folding, so take time to verify your creases are sharp and even.

Know the colour wheel

Hold like colours collectively, so in the event that they bleed it can create a phenomenal new shade! Here’s a hyperlink to a information that will help you!

Crimson and yellow collectively make a vibrant orange.

Yellow and a contact of teal will make inexperienced.

Pink and purple will make a reasonably fuschia.

popcorn tie-dye technique

Cowl your garment because the dye units

It is because the warmth will assist the dye set sooner and stronger. It doesn’t should be tremendous tight, simply loosely place a canopy over the entire thing. It additionally prevents particles from contaminating your exhausting work!

tie-dye thread #craftychica #tiedyeideas

Rinse and wash

That is actually necessary. Put in your gloves and take your venture to the sink after it has set for a minimum of six hours. Earlier than eradicating the ties/bands, rinse with lukewarm or cool water – not sizzling. Means much less messy this fashion!

Then take away the ties/bands, open your garment and rinse till the water runs clear.

Run via the washer on chilly water, cling dry.

Wash individually from different clothes gadgets the primary couple washes, simply to verify it doesn’t bleed.


Clear up!

Wipe away any spots on the desk, and many others. The dye will reconstitute and unfold!

I hope these 10 tie-dye suggestions enable you to. Tie-dye is tremendous enjoyable and it doesn’t should be messy, it’s such an excellent summer time exercise for all ages and ability ranges. 

Extra tie-dye suggestions and concepts!

Begin with black and white cotton material, including coloration will make it extra attention-grabbing!

Don’t need rainbow? Use one coloration.

Go to thrift outlets or second-hand shops for cotton slips and blouses to dye.

Dye silk scarves, socks, desk cloths, curtains, sneakers or pillowcases for one thing completely different!

Strive pure gadgets for dye, like avocado pits, blueberries, tea or espresso grounds.

Take a look at my different tie-dye posts right here!

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