Bleaching T-shirts. A Guide!
Hoi Goiz. Graham here to teach you all how to make bitchin’ DIY t-shirts for just a few yo-yos with bleach. Normally used by do Mhathair in the sink and David Beckham on his hair, bleach is handy for disinfecting and ruining your hair. Today though me and Jim Jam will be using it with some stencils to make custom t-shirt designs! We stole the idea from gomediazine.org who did a little tutorial on it a while back.
- T-shirts – €1 – €3 Pennies
- Scalpel – €4 Art & Hobby
- Acetate – €4 for 5 sheets Art & Hobby
- Spray Adhesive
- Spray Bottle
- Household Bleach
- Plastic bags
- Basin of water
- Your Design
- Improvised Weights
First step is to design the stencil. Simple is better. The bleach will soak into the t-shirt and will blur some edges a bit so stay away from high detail small designs. I went with a supergirl Super Graham design. Draw it out on an a4 sheet and outline it heavily so you know what your cutting. But don’t forget! If you doing anything like the letter B where you have space in the middle, you have to leave a slit of the acetate to make sure the stencil stays in one piece. Note the slits left on my design.
After your happy with your design, grab your acetate and scalpel and cut it out. If you have bigger than a4 design, sellotape two sheets of acetate toegther and you can have lolhuge designs. Now you got a stencil!
Now youz gotta prepare the area to comence bleaching. Do it outside preferably and away from any other clothes. Wear clothes you don’t mind gettin’ a dap of bleach on. It’s bound to happen to one of ye and now you can’t complain if you wreak your river island favs. You’ve been warned!
Place the T-shirt on the ground. Put your knees on the bottom and use weights at the top to keep the t-shirt pulled tight. Spray the back of the stencil with the Adhesive Spray and place it down where you want the design on the t-shirt. Press down on it to make sure all the edges are stuck to the t-shirt to avoid the bleach bluring more than it should. Also make sure the t-shirt isn’t damp, the bleach won’t work if it’s damp. And only use spray adhesive! We tried water and washing up liquid to stick the design down. Trust me, Epic fails.
Once you’ve got the design stuck down, get the plastic bags and use them to cover the areas of the t-shirt you ain’t bleachin’. Use more weights to keep ‘em in place. We used 3 litre country spring to keep ‘em down. Cheap, Heavy and comes in 3 flavours.
Now that you’ve got it all set up for bleaching, you gotta make the bleach mixture. Stick some plastic bags on your hands as improvised gloves then mix the bleach you have with water in a 50/50 mixture in the spray bottle. 50/50 is the best mixture we’ve found, it draws the line between getting the design to come up on the t-shirt and not ruining the t-shirt’s fabr
SPRAY! SPRAY! SPRAY! Give that t-shirt a good ole whack of bleach. Don’t drench it though or it’ll go through to the other side.
Now wait. Around 5 minutes should do it. James and I used the time to talk politics and used the other stencils with spray paint on some folder we found. It looked hella cool. More than one use for these stencils! We had capri suns to re-fuel too. Did you know that a capri sun has the same amount in it as a nagan? 200ml in both. Who’da thunk it. Anyways…
After the 5 minute wait, get kitchen roll and dap up the excess bleach and then peel back your stencil. Admire it for a few seconds and then dump it in water to end the bleaching effect. The water is that color thanks to the state of the water pipes out at james. Disgustin’. Anyhoo… Hazza! We’re Almost done.
Stick it in the wash and then wait for it to be washed and dried by your respective mammies and then…
BAM! You got yourself a kick ass DIY t-shirt for fuck all!
Stay tuned to punchthesphinx.com as next week we’ll be making more t-shirts to give away!
If anyone out there tried this for themselves leave a comment and let us know how it turned out for you.