How to Make a Bleach-Dyed T-Shirt

Hello friends, today I’m going to show/tell you how to make a bleach dyed t-shirt.

Like this:

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Except not exactly like that, but similar.

To start off you’ll need:

A stencil of some sort*

A black t-shirt (honestly, you could do this with any color, but black shows up really well)


A spray bottle

A trash bag

Rocks or weights of some sort (optional)

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*To make the stencils, get something that you can cut easily, but doesn’t let liquid through it. I’ve used parts window shades and bottoms of seed cleaner bag things, but I understand that those things could be hard to come by. I’m guessing milk cartons could work too, but I’ve never tried it. Whatever you choose will be what the stencil is made of.

Once you know what you’re making the stencil out of, print a picture of what you wanted to have on your shirt and cut it out.

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Then, trace that onto what you’re actually making the stencil out of, and cut out what you’ve just traced.

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And now you have your stencil. If you want, you can just draw on your stencil and cut it out, but I prefer printing a picture and tracing it for accuracy’s sake.

You could also skip these steps completely and use something like leaves as a stencil, which is what I did for the shirt on the photo at the beginning of this post.

Once you have the stencils, it’s time to get your shirt ready to bleach.

Lay the shirt out flat, and slip the trash bag inside of it to keep the bleach from bleeding through to the back of the shirt.

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Next, lay out your stencils, and place them exactly as you want them.

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Now it’s time for the bleaching. Fill your spray bottle with bleach. If you want the bleaching to not be very drastic, you can water down your bleach.

Once your bottle has bleach and your stencils are placed, spray the bleach around the stencils. Be sure that around the stencils the fabric is fully bleached, and then you can also spray around to make the bleaching look a bit more gradual.

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Since I do this outside, I like to also use rocks to make sure the shirt doesn’t blow around in the wind, hence, the rock in the lower left corner of the picture.

Once you’ve finished bleaching, allow the shirt to air dry completely. Once the shirt is dry, it needs to be washed. I like to hand wash it, just to make sure that any excess bleach doesn’t damage other clothing.

Once your shirt is washed and has dried, it is ready to wear.

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The shirt here is one that I made for my friend Deana’s birthday.

One thing to keep in mind through this is that colors vary depending on the shirt brand. I’ve made about 7 of these with shirts of varying brands, and so far only two have been the exact same color.

So anyway, that’s how you bleach-dye a t-shirt. I hope this tutorial made sense, and you could figure out what was going on in my blurry phone photos.


This post was Day 18 of the April Blogging Challenge. You can find Day 17 here on Mom’s blog, and Day 16 here on Emily’s blog.


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