Tuesday, April 2, 2013

T-Shirt Revival!

The other day I discovered that, much to my dismay, one of my favorite shirts had obtained a bleach stain.  And so, for a time, this shirt sat unused, unloved, in my dresser awaiting the day it would be turned into rags or worse thrown away.  But never fear!  I was able to come up with a solution to hide the stain and turn a plain shirt into something much more exciting and I bet you have everything you need to do the same!

I started doing some research into possible ways to dye a shirt and found this awesome Instructables.  They suggested using cardboard which I initially tried and had a difficult time cutting my design all the way through so substituted with cardstock.  Initially they also choose a spray bottle which would definitely be your best option although with practice I found a foam brush worked just as well.

Because my shirt was navy blue I decided to create a design of stars thus giving me the freedom to create a design large enough to cover the spot already in existence while also creating one that "fit" with the shirt.

The shirt.  You can see the lovely spot right there in front, so frustrating!
And this, believe it or not, is pretty much all you need to remedy the situation.
A sketched out design.  No need for perfection just a crazy night sky.
Yay for an exact-o knife!  You can see the cardboard underneath I used to prevent myself from cutting the rug. 
The top middle star is positioned to cover the initial stain and then I branched out from there.
You can see how the stars become more distinct as you move to the edges/sleeves.  This would be when I learned that one blot per star was plenty and the bleach just took some time to show up.  I added in the dots by letting the brush drip so as to create a feeling of depth.  Yeah, I'm not an artist, but that's ok!
Ta da!
Sorry for the blurriness, taking pictures in the mirror is more difficult than I thought. 
So there you have it!  I probably spent an hour all told putting this together although to be fair I had a relatively simple design that I could rotate and use over and over again.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Place cardboard underneath of your shirt.  I did not for the sleeves and was fine but it's a pretty thick sweater, if you're just working with a t-shirt definitely do what you can to protect the back.
  • Mix your bleach in a 50% solution with water, DO NOT USE FULL STRENGTH BLEACH!
  • Whether you are using a spray bottle or a foam brush allow your first spray or dab to dry completely so that you can see how clearly the design is coming through and if you even need to do a second.  My failure to do this is what created the blurry starts/large splotches where the bleach soaked under because I used too much of it.
So there you have it!  What sort of a design would you create?


  1. This is awesome! I would like to do this in some geometric design, like roman keys or some such angled doodle.


  2. Geometric designs could be awesome! Or doing a spiral, make people dizzy to look at it. haha.