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10 steps For A Bleached Shirt using Vinyl!

10 steps For A Bleached Shirt using Vinyl!

, by Abbey H, 5 min reading time

As crafters, we know there are a lot of ways to create your very own custom shirt! NOW if you are searching for a grunge-looking t-shirt, then this is just for you! Creating a gritty and distressed look can be easily made with just a vinyl stencil and bleach! Who knew that the '80s and the 2000s would make a big comeback?!


Step 1: What Do I Need?

black shirt vinyl bleached ready

64000 Men's soft-style is a perfect choice for this bleach craft!
You will need; a 100% cotton or poly/cotton blend shirt that is a dark colour, a vinyl stencil of choice mounted on transfer paper, bleach, and peroxide for this craft. Please be careful when using bleach! You will also need some tools. If you have cardboard, placing it inside the t-shirt will help stabilize the area and keep the bleach from soaking through the back. You will also need; a spray bottle, rubber gloves (for protection), binder clips (to pin the shirt to the cardboard), and last but not least, a water source.

Step 2: Prepping the Station
First things first, let's prep the shirt for where you want your design to be. Slide the cardboard into the shirt and secure it with the binder clips. Next, we want to make sure your vinyl design is all set up and ready to go. Once your vinyl is prepared to be placed on the t-shirt, it is time to move on to step 3! 

Step 3: Vinyl Bleach Stencil Craft

This stencil vinyl is used for spray paint but will work in a pinch for a bleached design in a pinch!
Now it is time to place the vinyl on the shirt, put it where you would like to keep the original shirt colour intact. Make sure to press your stencil firmly in place, especially at the edges of the design.

Step 4: Taking the Transfer Backing Off
Now I would say this is the most time-consuming part of the craft, but it is very satisfying! Adhesive vinyl isn't supposed to stick onto fabric, So you have to be patient with this part. The best way to go about it is to roll the transfer paper back against itself slowly and away from the vinyl and the t-shirt. The vinyl may want to stay with the transfer tape, if this happens, you can use a plastic card to hold the vinyl off of the transfer backing. Remember, patience is the key here!

Step 5: Pressing the Vinyl Into the Shirt
Good job, you made it through getting the transfer tape off the vinyl! Press the vinyl into the shirt for good measure so that it doesn't slip or move in the following steps. 

Step 6: The Bleach
**Disclaimer! Bleach is a toxic chemical. Please read the back of the bottle before use. Handle this product with gloves. Avoid wearing any clothing that you wouldn't want to get damaged accidentally.**
We are going to start by creating a water and bleach mixture. 50/50 I find works best. This mixture will go into the spray bottle. Depending on how many t-shirts you are doing, you will probably not need a lot of this mixture. Important note: do not use pure bleach. It will eat through your t-shirt fibres; this will weaken the t-shirt and cause it to destroy faster.

Step 7: Spraying the Bleach
Now it's time to spray that shirt with bleach! I suggest testing the spray in the sink or on another piece of fabric to know how the bottle will spray. Cover the needed area with the water and bleach mixture and wait until it's dry. Extra tips!  If you have a large vinyl area, it is a good idea to blot it with a paper towel. This will prevent the extra liquid from dripping on you or your design once you move the shirt. If you are doing this craft outside, keep in mind that the breeze can affect the spray of the bleach. Having different spray bottles can help create some other designs.

Step 8: The Peroxide
Once you have the design you want with the bleach, this is where the peroxide comes in. I suggest that you wear gloves for this as well because it is still a chemical. The peroxide stops the bleach from eating away any colour. Take the shirt off the board and place it into a bowl of Peroxide.  Don't be shy to dunk the entire t-shirt into the solution, peroxide won't damage it.

Step 9: Rinse that Shirt
Now, let's move that shirt into a sink and rinse it out. It's ok if the vinyl starts peel off the shirt. After it's all rinsed, let's remove that vinyl. Important note: your shirt should NOT smell of bleach anymore, if it does, then it needs to rinsed a couple more times. 

Step 10: Let it Dry
All you need to do now is hang up your item to dry! 

Congratulations, you be proud of your design! It took a lot of effort to get here, but creating that 80's gritty t-shirt look is a lot of fun!

***Remember, if you share your design on social media, tag us! ***


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