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Fall is here: Tis’ the season for pumpkin spiced lattes, cozy sweaters, pumpkin picking, and tailgates. While I’m not a huge fan of football, I am a big fan of anything that calls for a DIY project. Previously, I’ve made lace-up shirts and halter shirts for tailgate season at UMass. This year, I decided to step my game up with two styles of bleached tailgate tops: splatter & dip dye. Turns out, making a DIY bleach top is easy, quick, and adds a little edge to your tailgate outfit.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Bleach
  • Spray Bottle
  • Dropper (optional)
  • Gloves
  • Shirt
  • Towel

Method #1: The Splatter Effect

Step 1: Fill a spray bottle with bleach.

Step 2: Spray the front and back of the shirt (and don’t forget to wear gloves and lay a towel on your floor to prevent accidentally bleaching your floor).

Step 3 (optional): For more precise bleaching, use a dropper to apply bleach to the shirt. I used an empty foundation bottle that came with a dropper applicator, but any dropper will do the trick.

Step 4: Let the shirt dry for about 15 minutes while the bleach activates.

Step 5: Wash the shirt to deactivate the bleach. Air dry.

Step 6: Enjoy your splatter-style bleached tailgate top!


Method #2: Dip Dye

Step 1: Get a towel, gloves, a plastic container, and a shirt.​

Step 2: Fill the plastic container with warm water & bleach.

Step 3: Place the shirt in the container so that only the bottom half is submerged.

Step 4: Cover the container to avoid inhaling bleach fumes.

Step 5: Let the shirt sit in the container for 15-20 minutes.

Step 6: Carefully remove the shirt, squeeze out excess bleach, and lay it out to dry on the towel as the bleach activates.

Step 7: Wash the shirt to deactivate the bleach. Air dry and enjoy your dip-dyed and bleached tailgate top! 

Happy crafting and happy tailgating! 

Julia Gordy

U Mass Amherst '19

Julia is a senior at the Isenberg School of Management at University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is pursuing a major in marketing with a strong focus on advertising. Some of her favorite things include photography, filmmaking, and long yoga sessions followed by even longer naps. Find her on Twitter and Instagram @juliagordy!
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