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DIY Bleached Shirts

Dairy Science is probably the best class I’ve taken at UC Davis, but unfortunately a few of my shirts ended up spotted with bleach after sterilizing the nursing bottles for the baby calves (totally worth it). I was about to toss the shirts when I realized that they could still be salvaged, why not just bleach them more? I consulted some online sources, did some experimental designs, and ended up with some great, original shirts!

Here’s how to make your very own bleached shirts:

  1. Use any sturdy tape (duct, scotch, electrical) to create a design on a dark or brightly colored shirt. Remember that what ever design you make with the tape, the fabric underneath will remain the original color of the shirt.
  2. Make a mixture of 75% bleach and 25% water in a plastic spray bottle that has adjustable spray settings.
  3. Place your shirt outside, preferably on grass, and spray your shirt from about 1 foot away for even coverage. If you want an even speckling, leave the setting on a wide spray, but if you want more concentrated dripping, change the setting to a more central stream.
  4. Let dry completely before washing with other garments.

I also tried using stencils to create a more intricate design, in this case an elephant, but it was difficult to keep the bleach inside the stencil design. After bleaching, I went back and retraced the stencil to make the image clearer.

So collegiettes, if in your day to day life a little bleach happens, don’t freak, instead look at as an opportunity to express your creativity. Craft on!

Edited by: Amy Coyle

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