Monday, August 22, 2011

It's no accident - bleach for design

Mid day Thursday I received an email from a team member at Clorox, challenging us to get in on the web sensation and design our very own t shirt, using nothing other than bleach... yes, the very same substance we are all very so careful NOT to get on our colored clothing. But, as it turns out, there is a throng of people using bleach to design their own tee's. The winner takes home a gift card to Modern Coffee in downtown Oakland (nothing to scoff at, AMAZING brew) and a call out on Clorox's very own Facebook page... and it's exactly that social recognition that I am after!

Phelyx has a fabulous tutorial online that I leveraged to create my own, albeit simple, tee design. I tested this out on my boyfriends black hanes tee and a purple v neck of my own. This round, I created a stencil of repeating squares and sprayed the bleach around the stencil. Next time, I plan on cutting out the positive, and spraying bleach into the form. The results will look similar to the vinyl stencil I used on my boyfriends white tee, below.

Designs are due Monday at noon - my fingers are crossed!

Stencil with positive cut out
Stencil with negative cut out - bleach sprayed around stencil


  1. For those of you who wanted a how to guide to make this tee:

    Materials needed:
    • Full strength Clorox bleach
    • Spray bottle
    • Colored T-shirt made of at least 50% natural materials (bleach does not work as well on synthetic fibers)
    • Exacto knife
    • Cutting board
    • Duralar (thin plastic used to make stencil)
    • Sharpie
    • Trash bags

    Set up:
    Iron your tee and lay on top of a trash bag. Place another trash bag between the front and back of the tee to keep the bleach from bleeding through to the back of the design.

    Create your mock stencil on paper to test placement and sizing.
    Trace your stencil onto Duralar and cut out with exacto knife
    Place stencil on top of the fabric and spray full strength bleach around the design.
    Remove stencil and let bleach dry.
    Once bleach is completely dry, place in dryer to remove any unactivated bleach that may erode the fabric or affect your design later on.
    When you wash your tee for the first time, wash by its self.

  2. P.S Duralar is common material and can be found at most art supply stores... it essentially is a thin plastic sheet.