Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Mortem's Tricks or Treats: Fade Into Style

Ok, so I could've saved this post-- but fate looked kindly upon this project.

I've been inspired by bleach art for many years, but just didn't have the bravery to attempt it!
To be honest, the group Artisan Crafts @ Deviantart.com was having a monthly challenge with this as its theme-- I was debating contributing, and while acquiring the bleach from a neighbor I accidentally spilled a drop onto a black shirt I was wearing. I know I know, never wear black when handling bleach!
And suddenly I had a reason to try it, hehe.

The drop landed at such an awkward spot, right near my belly button. Luckily it didn't take long to decide what I was going to do, because I wanted two designs into shirts that allowed the spot to be hidden well.

One was a rib cage (that I have a shirt I will do this with soon), and the other a bird skull. I opted for the bird skull since many of the examples in the Journal page of the group were showing rib cages as examples.

I used a bird skull I own as a reference-- it was all free handed from that point.

I used chalk to sketch out the initial design over the stain. I inserted a piece of cardboard and taped down the area I was to draw on, so the fabric wouldn't scrunch as much as I drew.

Then it was a simple task of pouring some bleach into a cup, and loading the brush to paint along the lines.

I used a lavender scented no name bleach from walmart so I did not have to dilute it to darken lines; if you're using a stronger bleach I suggest diluting it  so it doesn't bleach as strongly.
Loading the brush thinly so it is not dripping or soaked allowed me to produce fine and dark lines; when I soaked the brush it gave me thick and strong bright lines. Never load the brush so that it drips-- it might screw up a design with a drop, unless that is what you were intending.
Also, if you are planing on a multi-shade piece, I suggest letting the design dry before the next applications, so that you gauge how much more brightening it'll need.

Remember, more layers equals brighter color.

Another interesting thing I noted is the color synthetic blend shirts give compared to the colors 100% cotton result with.
Synthetic blends give a more redish bronze with obvious whites. Cottons give ivory with yellows.

I totally urge anyone to try this-- it's fun, easy and completely inexpensive. Useful, too, if you don't want to give that stained black shirt away, hehe.


  1. This is really awesome! I absolutely love the bird skull design.

    1. Thanks! If you ever attempt it be sure to post it on your blog-- this is such a neat and expressive way to vamp up a wardrobe, hehe

  2. Totally loving the t-shirt. The bird skull is an amazing option to DIY it, very macabre and delicate. It think it could also work in a skirt or even the botton of a dress, don´t you think so?

    Congrats for a good job! :)

    1. Exactly! I thought it would be amazing on a skirt too =D
      I bet if you cut a fitted shirt and put an elastic waistband and do this, it would be a really cute hobble or pencil skirt-- so easy!

  3. I seriously can't get enough of this! It's so awesome and you did such a badass job of it. I really have to try this out sometime. I doubt it will turn out as amazing as this.

    1. Your art from what I've seen in your blog has a characteristic that would flourish in this medium!

      I hope that you share your results when you do =D

  4. This turned out awesome! I have seen bleach shirts like this before, but never any with such fine detail!

    1. Thank you!
      I think the key to that is in the diluting of the bleach and amount of layers added on from there.


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