The Opposite of Tie Dye



I have just discovered the opposite of Tie Dye! Today I used bleach on a t-shirt to make an image. I took away color instead of adding it – never would have thought!

Here are my steps…

T-shirt Bleach Design


  • 1 shirt – it doesn’t matter the materials. I used shirts with a rayon/spandex combo. Cotton is fine too.
  • bleach
  • water
  • bucket
  • paint brush
  • large plastic cutting board
  • old towel (we call them dog towels)
  • optional paper and water colors


  1. I started by painting my designs on paper. It was useful to practice before starting the shirts.
  2. When I perfected my design on paper I collected all my supplies and put on my yuckiest clothing and headed to the laundry room with a utility sink.
  3. I lay the towel out on the small table (it really is the extra freezer).
  4. Mixed 1:1 water to bleach in a small plastic container.
  5. Placed the plastic cutting board inside the t-shirt. This prevents the bleach from bleeding on to the back.
  6. I placed the shirt with the cutting board inside onto the towel. I made sure the cutting board was center inside the shirt.
  7. I filled the bucket about 1/4 of the way with cold water and placed it near by.
  8. Then I started painting on the shirt with the bleach solution.
  9. I left the bleach on for about 5 minutes after I finished. The bleaching happens almost immediately so you can see when you get to your desired color.
  10. Then I dunked the shirt into the bucket of water and rinsed it thoroughly.
  11. After that I put it into the dryer.

Helpful Hints – After one shirt dried I went back and reinforced some lines with another application of bleach then repeated steps 10 and 11. On another shirt I went back to early when the shirt was still a little damp and the bleach bleed a little too much (see Yoda’s left eye).bleach-shirt-1 bleach-shirt-2


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