Wanna play with bleach? I've been having fun altering fabric with bleach over the past few weeks. Although it's a little stinky and has great potential for disaster, it's pretty fun to play with. So I thought we'd just play around with bleach all this week.
Before we begin, here are some common sense things you'll need to do to protect your clothes, your surfaces, your brain...
1. Wear old clothes so that if you spill or drip, you won't ruin your high dollar pair of jeans or designer shirt.
2. Make sure to cover your work surface with some sort of plastic sheeting. This is so that the bleach doesn't sink through and ruin the surface you're working on.
3. Protect your layers. For instance, if you are going to use your newly acquired bleach skills from this week on a shirt, put a layer of plastic between the front and back layers so that the bleach doesn't soak through to the layer underneath. May favorite thing to use for this is Press 'N Seal.
4. Work in a well ventilated area. Open a window, or do it outside. We need all the brain cells we have and don't want to loose any.
5. Do a practice run on some scrap fabric so that you can get the hang of it before trying it on your main fabric.
First up, let's make a bleach stamp pad! This is the technique I used to do some of the lettering on my new journal.
plastic disposable bowl/plate
fabric (I'm using jersey knit.)
I'm using alphabet rubber stamps so that I can do text, but you can use any kind of rubber stamp. Lay the fabric flat. "Ink" your stamp in the bleach stamp pad and press stamp firmly onto your fabric.
Notice that if you get a little bleach around the edges of your stamp, it will transfer to your fabric making a bleached little square around the stamped design. See the A. It kind of gives it some messy character.
Perfectionists who don't want that little box around the design will want to check the stamp after "inking" it. If it is wet around the outside edge, just blot the edges (not the design) with a paper towel to remove the excess, then stamp like normal.
Once you stamp your design onto the fabric it's a done deal. If you are going to center words like I did, it is best to start with the middle letter and work out from there to make sure that it is centered. For example, in the word BLEACH I centered and then stamped the E and the A first and then did the other letters.
At first the design will just look wet on the fabric. Slowly it will begin to get lighter and lighter. Shorter cure time = darker color. Longer cure time = lighter color. When it reaches the color you want, just rinse it in the sink to wash away the bleach and stop the process. Lay flat to dry.