Some bleach painting tips:
- Always test on a scrap of similar fabric or on a part of the garment where the bleach effect can be tested but not seen (like inside a seam or on a hem). Most dyes leave a trace color after the bleach has worked. Some fabrics are extremely color-fast and do not bleach out.
- Work on a plastic sheet and newsprint. I bleached my skirt over a covered ironing board. Place a plastic sheet or plastic packet inside a shirt so that the bleach doesn’t bleed through to the other side.
- You can use basic domestic liquid bleach and a waterpaint paint brush. You can also use water brushes and even simple ear buds/ Q-tips!
- You can paint bleach on to stamps and press the stamp onto the fabric.
- Plan your design on your garment with a chalk pencil or fading fabric markers.
- I found great simple designs on Pinterest.
- Stencil designs work well too!
- Note – the bleach is invisible at first, but within a moment or two begins to fade the fabric. If you paint over a bleached area after it has dried it may go even lighter! I loved the magical appearance of the design a few seconds later!
- Caution – some fabrics become fragile under bleach. Hand wash carefully.
- Caution 2 – wear protective clothing when working with bleach.
- This is an excellent activity for middle-school children and teens. Ask them to bring an old colored T-shirt to class and provide small cups of bleach and Q-tips for them to paint and design patterns and images on their shirts.
- You can spray bleach with a fine misting bottle over a stencil or design pasted onto the material. Some folks use freezer paper. Lettering or a simple cut out design works well.
Bleach painting is addictive! You may find good reasons or no reasons at all to bleach paint a huge number of your clothes! Stop before your wardrobe looks like it fell into a bleach fountain!
Have some creative fun this festive season!