Tuesday, June 12, 2012

DIY Bleach Dyed Shorts

Bleach Dyed Denim Shorts

Hi all!  I haven't blogged in awhile... Although there a million projects I have underway. Life gets crazy, ya know? Well, I am back to blog all about the things I find interesting and cool.  And what's more interesting or cooler than DIY fashion pieces?? Here's what I love about DIY and fashion coming together; you really can't mess it up! As long you have the confidence to rock what you made then you made something brilliant.  I'm saying all this because in the midst of my typing I am waiting to see the outcome of my bleach dyed denim shorts... So here it goes ladies!

What You'll Need:

Step One: Pick Your Pair
I went with a pair of shorts that are too big on me and also are "roll-up" style so that I had a lot of length to work with.  (Remember I'm 5'10''.. You may not all have this issue with shorts.. LUCKY!) This also gives me a little more freedom with the scissors and what I could cut away. I also went with an inexpensive pair from Target so that if I did somehow ruin them I wouldn't be too heart broken. Don't have a pair of old shorts sitting around? Grab a pair of old jeans!  You're going to end up chopping off some of the fabric either way. 

Step Two: Snip Snip Snip!
So here is where your scissors and ruler come into play. You're going to want to cut off AT LEAST the bottom hem. This way you will get that frayed look that's "in" right now. Please ladies, do not cut off too much! You can always cut more if you think they're still too long but you can't really add back on easily... And there's not a lot of things less attractive then a girl wearing shorts that aren't flattering. 
Just because they zip... Anyways here are my snip tips:

1. Try the shorts (or jeans) on. Check yourself out and see where you could bare to spare some fabric.

2. Take the shorts off and turn them inside out. Now put them back on! 

3. Use the ruler and sharpie to mark your cutting point. I did about 1.5 inches but I also started with really long shorts. Make a few more marks on both legs so that you stay on the straight line. Now strip!

4. IF you're using jeans cut a little below your marks and try them on again before you commit to the full snip. If you're using shorts then snip across the line!

5. While you are cutting make sure that the hem is lined up. A lot of time this means that the top won't be lined up and that's OK. Just make sure the bottom hems on the legs match up.

6. Now that you've snipped turn them back right-side out and try them on one more time. Kind of decide now the "look" you want.

- Bleach from the bottom and leave the top dark (like mine!)
- Bleach from the top and leave the bottom dark
- Bleach for an ombre effect
- Bleach only the very tips at the bottom
- Bleach only the waist band
- Get crazy creative and only dye one leg
- Bleach the whole damn pair!

If you want a more destroyed look you can use a nail file and rub some holes into the denim. I opted not to do this but when you wash them you will get a really great frayed look. Store quality even!

Step Three: Get Ready To Dye
Because there is someone standing right behind you..... Just kidding! A little play on words there for you girls.  Ok, so let's prepare where you are going to be doing this messy business. I've seen examples of people using their kitchen sink. This would work really well if you didn't use your kitchen sink as storage for your dirty dishes like myself. I opted for the tub and a bucket. Well, more like an old popcorn tin but a bucket non-the-less!

FYI this actually takes a lot of time. You just have to be patient while the bleach does its thing. And it WILL do its thing.

1. One part water and one part bleach. Fill your bucket/sink with your dye solution. 
(I found myself adding more and more as I went)

2. Get ready and dip! I submerged mine up until the point where I wanted to keep the original denim. Just let the shorts soak at this level for a little while. They will not go white immediately.  It took mine about an hour and a half+ to get them super light. (More dye will come off in the washer so just aim for light blue)

3. Keep shifting your shorts! Every now and then I would pop in and swish the shorts around in the bleach. Getting a little bit in unwanted areas isn't the end of the world. It takes a lot of bleach and soaking to dye dark denim. If you're going for the ombre look you can start adjusting the level at which you soak your shorts. Keep doing this!

4. Add some bleach and water. IF you think you need a deeper pool to dip in just add some more! There is no precise way to add the bleach and water. Just go for the effect that you are hoping for. As you can see in the above picture I used hair clips to hold up the shorts. I don't think I really needed them there so if you don't have them don't worry about it.

5. You're almost done! Once the shorts are really light or how you would like them it's time to move to the washing machine. Rinse the shorts off first before putting them into the machine. Add a smidge of detergent to help wash the bleach out and a little bit of oxi-pro or borax to help give it the destroyed look.

Before The Washer...

After The Dryer...

 You can see that the washing machine really helps get the extra dye out and give you the white look. If you aren't totally happy with the outcome, although I am pretty pleased, you can re-dye. You can also buy a bleach pen and do some touch ups! 

Next post I'll show you what I added to them to make them extra cool! I'll also show you how to pull these off out and about in the world. Thanks for reading :)

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