DIY - Bleach Painting

22 August 2016


Recently, I have been wanting to do a bit of fashion DIY and I have had so many ideas of little projects I could do but no materials to do them. Plus due to finances at the moment I can't really go out and buy the materials I needed. So it got me thinking. What sort of DIY could I do that won't break the bank or cost a lot of money? I wanted to do something creative so turning an old pair of jeans into shorts didn't really cut it for me and I don't really wear denim shorts anyway...Now thinking of it, I don't actually own a pair!
I remembered that I did some bleach painting a while back but I used coloured paper instead of fabric and I loved it. So I thought, why not try it on fabric? As bleach turns fabric different colours (depending on the fabric of course!) I thought it would give a good effect. I decided to paint some flowers onto a black denim dungaree dress I had brought from New Look a while ago.

Before you start -
Make sure you're in a well-ventilated room!!
Open all windows, doors or whatever so you don't feel ill from the bleach. It is best to try and do this outside but if like me, you live in a flat; open all of the windows you can to allow the fumes to escape. I would recommend keeping one room in your house shut so that when you need a break from the fumes you can go into that room. My flat has a balcony door so I was able to keep the door fully open as well as all of the windows whilst I did this. Just keep in mind that bleach can be harmful  if inhaled and please read the warning labels on the side of the bottle.

I decided to test it out on an old pair of blue jeans to see what happens. That way, if my idea didn't work how I planned then I haven't ruined any clothing. The jeans I tested on turned a bit green and not what I had expected. So I thought I would test a little bit of bleach on the inside seam of the black denim dress. It turned out exactly how I wanted, so I went for it!

What you need -
- Household Bleach
- Old Paint Brushes
- Old Pencils
- Cheap Toothbrush 
- Garment of your choice
- Cardboard 
- Vinyl mat or cloth you can use to protect the floor/table
- Wipes/tissue
- Fabric dye pen

*Remember to wear old clothes as the bleach will...well bleach your clothes!*

1. Prepare your work area -
Lay out an old cloth or vinyl mat to protect the floor or table (wherever you're working). If working on the floor, the bleach will stain carpets so make sure you cover the area you're working on. I used a vinyl table mat on the floor. Make sure the pot of bleach and tools you're using are on the mat and maybe on top of some old newspaper/magazines. I did this but forgot to photograph it. Also, make sure you have some wipes or tissues on hand just in case. 

2. Cardboard -
Place some cardboard inside the garment and under the area you wish to paint bleach on. This is because the bleach will bleed through the fabric and this will stop it bleeding onto the back of your garment.

3. Start painting! - 
It's best to have a design in mind/a design to copy from/a template before you paint. I drew a rough sketch of how I wanted it to look and went from there. Once I got into painting, I changed and developed my design as I went. Use different tools to create different effects. I mostly used the paintbrush and the end of a pencil. You can use the toothbrush to create a spray effect but I didn't use this in the end. Just experiment! :)

4. Quick wash - (I set my washing machine to 40°C)
Once you have finished your design and you are happy with it, let it dry completely. Then put the garment into the wash. Only wash your garment, I wouldn't suggest putting it with other garments just in case the bleach leaked onto them.
The wash shouldn't ruin your design as it is already stained onto the garment but it might make the bleached areas look a bit lighter. The wash is purely so any excess bleach on the surface will wash away making it safe to wear.

5. Adding detail - 
When the dress had fully dried from the wash, I decided to add some detail into the design as I felt it looked half finished. I used a fabric dye pen in black (you can get these from any craft store) to add some details to the flowers. I wanted it to look rough and sketchy so it didn't matter if it went slightly wrong. However, if you wanted a more neat finish then just take your time.

6. Wear with pride!! -
Once its all done and finished, you can now wear it with pride! :)

There will be a full outfit post with this dress soon so make sure you look out for it!
Thank you so much for reading! This is my first DIY post and I hope you liked it! If this is something you would like to see more of, please let me know in the comments or through social media! I would love to start sharing more DIYs with you! (I have so many in mind!)

Have a great day!


  1. Omg!!!' So creative and such lovely details!
    Well done.... I really do need to do something like this you've definitely inspired me to do somethin diy like.
    Well done it looks fab xxxx

    1. Thank you so much lovely!! :) It's so easy to do and it instantly updates the garment you're painting! If you do something like this, let me know! I would love to see!! :D xxxx

  2. This is an absolutely amazing idea 😍 The end result is to die for 💗 You've definitely inspired me to get my fashion DIY on!

    1. Thank you so much lovely! Let me know if you do a DIY as I would love to see! :) xxx

  3. This is pretty cool! I am not sure I will be able to pull it off but would definitely like to try it on an old pair of jeans! Lovely, intricate details.

    1. Thank you so much!! :) I'm sure you would! I was thinking to do jeans next too! Let me know if you do as I would love to see the end result! :) xxx

  4. This is so snazzy, I definitely want to try this out myself! Great post! x