DIY Tie-Dye Denim

Tie-Dye denim has been all the rave this season with designers like Isabel Marant and labels like Zara and J Brand showcasing tie-dye denim in their Spring/Summer collections.

Elle MacPhereson in Isabel Marant tie-dye jeans

Photo: Denim Blog

But what if you wanted to rock tie-dye denim without having to pay ridiculous top designer prices?  What if you can create your own tie-dye denim?  Actually, you can and it’s pretty simple… You can try this with pretty much any denim article you want.  I used an old, inexpensive denim shirt that I bought from H&M.

Other supplies you’ll need:

  • Plastic container
  • Rubber gloves
  • Bleach
  • Rubber bands
  • Scissors

Start by folding your denim article of choice in a fan-like (accordion) pattern. Use the rubber bands to hold it together and do this this to the entire piece.

When you’re done with that step, you should end up with something like this:

Now the bleaching process.  Pour equal amounts of water and bleach into your container.  (I used about 4 quarts of bleach so I added 4 quarts of water.)

Use your rubber gloves (I quadrupled on plastic gloves because I didn’t have any rubber ones at the time) and place the denim into the bleach mixture.  Make sure you saturate all sides and let sit for about 15-20 minutes. Watch it carefully.  Don’t forget to turn your article over to give it equal amounts of time on each side if it’s not completely submerged in the mixture.

After about 15-20 minutes (or when desired shade is reached), remove the denim from the bleach mixture (need I say, use your gloves). Cut the rubber bands off and rinse.  You might want to throw it in a quick wash cycle. If not, be sure to rinse thoroughly. Afterwards, put it in the dryer and then you’re done!

Here’s my old, boring denim shirt… From drab to fab!
Enjoy!  -PMG

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