Friday, 6 July 2012

DIY Acid Wash Denim Shirt

This DIY Friday I am going to show you how I made my acid wash bleached-out denim shirt. It's very quick and easy to do and only requires items you can find around your house favourite sort of diy! My aim was to create a very washed out design, something a little different from shirts I'd seen before.

What You Need 
Household Bleach 
Denim Shirt
Plastic Bottle  
Gloves (optional)

Step #1  The idea is to crinkle and crease the fabric rather than tying it with bands (that would be tie-dying) the effect we are aiming at is a bleached out 'cloud' print and will distribute the bleach widely over most of the shirt but some grooves/creases will remain untouched.

Start at one corner of your shirt and wrinkle the fabric together using your fingers. Bunch it all together and stuff into the bottom of your bucket. Re-wrinkle sections of material once in the bucket if necessary. Flatten it down so the material is fairly even (no parts sticking up much higher than others.)

Step #2  Mix your bleach solution. I filled a small plastic bottle with thick household bleach about half way. Then added some warm water and mixed well. You only need a small amount of solution to pour over the fabric.

Step #3  Pour this over your shirt covering all areas. The shirt should not be floating in bleach so don't use too much! The bleach will soak down through the fabric and soak up from the bottom and sides. You don't need to turn or move the shirt over, this will only disturb the pattern.

Leave this to soak until you are happy with the colour. I left mine for 30 minutes before adding a little more bleach. I then left it soaking for a further 2 hours. I wanted a very pale almost white result.

Step #4  When your shirt has reached your desired colour - tip it out into the sink and rinse well with cold water. Throw the shirt into the washing machine on a short cycle with a small amount of detergent and softener. It may take a few washes or a good airing to get rid of the bleach smell. And that's it!

I love to hear your feedback on my DIYs and if you decide to give this one a go please tweet me your pictures!


*Click here to see more DIY tutorials from Gwen McMullin



  1. love all your DIY's! just need to find a denim shirt and i will be doing this!

  2. Something like this would be £40 from Topshop!
    Love your DIY's, I think I'll try this with my denim shirt :)xx

  3. Amazing! Your DIYS are always so inspiring, and save me lots of pennies!

  4. fab idea. look sooo simple. thanks for sharing xo

    The Young Bridget Jones

  5. This is really cool. Love the final result! Thanks!

  6. Ah, so great! Your shirt turned out amazing, and the DIY seems so easy, too!

  7. Love this, it's so easy to do!

  8. Another amazing DIY from you! Love this will have to try it out :) xxx

  9. I wanted to do this but I couldn't find any shirts :S

  10. Love how the shirt came out, and it's so simple! I did this to some shorts ages ago but forgot how I did it, thanks for reminding me :)

    this shirt is not made of real denim, its denim coloured. When bleaching real denim, you're looking at about 2 hours processing time.


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