Design insights & tutorials.

DIY Striped T-Shirt in 3 Easy Steps

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Barton Damer gave us permission to repost his handy DIY guide on making a striped t-shirt in your own backyard with just a spray bottle, duct tape, some bleach, and some good ole American ingenuity.

This weekend I had some fun with duct tape and some bleach making this tee shirt design. Check out these 3 easy steps. If you decide to make your own version, come back to this post and leave us a Flickr link to check out a photo of what you did!

Step 1

Use duct tape to mask off your design onto a dark colored tee. I decided to make stripes on a black tee.

Step 2

Spray your t-shirt with a bleach/water mixture. I used 70% bleach and 30% water. Let your shirt dry after you spray it to your liking.

Step 3

Wash and wear your tee. Easy as 1, 2, 3!’

DIY t-shirts in 3 Steps

Discussion

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  • Simon H.

    That's cool :-)

  • Simon H.

    That's cool :-)

  • Simon H.

    That's cool :-)

  • http://www.rohicks.com/ Ryan Hicks

    oh that's not to bad looking; i might try this with different designs

  • Marcus X

    That's sick!!! Ugggh!!! Love it!!!

  • http://www.rohicks.com/ Ryan Hicks

    oh that's not to bad looking; i might try this with different designs

  • http://www.rohicks.com/ Ryan Hicks

    oh that's not to bad looking; i might try this with different designs

  • Marcus X

    That's sick!!! Ugggh!!! Love it!!!

  • Marcus X

    That's sick!!! Ugggh!!! Love it!!!

  • Alice

    Wouldn't the bleach weaken the fabric? It's a cool idea, but don't expect the t-shirt to have a very long lifespan…

  • Mini Clover

    Considering you can buy these shirts cheap at a craft store it's not that big of a deal. Can't wait to try this!

  • http://nikibrown.com/designoblog Niki Brown | The Design O'Blog

    Wow this is pretty cool! Will definitely have to try this. I wonder how the bleach will change colors on other color shirts?

  • Evilis

    A much more in depth tutorial is available here:

    http://www.stencilrevolution.com/forum/index.ph

  • Alice

    Wouldn't the bleach weaken the fabric? It's a cool idea, but don't expect the t-shirt to have a very long lifespan…

  • Alice

    Wouldn't the bleach weaken the fabric? It's a cool idea, but don't expect the t-shirt to have a very long lifespan…

  • Mini Clover

    Considering you can buy these shirts cheap at a craft store it's not that big of a deal. Can't wait to try this!

  • Mini Clover

    Considering you can buy these shirts cheap at a craft store it's not that big of a deal. Can't wait to try this!

  • http://www.unikink.com/ UnikInk.com

    Yes, the bleach weakens the fabric. I would recommend using a discharge waterbased ink with a handheld heat gun to activate the discharge agent. (~250 degrees)

  • http://nikibrown.com/designoblog Niki Brown | The Design O'Blog

    Wow this is pretty cool! Will definitely have to try this. I wonder how the bleach will change colors on other color shirts?

  • http://nikibrown.com/designoblog Niki Brown | The Design O'Blog

    Wow this is pretty cool! Will definitely have to try this. I wonder how the bleach will change colors on other color shirts?

  • http://www.alreadybeenchewed.net/ Barton Damer

    The bleach can weaken the fabric if you use an excessive amount. I would not recommend trying to get down to a really white shade. Mine was a light splattering that only slightly removed the color. I've washed and worn it many times. I used an American Apparel tee.

  • Evilis

    A much more in depth tutorial is available here:

    http://www.stencilrevolution.com/forum/index.ph

  • Evilis

    A much more in depth tutorial is available here:

    http://www.stencilrevolution.com/forum/index.ph

  • http://www.unikink.com/ UnikInk.com

    Yes, the bleach weakens the fabric. I would recommend using a discharge waterbased ink with a handheld heat gun to activate the discharge agent. (~250 degrees)

  • http://www.unikink.com/ UnikInk.com

    Yes, the bleach weakens the fabric. I would recommend using a discharge waterbased ink with a handheld heat gun to activate the discharge agent. (~250 degrees)

  • http://www.alreadybeenchewed.net/ Barton Damer

    The bleach can weaken the fabric if you use an excessive amount. I would not recommend trying to get down to a really white shade. Mine was a light splattering that only slightly removed the color. I've washed and worn it many times. I used an American Apparel tee.

  • http://www.alreadybeenchewed.net/ Barton Damer

    The bleach can weaken the fabric if you use an excessive amount. I would not recommend trying to get down to a really white shade. Mine was a light splattering that only slightly removed the color. I've washed and worn it many times. I used an American Apparel tee.

  • http://www.gomedia.us jeff_finley

    It would probably weaken it, but it's not a big deal. You might get holes in it, but just makes it that much more hip.

  • http://www.gomedia.us jeff_finley

    It would probably weaken it, but it's not a big deal. You might get holes in it, but just makes it that much more hip.

  • http://www.gomedia.us jeff_finley

    It would probably weaken it, but it's not a big deal. You might get holes in it, but just makes it that much more hip.

  • http://en-gb.facebook.com/people/Adam-Pendle/522047032 Adam Pendle

    i love things that can be done with stuff found around the house !! :) nice job

  • http://en-gb.facebook.com/people/Adam-Pendle/522047032 Adam Pendle

    i love things that can be done with stuff found around the house !! :) nice job

  • http://en-gb.facebook.com/people/Adam-Pendle/522047032 Adam Pendle

    i love things that can be done with stuff found around the house !! :) nice job

  • SA

    Very Cool !!!!

  • SA

    Very Cool !!!!

  • SA

    Very Cool !!!!

  • http://celesteodell.com/ Celeste

    I suggest cutting a stencil design in an acetate sheet and then, using a light layer of spray glue, pressing it onto the shirt. I made a bad-ass t-shirt to wear to a show two years ago this way! :) Still have it, too… still in pretty good condition. If you don't go heavy on the bleach mixture, it won't eat through the shirt.

  • http://celesteodell.com/ Celeste

    I suggest cutting a stencil design in an acetate sheet and then, using a light layer of spray glue, pressing it onto the shirt. I made a bad-ass t-shirt to wear to a show two years ago this way! :) Still have it, too… still in pretty good condition. If you don't go heavy on the bleach mixture, it won't eat through the shirt.

  • http://celesteodell.com/ Celeste

    I suggest cutting a stencil design in an acetate sheet and then, using a light layer of spray glue, pressing it onto the shirt. I made a bad-ass t-shirt to wear to a show two years ago this way! :) Still have it, too… still in pretty good condition. If you don't go heavy on the bleach mixture, it won't eat through the shirt.

  • http://behance.net/alexbeltechi Alex Beltechi

    This would be so cool to use with a hand drawn stencil. Thanks, man. Totally gonna do this!

    The web needs more simple DIY stuff like this. They're so practical and engaging.

  • http://behance.net/alexbeltechi Alex Beltechi

    This would be so cool to use with a hand drawn stencil. Thanks, man. Totally gonna do this!

    The web needs more simple DIY stuff like this. They're so practical and engaging.

  • http://behance.net/alexbeltechi Alex Beltechi

    This would be so cool to use with a hand drawn stencil. Thanks, man. Totally gonna do this!

    The web needs more simple DIY stuff like this. They're so practical and engaging.

  • Anthony

    Good stuff. I remember this from junior high.

    You have essentially shown how to make a positive and a negative.

    How about doing it with some nifty stencils? that would be cool.

  • Anthony

    Good stuff. I remember this from junior high.

    You have essentially shown how to make a positive and a negative.

    How about doing it with some nifty stencils? that would be cool.

  • Anthony

    Good stuff. I remember this from junior high.

    You have essentially shown how to make a positive and a negative.

    How about doing it with some nifty stencils? that would be cool.

  • http://clubpenguintips.com/ Club Penguin

    Could you use a different ratio of bleach to water to get lighter or darker stripes?

  • http://clubpenguintips.com/ Club Penguin

    Could you use a different ratio of bleach to water to get lighter or darker stripes?

  • http://clubpenguintips.com/ Club Penguin

    Could you use a different ratio of bleach to water to get lighter or darker stripes?

  • http://www.crearedesign.co.uk/ Michael Thomas

    Cool, I will remember this next time I want to dress up like Dennis the Menace!

  • http://www.crearedesign.co.uk/ Michael Thomas

    Cool, I will remember this next time I want to dress up like Dennis the Menace!

  • http://www.crearedesign.co.uk/ Michael Thomas

    Cool, I will remember this next time I want to dress up like Dennis the Menace!

  • em

    ive done this before but i used ceder branches just layed over top of the shirt and it looked amazing

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sara-Reffler/8804158 Sara Reffler

    Awesome! I'm totally going to try this!

  • em

    ive done this before but i used ceder branches just layed over top of the shirt and it looked amazing

  • em

    ive done this before but i used ceder branches just layed over top of the shirt and it looked amazing

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sara-Reffler/8804158 Sara Reffler

    Awesome! I'm totally going to try this!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sara-Reffler/8804158 Sara Reffler

    Awesome! I'm totally going to try this!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Edward-McIntyre/508118646 Edward McIntyre

    Thanks Guys! I tried out this technique last night and it worked out amazingly. Check out photos here – http://twurl.nl/wjllxa

  • http://www.bartondamer.com/ barton damer

    Wow! That's some intricate bleaching/taping. Turned out great!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Edward-McIntyre/508118646 Edward McIntyre

    Thanks Guys! I tried out this technique last night and it worked out amazingly. Check out photos here – http://twurl.nl/wjllxa

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Edward-McIntyre/508118646 Edward McIntyre

    Thanks Guys! I tried out this technique last night and it worked out amazingly. Check out photos here – http://twurl.nl/wjllxa

  • http://www.bartondamer.com/ barton damer

    Wow! That's some intricate bleaching/taping. Turned out great!

  • http://www.bartondamer.com/ barton damer

    Wow! That's some intricate bleaching/taping. Turned out great!

  • keiroro

    wowww!!! i like that… maybe i should try!!!

  • keiroro

    wowww!!! i like that… maybe i should try!!!

  • keiroro

    wowww!!! i like that… maybe i should try!!!

  • 2HARD2BSOFT

    Just made these tonight. Didn't have a plan before we made them but they still turned out awesome.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/36546799@N03/36381

  • 2HARD2BSOFT

    Just made these tonight. Didn't have a plan before we made them but they still turned out awesome.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/36546799@N03/36381

  • 2HARD2BSOFT

    Just made these tonight. Didn't have a plan before we made them but they still turned out awesome.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/36546799@N03/36381

  • 2HARD2BSOFT

    Just made these tonight. Didn't have a plan before we made them but they still turned out awesome.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/36546799@N03/36381

  • http://www.gomedia.us jeff_finley

    That's pretty sweet!

  • http://www.gomedia.us jeff_finley

    That's gnarly!

  • http://www.gomedia.us jeff_finley

    That's pretty sweet!

  • http://www.gomedia.us jeff_finley

    That's pretty sweet!

  • http://www.gomedia.us jeff_finley

    That's pretty sweet!

  • http://www.gomedia.us jeff_finley

    That's gnarly!

  • http://www.gomedia.us jeff_finley

    That's gnarly!

  • http://www.gomedia.us jeff_finley

    That's gnarly!

  • http://www.crearedesign.co.uk/ rory

    Thanks for the advice…
    But could you also tell me how to build a time machine so I can beam back to 1993 when these nasty looking T-shirts were cool. Who the >*&% whats to wear a tie dyed Tee.

  • http://www.crearedesign.co.uk/ rory

    Thanks for the advice…
    But could you also tell me how to build a time machine so I can beam back to 1993 when these nasty looking T-shirts were cool. Who the >*&% whats to wear a tie dyed Tee.

  • http://www.crearedesign.co.uk/ rory

    Thanks for the advice…
    But could you also tell me how to build a time machine so I can beam back to 1993 when these nasty looking T-shirts were cool. Who the >*&% whats to wear a tie dyed Tee.

  • fred

    I spray on hydrogen peroxide as a 'stop bath' to kill the bleach, this allows you to control how long the bleach works as well.

  • LainieP

    you can use electric dishwashing liquid with a paint brush. It won't damage the fibers as much, you can leave it on for up to an hour!

  • poopoojones

    freezer paper FTW, iron it on an just peel it post bleach

  • Embo

    (: thanks i'm wearing one now.

    it isn't weakened by the bleach.. it's great!

    i'm going to do another now.. haha

  • Embo

    (: thanks i'm wearing one now.

    it isn't weakened by the bleach.. it's great!

    i'm going to do another now.. haha

  • bravetheago

    I guess I'm a little late posting, but I made a couple to shirts using the technique and they turned out great, especially for a first try. Just used a little bit of spray adhesive and acetate…

    http://www.bravetheago.com/blog/?p=148

    Thanks for this one!

  • http://www.facebook.com/the.slowbomb Rafael Schlobohm

    Would the effect be different if the shirt has a different color? say, blue? :]

  • Matt

    Thanks for this nice work!
    dizi izle

  • John

    Great post!
    dizi izle

  • Drinkingsouls

    I just tried this, had been meaning to give it a go for a while. I used a dark grey t shirt and mixed about 60% water to 40% bleach. My t shirt turned color very quickly, within a minite or so. I found that if you wet the t shirt before applying bleach it takes a lot longer and gives you more time to get the look you want. I would reccommend wetting it before applying bleach. The shirt turned out great though! Just what I wanted.

  • Graham

    Thanks for the advice, this was a great project with my son. One word of caution: wear clothes that you don't care about! I trashed a shirt and a pair of shorts inadvertently during the project.

  • http://www.createtshirtdesigns.com Derek

    I have always tried bleaching t shirt with elastic bands and looks like the 60′s style, but this is a cool modern trick. Can even make a stencil of my own t shirt brand and use this technique. So simple and vintage style like.

    Experimenting fun here I come!

    Thanks!!!

  • http://www.futonsofabeds.org/futon-loveseats.html futon loveseats

    Use duct tape to mask off your design onto a dark colored tee? This doesn’t seem to be working for me..

  • SafCOM Club

    Hooray!

  • http://www.bigconceptdesigns.com funny t shirts

    that is a clever and yet fun way to make t-shirts. Duct tape apparently has yet another usage!

  • Amanda Collins

    I just kind of wonder how the back would look? Does it leak through properly to make it look the same, or do you have to repeat the process on the other side? Also, does duct tape just on the one side make it not leak over? or would you need to duct tape the inside too? I feel like if I try it as it shows, it’s not going to come out looking like that.. Can you explain further? or is it really that simple?

  • http://www.facebook.com/earningf Ruslan Earning

    simple & ijnspiring

  • http://www.facebook.com/jennspeaks Jenny Taylor

    that’s awesome! i’m gonna have to try this out with something I am working on right now :) thanks for this!

  • Anonymous

    does the shirt have to look like that or can you use a light colored shirt and use a colored dye

  • http://www.drmustafaerarslan.net/ panax

     nice job

  • http://www.drmustafaerarslan.org/ panax

    Thanks for the advice, this was a great project with my son

  • http://twitter.com/PedroWilsoni Peter Wilson-Jones

    I really have to laugh.
    That tee shirt will last about three washes max after spraying with 70% bleach. All that will be left are the unbleached, horizontal black strips.
    You had better hold off on launching the range, there might be a few returns.

  • http://twitter.com/MistyRoseHelms Misty Rose Helms

    silly question but do you take the tape off before you wash it?

  • derp

    Awesome, can’t wait to make and wear one of these pieces of shit