- A 100% cotton T-shirt: dark colors work the best, especially black
- A shirt form or something to lay in between the front and back layers of your shirt
- A work surface that will tolerate bleach
- All of the Tim stuff you can get your hands on to use as "masks". Actually, you can use anything that lays fairly flat and will tolerate bleach and vinegar. I am partial to Tim's pieces because they work so perfectly.
- Laces with larger patterns, large netting, buttons with big holes, plastic and/or metal objects, chains and all sorts of other things will work.
LOOK AROUND YOU AND IMAGINE THE POSSIBILITIES!
Working on a bleach tolerant surface, place the shirt form or some sort of barrier between the front and back of the shirt. (This will keep the bleach from soaking through to the back). Lay the shirt flat on the work surface and lay out your design. I usually lay the large netting down first then place the other elements over the top of it. You can also "build" mini designs within your layout. An example of this is the butterfly. It consists of a rectangular plate from Tim's Ornate Plates, wings from his Grungeboard Elements, a small game spinner from his Ideaology Game Spinners, and an artist's pen point for the head of the butterfly. Another example of a mini design can be seen on the upper left shoulder. I have combined the Filmstrip Frames from Tim's Alterations with the star, crown and Fleur D' Les from Tim's Ideaology Adornments. Here is the layout of my "Imagine Shirt". Except for the lace, netting, artist's pen point and two little clock hands, this entire layout is Tim Holtz' pieces.
If you want to add what I call "starbursts" to your shirt, simply gather up material and wrap a rubber band around it to secure it in place. The folds will produce some really cool effects after they are sprayed.
Once you are happy with your design and you are sure it is laying as flat as possible, get your bleach spray bottle. Hold it approximately 12 to 14 inches away from the shirt and lightly spray directly down over the elements. You don't need to saturate it...just a light mist. Within a few seconds, you will begin to see the bleach reacting on the shirt. If you want areas on the shirt to remain black, don't spray there. But, remember, in order to achieve a mask effect,
you have to spray bleach around the elements laid out.
If you want larger blotches on the shirt, hold the spray nozzle over that area and gently pull back on the trigger of the bottle, letting the bleach trickle out of the spray nozzle onto the shirt. Some shirts turn brownish, some turn reddish...it just depends on the shirt. The end result will still be a slightly different color than what you think it will be.
When you are happy with your bleach effect, begin taking the elements off of the shirt and place them into the bowl of water to rinse them off. I do not put my Grungeboard into the water to soak but I do swish it in the water to rinse it off and then I lay it to the side to dry. (I have used my Grungeboard pieces to make lots of shirts and they are still as good as new! That stuff is amazing!!!) Remove all elements from the shirt. This picture shows you how the design will appear as you are taking the elements off of the shirt.
Here is the shirt with all of the elements removed. Lightly spray the front completely with vinegar. This stops the bleaching action. If you do not want to bleach the back of the shirt, remove it from the shirt form and lay it out to dry for a few minutes.
If you want to bleach out the back of the shirt, turn the shirt over......
Repeat the process you did on the front of the shirt. On this shirt, I just wanted some netting and some blotches on the back of the shirt.