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Jan 22, 2013

TUTORIAL: How To Stamp With Bleach On Fabric



The two most popular posts on this blog are the bleach pen projects. I get e-mails all the time from people living in other parts of the world who do not have access to bleach pens and  ask if I could suggest an alternative. There are alternatives, but since I have not tried them out, I am hesitant to recommend anything. However, finally I had some time to play around. I have been wanting to see how stamping with plain bleach would work.

I went through my fabric stash and cut small test areas from different woven fabrics to see how they react with bleach. I strongly encourage you not to skip this step. From the 5 different samples I tried, I was only happy with 1! And the blue quilting fabric did not even react to the bleach at all. In some, the bleach spread too fast and the design was not recognizable, in others I did not like the color I ended up with.
 I chose the green linen blend fabric from Joann's. ( I also tried 2 quilting cottons, 1 corduroy and 1 gauze. )
Grab a bowl or container,  fold a piece of paper towel and place it in the bottom of the bowl. You should have at least 4 layers of paper towel.




Pour bleach on it slowly,  watching to make sure the layers of paper towel get well saturated. Tilt the dish and if you have some bleach pooling, get rid of it! Essentially you are making a stamp pad with bleach and too much bleach will just make for dripping stamps. Next you should prepare a bowl or sink with a solution to neutralize the bleach. Mix 1 part white vinegar with 5-6 parts water. As long as you do not mix bleach straight from the bottle with vinegar, you will be fine and there will not be any dangerous fumes. At all. (Plus the amount of bleach you are using is very minimal in the fabric itself, so no worries.)
Tip: use simple, not too complicated stamp designs with bold lines. Or make your own. Thinner lines work OK, but are not the best. Press your stamp down on the bleach soaked paper towel. IMPORTANT: Do not place the container with the bleach on your fabric, like I did on the picture. Trust me. Also, once you "inked" your stamp with bleach, grab a rag and tilt your stamp over the rag. Do not wipe the stamp, just allow any extra bleach to drip off onto the rag. Not your fabric. Again, just trust me on this. 
Now you can stamp away! Watch the bleach discharge the color. It should only take a minute or two.
Then take your fabric to the vinegar/water solution and rinse/ soak your fabric for a few minutes. Then wash it and dry it.

And  have a fun new fabric!

I made a couple more.
 The green turned out the best. Just goes to show you that you need to test, test, test! To make sure you get the results you will be happy with.




65 comments:

  1. Thanks for this how to.. Definitely looks great :)

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  2. Oh cool! I just came across my stamps collecting dust in the basement. Great new way to use them!

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  3. Such a cute idea! I'm going to have to try this out sometime. Thanks for sharing!

    Melissa
    redflycreations(dot)com

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  4. How fun! I've always wanted to try this but have never taken the time. Your post and fabric are so inspiring! I may have to give it a shot. Thank you! Would it be okay to pin?

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  5. Awesome idea! Thanks for sharing it. :)

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  6. Such a cool idea, we don't have bleach pens here, and I never thought of doing this, Ive always just painted it on when Ive wanted bleach patterns

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  7. WoW!
    What a simple ans effective idea ! Thank you so much for sharing Dora !

    Siubhan x

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  8. I see doing this to some old tshirts in my near future! So fun! Thanks!

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  9. Great idea!! Thanks for sharing ;)

    ~Brenda @ChattingOverChocolate.blogspot.com

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  10. Love this project and can't wait to try it! Stopping by from Ginger Snap Crafts.

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  11. This is so brilliant I want to hug you!!!! I am going to have to try this.

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  12. Wow! I love the effect, and resulting pattern. You also did a wonderful job on the tutorial, makes me want to run to the laundry room this instant! Thank you for sharing.

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  13. This is a great idea! Thanks for the great tutorial.

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  14. OMG this is the coolest thing ever. I have a stamp and a fabric fetish. I will so be trying this out. Thank you new fan from smalltowndreamz.blogspot.com and kikilovecreations.blogspot.com. I will be contacting you about doing a feature on this!!!!

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  15. That sounds brilliant! The stamping and the bleach pen. Wonder if you can get them here? (in the UK) thank you!

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  16. Oh this is the coolest! I can't wait to try it...like tomorrow morning! Pinned this and I'm happy to be following you via GFC and looking forward to more fun stuff!

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  17. Fun idea, I love how the green turned out!

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  18. I love the natural look of the bleached stamp. Thanks for sharing your technique!

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  19. Awesome! I use my stamps to paint designs on fabric, I excited to try it with bleach. Thanks :)

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  20. Cool Cool Cool! I so want to try this one! Thanks for all of the info and tips!
    I would be super excited if you had a chance to share at Get Schooled Saturday at Too Much Time On My Hands this weekend:)
    xxx
    Kim
    http://too-much-time.com/2013/01/get-schooled-saturday-58-in-ot-out-media-giveaway.html#

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  21. merci c'est une très bonne idée
    bonne journée
    bises de france

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  22. I LOVE this idea ~ I can't wait to try it. Pinning and I would love to invite you to link it up to It's Party Time at Cupcakes and Crinoline.

    http://cupcakesandcrinoline.com/2013/01/its-party-time-linky-party-17-and-features-from-last-weeks-party/

    I hope to see you there!

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  23. What a great idea! Thanks so much for sharing it!

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  24. Totally inspirational and as we'd say when I was still back up north, "wicked cool"!
    Thanks for the great tute, so glad I kept all of my rubber stamps =) You are quite awesome indeed.

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  25. I saw you linked up at Project Inspire. I would have never thought of this, how fun to personalize anything you want!
    Beth @ The First Year Blog

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  26. Love this idea! The green is beautiful with the fun flower! Thanks for sharing!

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  27. Thanks for this! I've been playing with bleach a little and this is the best advise I've seen. Found you via Keeping it Simple - Motivate me Monday. Now following you via bloglovin.

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  28. That does look great, too bad it didn't work with all of them

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  29. oh how fun!!! A friend gave me a bleach spray project for Christmas, but this looks so easy! Will have to try!

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  30. What a neat idea. It's like reverse stamping:)

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  31. Great idea and I hadn't seen this before. Thanks for sharing!

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  32. I love how this turned out! I need to get out my stamps and give this a try. I found you from Keeping It Simple

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  33. Love that stamping effect in the fabric. Looks great!

    TQM hopping by, blogging for health: Lipoid Pneumonia, Breast Cancer & Petroleum Jelly and crafting: Valentine Heart Wreath

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  34. This is incredible - thanks for sharing!

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  35. Clever idea! Thanks for the great tips!

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  36. Pinned it! Love this idea for a background on a quilt I will be making for my 28 year old son! Thanks :) Kathi (found you on Sugar Bee crafts)

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  37. Thanks the idea, it's great, i will try it.
    Erzsébet

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  38. so adorable! I found you at tip junkie!

    Sparkled
    http://sparkledwhimsy.blogspot.com/

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  39. This is brilliant! I am so trying this, I love using bleach to decorate fabric, thanks for sharing!

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  40. You are a very clever girl. I love this!

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  41. Genius idea! I love this!! They look so great.

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  42. Great idea! Possibilities are endless! We would love it if you would link up at our new linky party: Two Girls and a Party Hosted by:
    Dana @ This Silly Girl's Life
    Parrish @ Life with the Crust Cut Off
    We hope to see you there!

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  43. This is so smart! I can't wait to try this fun idea! Thanks for the tips.

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  44. This is such an awesome idea and has given me a great idea for a project. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  45. This is such a good idea! I've seen a lot of spraying bleach onto fabric, but this is a great alternative

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  46. How fun! I'm going to keep this in mind!

    Adriane
    oneluckypickle.com

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  47. Hello!
    Show and Tell Saturday at Sassy Little Lady is LIVE! I’d love to have you share your post!

    http://www.sassylittlelady.com/blog/show-and-tell-saturday/show-and-tell-saturday-2

    Kathie

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  48. Great post!! I included it in my post Βόλτα στη Γειτονιά #20 :)
    Have a great week!!

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  49. Wow...I wish I'd thought of this, lol! Just wonderful--and your green linen is gorgeous! Well done!

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  50. Looking forward to trying this. I've featured it. Stop by & grab a Featured On button. Thanks for linking to Craftastic Monday at Sew Can Do:)

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  51. Awesome idea that I will definitely be borrowing!! Thanks for sharing! Will be pinning:D

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  52. Awesome! I was trying to draw with a bleach pen onto fabric. Some of the drawings turned out okay, but now I am so glad to have another option!

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  54. hi, i think this is a great idea and as i have stamps with letters on... well i can personalise fabric! maybe make some home sweet home hanging cushions or bedroom signs.. thanks for the idea, its great.

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  55. Hi, I have to try this... your explanations is very clear, thanks!
    Serena

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  56. nice one thanks a lot

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  57. I love your idea and love your tutorial except you ran over one of my pet peeves. Do not use vinegar to neutralize bleach. It causes a chemical reaction which releases chlorine gas. I know the amounts are small and for most of us it wouldn't be an issue, but some people are sensitive to it. It also forms an acid which is more damaging to the fabric than bleach. If your item is going to just be around for a season, this may not be an issue, but it could be if your project is intended to last for awhile.

    You could visit Paula Burch's site http://www.pburch.net/dyeing/FAQ/neutralizingdischarge.shtml for a much more detailed explanation and an extensive list of chemicals and products that work, but one of the easiest and most readily available is hydrogen peroxide. After bleaching, rinse your item, then pour some 3% hydrogen peroxide on the bleached areas. It will stop the action of the bleach and your item should last for years.

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  58. From Rio de Janeiro - Reeeeeally I thanks you share this great idea and tips!

    Ivana Rowena

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