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Denim DIY: Bleach Your Cut-Off Shorts For Some Cool Summer Style


Feeling creative? We’re going to show you one way to take a boring old pair of shorts and turn them into a super-happening pair of strategically bleached-out cut-offs! If you’re looking for a professional bleach job or dye job done by the pros, Denim Therapy offers incredible bleach/dye services that will turn your jeans into a dream. But if you want to experiment and have some fun, read on and we’ll guide you through one of the many ways you can modify your denim!

diy bleach denim cut off shorts colored jeans

We started out with a pair of bright blue shorts (with a bit of stretch) that hit just below the knee. We decided to give these run-of-the-mill bottoms a new life by turning them into a multi-color, semi-destroyed pair of cut-offs.

diy blue denim cut off shorts summer bleach jeans

Step 1. Cut them to your preferred length. There are no definite measurements for this—it’s up to you if you want to show a bit of your behind or if you want to be more modest. Always try them on, and then mark them. Remember the fabric will rise up about 1/2″ once cut, depending on the fiber content. Cut them longer if you plan to cuff them up.

diy blue denim cut off shorts summer bleach jeans

Step 2. Do a bit of destroying. You can always continue after you have finished bleaching them. Use a scissor, razor, or any rough/sharp edge. Separate fibers at the hem and slits you make in the denim (patience is a virtue). You will see an increase in fringe and loose threads after you wash them, so don’t worry if they look too clean cut at the beginning.

diy blue denim cut off shorts summer bleach jeans

diy blue denim cut off shorts summer bleach jeans

diy blue denim cut off shorts summer bleach jeans

Step 3. Set up a bleaching station. You will need bleach, a bin of water and bleach (our ratio was 2/3 bleach, 1/3 water—but you’ll have to experiment to find your ideal mixture according to your denim’s wash, texture, and fiber content), protective gloves, and a toothbrush.

diy blue denim cut off shorts summer bleach jeans

Be sure you’re doing this in a well-ventilated area, such as nearby an open window.

diy blue denim cut off shorts summer bleach jeans

Step 4. Apply bleach with toothbrush. Flick, spray, splatter, and otherwise distribute the bleach how ever you please. We brushed ours downward from the seamline of the waistband, and then flicked some bleach at random on the fabric.

diy blue denim cut off shorts summer bleach jeans

Step 5. Wait and watch! If the denim isn’t quite bleaching, add more.

diy blue denim cut off shorts summer bleach jeans

Step 6. Repeat step 5 until you’re happy with your bleach-out! At this point, we added a towel to keep the bleach from hitting the wood base the denim was laying on.

diy blue denim cut off shorts summer bleach jeans

Step 7. Once the front is dry, you can rinse and dry, or flip them over and do the same thing (quickly, because you don’t want the bleach to sit in the denim too long). By now you’ll have a good idea of how much bleach to use and how long to leave it.

We also added faux-pockets with bleach to our shorts, because the welt pockets weren’t doing it for us.

diy blue denim cut off shorts summer bleach jeans

Step 8. Rinse thoroughly in hot water (don’t worry if some of the dye runs out of the shorts. It’s probably going to happen—just make sure there are no dishes in your sink). Hang them or lay them to dry somewhere with plenty of ventilation. Once they’re dry, you’re done!

diy blue denim cut off shorts summer bleach jeans

Step 9. Embellish! If you’re feeling extra creative, grab a patch or some studs, and decorate your shorts!

diy blue denim cut off shorts summer bleach jeans

In one afternoon, you can have brand new shorts to flaunt. Be sure to take them out this weekend, and make your friend jealous. If they ask where you got ‘em, tell them about your friends at Denim Therapy. *wink wink*

—Michelle Christina Larsen

 

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Posted Jul 13 2011 in Denim DIY » Denim Therapy
  • Pingback: Denim DIY: Plain to Party Cut-Off Shorts « Hey Mishka

  • Denimtarian

    Hi Michelle,

    great Idea.

    But how do you know, if every colour is bleachable? I guess, if the colour moves not to white is unbleachable. Additionally what kind of bleach auxilaries did you used? If sodium chlorine (because the colour moved to yellow) than you have to neutralize, isn´t`?

    Best Greetings

  • Michelle Chrisitna

    Hi there!

    I think bleach modification is a double-edged sword for that reason: fabrics with more synthetic fiber content will bleach out less easily (and with more chance of discoloration), but 100% natural fibers will damage very quickly when exposed to bleach to the point of dramatic color removal. My most successful pair of bleached out dip-dye denim shorts (aesthetically) fell apart in three wears. 

    In this case I didn’t use any auxiliary for my water/bleach mixture, because I loved the green/yellow color against the cerulean blue of the shorts (and I’m no dye expert, but I love experimenting with different fiber contents and how they change when exposed to bleach). 

    As I experiment further I will definitely share my trial and error research!

    MC

  • Pingback: 5 Reasons Summer Denim Is Amazing - Denim Therapy Blog

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