Bleach Dye DIY Stone and Sunsets Dress

I have an obsession with sunsets.  It hasn’t always been this way.  It seems to me as if one day I realized that sunsets exist- and I have been in total awe and wonderment ever since.  I have developed this sixth sense about them-  knowing that sometimes they will be mild and blur with some soft hints of pink and purple and sometimes, if it’s been raining, it will be a toss up between a cloudy gloom that simply turns to darkness- or if the sun can manage to break through- amounts a confetti of clouds, it might be one of the most beautiful things you have ever seen.  When  I shot these photos of my eating with Sally–  I was excited that the muted tones of the approaching sunset- would complement the muted grays and bleached apricot tones that had been created when I bleached this dress.

bleached dress sunset photography
Toy Elephant Photography

I created this a few weeks back- excited at the possibilities of deconstructing and reconstructing an XXL mens shirt from Goodwill.  This is an extremely easy and very fun project.  I love this piece because it can be easily layered, worn as a top, over shorts, etc- and with the muted colors and relaxed fit- it’s just an easy way to add those post-apocalyptic-chic feels to any outfit.


thrifted fashion bleached diy dress
Thrifted belt and shoes from Goodwill

bleached dress diy

distressed t-shirt dress diy

So now that we are done swooning over how well the final product turned out-  let me show you how its done:

thrifted DIY project
Step 1 is to put on your best: “it’s okay if these things get bleach on them” outfit. Step 2 is to have coffee in your thrifted Goodwill mug (not necessarily in that order)
bleached dress DIY
Next you will need your supplies: some gloves, bleach, solo cups for mixing and a plastic bottle with a spout for sprinkling, dripping a spraying your bleach around later. Another option (that might give you more design precision) is to get a hair dye applicator bottle at the hair store (or you might have one on hand)
thrifted shirt diy
I started out with this XXL long sleeved gray T from the mens section of Goodwill.
Distressed T shirt DIY
I decided to take out the hem for two reasons: 1) I wanted it to have a distressed look 2) I wanted to ADD not subtract length so that I would have the option to wear this as a dress (although truth be told- other than for photoshoot purposes- I’ll probably always wear shorts, leggings or pants underneath in real life)
Distressed T shirt DIY
The finished product looked like this. I was intentionally aggressive with my seam ripping in order to achieve some holes.
Distressed thrifted t-shirt DIY
Next I cut off the excess leave length in a jagged manner.

T-shirt DIY

…and cut some tiny holes.
distressed t-shirt diy
You them have some fun artfully creating holes and groups of holes all over the shirt.
You can hit it up with sandpaper fruitful- but it does create a different type of wear that had a more authentic look to it.
distressed t-shirt DIY
I cut a V-neck out of the front while leaving the collar (I’m loving this as a simple DIY trend that you can do with thrifted t-shirts)
I then I cut strips into the back in a triangular shape.
Now that the cutting and distressing is all done its time to add the bleach! I did a mixture of 1 part bleach one part water and simply poured if diagonally down starting from the shoulder for dramatic effect. (Glasses from
I then used my spout bottle to spray some lines across the opposite shoulder. Obviously- when you are creating with bleach- you can do this however you’d like.
bleach dye diy
I laid the top out for about 45 minutes until the bleach was at a stopping point with it bleachy powers- then I went back in with full strength bleach and used a combination of pouring and sprinkling with my bottle to create more detailed effects.
I rinsed it three times in water- letting it soak for about 10 minutes each time.
DIY clothes
…then took it for a spin in the good old washing machine (can you see that I ended up bleach dying my flannel too!?) for the final wash.

bleach shirt diy

Do you guys want to see all of the different ways this creation can be styled? Let me know in the comments!  I’d love to see your bleach projects with thrifted finds!

Love and Thrift my friends!




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