DIY: Denim Bleach-Dye Vest

It’s all the despite all  my RAGE I’m still just a rat in a cage this summer season: bleach-dye denim. Urban Outfitters has certainly run with this trend, which means you should too. Destroying denim has always been an interest of mine, so using bleach to get a tie-dye effect seemed like a natural progression for me and my destructive ways (see my post on achieving the perfect cut offs). Throw on Dazed and Confused for some serious tie-dye inspo and let’s get to work!

Needed Supplies:

  • Denim (I used a thrifted jean jacket but this process can be applied to any sort of denim)
  • Scissors/Exacto-knife to fray or destroy the denim
  • Bleach
  • Old bucket/tub
  • Rubberbands
  • Gloves (I did not use these and my dry hands regret this decision very much)
  • Tongs

1. Cut or destroy the denim until you’re satisfied with the look. Remember, NEVER directly cut a hole in the fabric. Always work away the fabric in a rake-like motion.

2. Lie the denim flat and gather certain sections in little nubbies with rubber-bands until it looks like Protozoa hair from Zenon, Girl of the 21st Century.

3. Next, bind the denim into a big ball by creating a grid with the rubber-bands to hold everything together and add extra dimension in the pattern.

4. Fill the tube or bucket with 1/4 hot water and 3/4 bleach. NOTE: If you’re working with a lighter denim, you might want to ease up on the bleach so you don’t wash it out too much. I suggest doing this part in a sink or a bathtub.

5. Place the ball-o-denim in the bleach. Use the tongs to rotate what side is soaking every 10 or so minutes until you reach the desired shade your looking for.

6. Cut off all the rubber bands and unleash the denim. If you find certain spots that need some more love, simply rubber-band them and give them extra soaking time.

7. Wring out the denim and throw it in the washing machine/dryer…ALONE. That bleach ball would murder any of your clothes.

WHA-LA! It’s that easy.



Can’t wait to rock this baby over a sun dress or black skinny jeans. We’re going to be good friends, this vest and I.

Peace y’all,


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