Color Denim DIY

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July 16, 2012

As we all know, color denim has been very en vogue lately and although I do have some colored denim, I still want more. Unfortunately, I don’t have the cash to shell out for a new pair every time I want one. But I do have old jeans, bleach, and fabric dye. Here’s how I made my own color denim.

You will need:

  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 2 large gallon size jugs of bleach
  • 1 package of fabric dye
  • 1 cup of salt
  • 2 pairs of disposable gloves

Start off by bleaching your jeans. I did this in the sink. Pour all of your bleach into the sink (or a large bucket can be used instead) and submerge your jeans. It is best to lay them out flat so try not to wrinkle them too much. Let sit for about 6 hours, checking and repositioning ever hour or so. *At first the bleach turns this weird, rusty color. Do not be alarmed; it’s normal.

After your jeans are a crisp, white color, drain the bleach and rinse off all of the bleach. You may want to use a drop of detergent, just to make sure all the bleach has been washed away. *Most threads do not take the bleach and stay their original color. Keep this in mind when choosing your dye color. Finally, it is time to dye your jeans.

Since all fabric dyes are different, it is important to follow the directions on your specific packaging. The dye I used worked great and was very affordable, so I do recommend RIT liquid fabric dye. All I had to do was fill up my washer with HOT water, pour in the bottle of dye, add one cup of salt (*the salt attracts the dye to the jeans and encourages it to stay for good), and let the washer do it’s thing. Then once the jeans were dyed I washed them and dried them and voilà! I have a brand new pair of sunshine orange jeans.

One thing I will say is that the jeans suddenly felt much looser after the whole coloring process. I am hoping that they shrink as I wash and dry them more. This may or may not happen to you (I used really cheap jeans from Forever21), so it might be better to start with jeans that are a little snug.

Have you ever tried bleaching or dyeing your old jeans? How did they turn out?