How to Make & Style a Cool DIY Distressed & Bleached T-Shirt

Lena Davydova
by Lena Davydova
5 Materials
15 Minutes

In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to make a distressed and bleached DIY t-shirt. I found a cute vintage t-shirt that I’m going to distress and bleach, and after that, I’m going to show you how you can style it. Let’s get started!

Tools and materials:

  • T-shirt
  • Scissors
  • Bleach
  • Razor
  • Spray bottle
Vintage Iron Maiden t-shirt

Here is the t-shirt, I love the rock vibe, and now we’re going to transform it!

Making cuts on the t-shirt

1. Make cuts on the t-shirt

Start by distressing the t-shirt. I’m going to make a simple cut right next to the neckline but not in the center, and then stretch it a little bit. Continue to make simple cuts and stretch them into holes all over the t-shirt.

Making scratches on the t-shirt

2. Make scratches

After that, open the scissors up, and use one blade to scratch the t-shirt near the holes. It’s super important to put something under your t-shirt before you do this so that you don’t spoil your work surface.

Making holes with a razor

3. Make holes with the razor

Next, take a razor and process the neck and sleeve edges. Throughout this whole process, I try to barely touch the central part of the t-shirt, so I don’t have to worry about overexposure while I’m wearing it.

Cropping the t-shirt

4. Cut the shirt

You don’t have to do this, but I’m going to cut the bottom of the shirt. I cut about half an inch (1.3cm) off, and you can also stretch it to make the t-shirt a bit more loose-fitted. You can also cut the sleeves off if you like.

Spraying bleach onto the t-shirt

5. Apply the bleach

Next, we’re going to create a beautiful bleach mist all over the t-shirt. Simply fill up your spray bottle with a mixture of bleach and water and spray it onto the t-shirt. Try to spray in a scattered, asymmetrical way, as this will look better.

Waiting for the bleach to work

When you’re done, wait about 3-4 minutes for the bleach to seep into the t-shirt.

Rinsing off the bleach

6. Rinse

Next, rinse the t-shirt in cold water without any detergent until the water runs clear. Then you can put the t-shirt in a dryer or let it air dry.

DIY distressed and bleached t-shirt

This is the final result; I really like how it looks. Now I’m going to show you a few ways that you can style it.

How to style a distressed t-shirt

Distressed t-shirt with a snake-print skirt

Here I paired the t-shirt with a midi-length skirt. I tried to find a skirt in a cheetah print but ended up with a snake print one instead. I think that animal prints go well with this kind of t-shirt because both pieces are bold and statement.

Distressed t-shirt with chunky black boots

I also added some chunky black boots to maintain the rocker-girl look.

Distressed t-shirt with pants

For the second look, I paired the t-shirt with some beige straight-leg pants. I like the contrast between the neat, classic pants and the distressed and rugged top.

DIY distressed and bleached t-shirt tutorial

This DIY is so easy, so you have to give it a go yourself! It is a great way to inject some character into a t-shirt and give it a whole new vibe. Just remember to be careful with the bleach and make sure it doesn’t go anywhere that it’s not meant to.

Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Suggested materials:
  • T-shirt
  • Scissors
  • Bleach
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