I Feel So Crafty! – DIY Colored Jeans and Ombre Shirt

Summer is my best and worst friend.   I hate this heat and humidity, but I LOVE all the free time I’m getting to do DIY’s and recipes from pinterest.   Today I finished two DIY projects!

The first (and most extensive) was a project to refashion your ho-hum jeans into colored jeans.   This process took a couple days due to the amount of bleaching I had to do.  The first round of bleaching I did in my bathtub.

Here they are before…

I filled it up with enough water to cover the jeans, then added a half gallon of bleach.  Then bleached them for 3 hours turning them over every 30-45 minutes.   During this process I discovered that HOT water speeds up the bleaching process, so I was running back and forth from the bathroom to the kitchen with pots of boiling water.  That didn’t lighten the jeans up enough, I was out of bleach, and it was nearing 1am.  So I threw them in the wash alone with no detergent then hung them up to air dry.

The second round of bleaching, I got a big bucket.  Filled it up with boiling water, poured in a (freshly bought) half gallon of bleach, then put the jeans in making sure they were all covered by the water.  I bleached those for 4 hours.  The last hour or so was just bleaching the thighs of the jeans because they were determined to hold onto what little blue they had left.  Ironically the thighs were the lightest part of the jeans when I started out this project.  After 4 hours, I still had this weird baby blue, mint green, pastel yellow pair of jeans.

but I had heard horror stories of bleach eating through the denim.  So, I washed these by themselves in the washing machine with no detergent once and with detergent twice.  And in the morning I had (mostly) white jeans!

In this picture I put a (brand new) white shirt on top so you could compare the colors.


Then I washed out that bleach bucket, filled it with boiling water again, mixed in the dye (and salt) and dyed the jeans for maybe 30 minutes?  I was kind of doing 5 things at once and it was boiling hot outside with a lot of humidity, so I kind of lost track of time.  I used rit dye’s sunshine orange and scarlet mixed together, because according to their website it would produce this lovely peachy coral shade.

and I was really hoping for a pair of coral jeans ala Kate Middleton.  
What I got (after dying them for about 30 minutes in highly concentrated water, then rinsing, washing, and drying them) was….

A little TOO orange… I think I would’ve preferred a mix of the two outside colors.. and this orange is not a mix of those two.   So I ran to the store and bought a box of petal pink RIT dye and dyed the jeans for a few hours.  Then rinsed them and washed them twice and I got….


My little brother Zach thought he’d be funny and make fun of me in my pictures.  It was too precious to not include in here.   One of my biggest concerns was how the back would look because of all the stitching on the pockets (knowing the thread wouldn’t take the bleach or dye) and I’ve heard that peach/coral isn’t a very flattering color for your…ermmm… backside.   AND AS AWKWARD AS THIS PICTURE MAY BE…


And if you think this picture is awkward, try asking your little sister to take the picture for you.    I think the stitching on the pockets is one of my favorite parts.  And the funny thing is.. these pants feel bigger on me than they did when I started this process… hmmm..  I still don’t LOVE the color.  I wish it was a little more pink, but its a DIY.  Beggars can’t be choosers right?  To think… These started out as a regular pair of blue jeans.

The second DIY project I did was an ombre shirt.  By the way, I’m a little confused.. I’ve been saying ombre like ohm-bray.  But I’ve heard some people calling it ahm-bre.  Which is it!?

ANYWAYS, the only difference between how I did my shirt and how the girl in the video did her’s was that I did not section of the shirt with rubber bands.  I didn’t want those white tie-dye lines, but I did section off a part of the shirt (the point where I didn’t want the color to pass).   And when I was dipping my shirt, the first dip was in water with just a little bit of dye and I added more dye with every dip.

So ya, I dyed it then hung it upside down and used a spray bottle to spritz cold water on the lines where the different shades met so they would blend together and not be… well… lines.


The shirt was a brand new shirt from Marshall’s.  And it’s HUGE!  It’s one of those shirts that you definitely need a cute belt and accessories to make it look right.  Seriously, I could be 9 months pregnant and it would still fit… Hmmm… I hope if I ever have kids that ombre will still be in then, I may have just scored myself a fashionable maternity shirt for an entire pregnancy.  Think, it would be a great “hide the baby bump” shirt for when you’re not telling anyone yet, it would fit all the way through the pregnancy, and then it would work as a “hide the baby fat” shirt after you had the baby.   BUT seeing as how I’m no where close to even getting married anytime soon, I should just think of it as a cute shirt… or give it to my sister whenever she decides to make me an Aunt!  (incentive- Get pregnant.  Kelsey gives you an awesome shirt)

DEAR GOODNESS, where have I gone with this!?  ANYWAYS, at the end of the dying, spraying, hanging, and washing.  I came out with this…


I love how it looks in the sunlight.   I guess I should’ve taken off that rubber band before washing the shirt…  I wanted richer color, so I dyed it again, and dyed it in the pink dye for the jeans for a bit.
See what I mean about it being a good maternity shirt?  Hahah, I’m happy with the result.  Might not be my favorite color, I would’ve preferred it to be the red color it was when I dyed it… but I think it would look really good with navy, stripes, maybe black too.

So ya.  There’s my crafty exploits of the past couple days.   Pretty fun huh?