DIY with Jason: Bleach Tie-Dye

Destroyed denim was a thing of the past, until of course it became a thing of today. When Rayanne Graff of My So-Call Life asked “Should I rat it, spray it, tease it, freeze it, spike it, shave it, or shove it?” she wasn’t talking about her jeans…but she could’ve been. Some people pay big bucks for a pair of jeans bleached to perfection, but us…we prefer to do the destruction and save our spending moolah by buying recycled and DIYing. The only question is, how do you get your recycled find to Acne denim level?

Cue Jason, Crossroads Trading’s Buying Department Assistant and in-house DIY dude, who is constantly wowing us with his crafty clothing handy work. After peeping his bleached denim creations time and time again, we knew we had to tap into his skills so you can get the look and call it your own. And at the end, we’ll even give you a chance to actually call this jacket your own. Just comment below because one randomly selected commenter will get this jacket in the mail. The winner will be announced on Monday at 9am. EDIT: Our winner is Ethan! Thanks for participating, everyone!

What You’ll Need:

    • Clorox bleach
    • A plastic tub
    • A handful of rubber bands
    • Rubber gloves
    • Laundry detergent
    • Apron
    • Scissors
    • Newspaper
    • A raw denim jacket, meaning it should have no wiskering and no wash. Jason got this Gap denim jacket for $18.50 from Crossroads.

Step 1: Start by twisting the sleeve  so tightly that it coils

Step 2: Fold the coiled sleeve onto itself and then tightly rubber band it several times over. The tightness and placement of the rubber bands will affect the  design.

Step 3: Repeat on the other sleeve.

Step 4: Twisting the body can be tricky. Jason says you just have to be creative. He decided  to start by twisting the collar. If it helps, unbutton the body, twist, and rubber band.

“It looks like a balloon animal.”

Step 5: Almost time to bleach! Prepare yourself by putting on the apron.

Step 6: Once the jacket is fully twisted, pour the bleach into the tub. Our bottle was small so we poured the whole thing in, but you only need to pour enough in for half of the garment to be submerged.

Step 7: Put your  gloves on and put the jacket into the bleach. Press down and wait about 30 seconds.

Step 8: Flip it over! Jason flips it over about four times.

Step 9: Take the jacket out and set it on the newspaper. Then step back and watch the bleach do its magic – the color starts to lighten pretty much immediately. We did our DIY outside for the sake of less mess, but the sun also helps along the bleaching process. When you feel like you’ve got the right color, you  can…

Step 10: Cut off the rubber bands and uncoil.


Step 11: Jason doesn’t like that we didn’t get much bleach on the body of the jacket, so he dips his hand into the beach and sprinkles some onto it.

Step 12: To create signs of distress along the stitching, dip your finger in the bleach and run it along it. We wait a little longer for this newly added bleach to do its magic.

Step 13: When the color is perfect in your eyes, rinse the jacket and wash it in a washing machine with the laundry detergent. You might want to wash it a second time, but in the end you really have to leave the jacket out for a while to get the bleach smell to go away.


Note: If you’d rather a bleach dye that isn’t quite as light as ours, just rinse the bleach off when you feel like you’ve got a color you like. The water stops the bleaching process.

About Sarah

I'm a recycled fashion enthusiast, as well as the official Crossroads Trading blogger. I have a penchant for cameras, pumpkin flavored-anything, midi skirts, throwback TV shows, music festivals, and beaches.


  1. Samantha says:

    I love this look! I just need to get the right jacket to try it on :]

  2. Great idea! A nice and simple DIY project.

  3. Oscar Gallardo says:

    I can do this to shorts also!
    Great ideas thank you!

  4. What a great way to re-invent a new look!
    mcchaublog at gmail dot com

  5. Nikki Riggins says:

    This is so perfect. I’ve been looking for a jacket like this for a while, one thats not too contrasted with bleach but subtle enough to still look good on me, this would be perfect!

  6. I so want that jacket! I’ve tried this Diy before but it never works out the way I want it to.

  7. Oh damn. That’s fresh it’s like denim camouflage perfect.

Speak Your Mind