Thursday, February 20, 2014

DIY Watermelon Shorts {And The Great Bleach Fiasco of 2014}

Orrr strawberry shorts. To be perfectly honest, in short form, these fruits look alarmingly similar. Or I might have just messed up...


I had seen several pairs of these making the rounds on Tumblr and Instagram and I thought I'd give it a try. They turned out much cheaper than the $80 some people were selling them for! 


- A pair of old jeans or shorts {In an ideal world, we would all have a sparkly white pair of shorts laying about to make this project much more expedient, BUT, in this tute I will show you how to get these from a pair of regular old thrift store jeans!}
- Pink dye {I used Dylon Flamingo Pink}
- Green dye {I used Rit Kelly Green}
- Black fabric paint OR a black sharpie
- Scissors
- A bucket
- Water
- Bleach
- Gloves


If you are like me and starting with regular old jeans (or capris), you are going to want to bleach them. Here are the jeans I started with.

Obviously these shant do to be dyed, so I took my mop bucket...

...and mah bleach...

...anndd dumped the entire bottle of bleach into the bucket with my jeans. Because really, aint nobody got time to wait for jeans to bleach any longer than absolutely necessary.

After a couple hours, the pants weren't nearly as white as I liked them, so I dumped some more bleach in the bucket. More bleach = faster bleaching, right? RIGHT. I pulled my capris out an hour or so later, thrilled with how white they had gotten, and threw them into the wash. I danced about the house in anticipation while they rinsed, as dying is one of my most favorite things.
The washer dinged!
They were ready!
Fun was about to be had!
I threw back the lid and withdrew my wonderful blank canvas pants!

Annndddd what to mine wondering eyes should appear but a fantastic wad of delightfully white shredded pants pieces.

This, my lovely people, is what happens when you don't dilute the bleach. You can't rush these things...because when you do you have to wait even longer because the thrift store is closed for the day until tomorrow, and all you have to keep you company is your wadded pile of pants parts that mocks you and declares your shame, even from the garbage can.

SO. Now I will show you the proper way (or at least better way) to bleach pants. ONWARD!

STEP ONE : Grab yer pants! The first pair I bought were not a very high quality denim. It was thin, and I *should* have known better. The second time around I got these, which are Lee brand, and the denim is much heavier. I would not recommend bleaching an overly thin denim. Or at least don't do it like I did :)

STEP TWA : Also something I didn't do the first time around but should have...go ahead and chop off the legs. I laid a pair of shorts I already had over the pants and used the existing leg-line as a guide.

STEP THIRD : Mix 1 part bleach to 1 part water in your bucket, and toss your pants in. Resist the urge to keep adding bleach. RESIST. RESIST I TELL YOU. Also, its a good idea to stir them around occasionally.

Here are the cutoffs after a few hours...

Back in the tub!

Andddd a few MORE hours...

All told I think I left them in the bleach for about 18ish hours. It did take longer than I wanted (read : I almost added more bleach, despite already having ruined the previous pair of pants), and they didn't get super duper white, but I was paranoid about leaving them in for much longer, and they were decidedly lighter. SO.

STEP FOUR : DYE DYE DYE. Wash out your bleach bucket thoroughly and mix up your pink dye (or green, I just decided to do the pink first) according the the package directions*

 I used Dylon dye in Flamingo pink and LOVE LOVE LOVED how bright the color came out. 

*TIP : I nevereverever use as much water as they suggest on the package... the less water you use, the brighter your color will be. I think I halved the recommended amount.

 STEP FIVE : Submerge ONLY the bottom 3/4 of your pants. You might need to clip/clothespin the waist band of your pants to the side of the tub to make sure they don't dunk under. You don't want to dye the entire thing!

I left my pants soaking for about 1.5 hours. They say you only need to do it for about 45, I think, but again...the longer you soak, the brighter the color!

STEP SIXFTH : Repeat the above, but with the green dye (or with the pink if you did the green firstly).

I used Rit dye in Kelly Green. I would have preferred a more flashy green, but this was all that I could find on short notice {I have a patience problem if you didn't know}, and I ended up being rather pleased with how it came out. 

This time dunk only your waistband in the dye. It might take some finagling (and you will want to wear gloves) to get your shorts adjusted to the proper depth...and its also a good idea to check on them occasionally to make sure they haven't fallen down. Mine fell down on one side and I didn't notice until much later :)

Again, I left mine soaking for longer than the recommended time...probably close to 2 hours.

STEP SEVENTY : After both sets of dye are to your liking, CAREFULLY rinse the dye out in cold water, and then toss your fancy new pants into the cold rinse cycle of your washing machine. I then followed that rinse cycle with a full wash cycle and a TEENSY bit of detergent.
AND after they dried I had these!

STEP ATE : Take your fabric paint (or Sharpie, because I didn't have no fabric paint and I had loads of black Sharpies) and draw (paint) on seed-shaped...seed, things.

Ninety thousand seeds're finished!* **

*I ended up cutting my shorts down a little more
**The hems, if left alone, will get much more distressed-y when you wash them a few times. If you are impatient, you can take some sandpaper to them!

And here is me trying to take a picture of them while wearing them! Yayfail!

Sooo I hope you like them! These would be exceptionally cute little girls' shorts for the fruity cutie toddler in your life!

Thanks for checking the tutorial out!

1 comment:

  1. Hilarious, your first pair of pants! Could have been me doing that, it's so hard to be patient! Like your melon shorts btw.


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