I love using bleach to dye fabric (bleach discharge is the technical term) to create surfaces filled with pattern. Bleach chemically pulls pigment away from the surface of fabric, leaving everything that you bleach white or a lighter version of the fabric. You can use all kinds of fun techniques with bleach to transform fabric into something beautiful (I write all about it in my book Sew Wild). After finding some super cheap canvas shoes (fake Toms) from our local drug store, I couldn't resist altering them with bleach.
1. Any kind of fabric or canvas shoes will work but make sure to do a little test on the inside of the shoe to see how the fabric reacts- different colors and fabric will have different results.
2. I used a brush and a little bowl of bleach. I dipped my brush and began covering the surface. TIP- Make sure to use a synthetic brush because the bleach will not eat away at the bristles.
3. I let the bleach react with the surface. TIP- Canvas or heavy/dark fabric can be slow to react with bleach, to speed up the process I like to use a little heat (hair dryer or heat tool).
4. I covered the entire surface of the shoes with all kinds of marks and doodles.
The result are two pairs of really funky and unique shoes- perfect shoes for summer walks on the beach!