Illuminating the Connection Between the Creative, Culinary & Healing Arts


Messing with Denim



It’s the littlest things you can do to denim that completely change the look of it. We probably all know how bleach effects it, but on lighter colored denim you can go darker and give a wear and tare feel to it. The bleach pen is a fairly recent invention when you consider a timeline beginning with you hiding from the folks in the basement with your sister or friend, pouring a one gallon jug of bleach all over your brand new Levis (insert sound of moms teeth grinding) next to the laundry sink. We’ve come a long way… Hopefully. Right?

Well, suddenly when you start spending your own hard earned scratch on jeans, you have to fight the urge to experiment on those pricy new dungarees with the newly developed, sensible, penny-wise side of yourself. It’s really hard to do!

So with that said I’ve taken it upon myself, for the greater jean good, to try some popular methods i’ve found through countless hours of high-priority research (thank you pintrest) and share them with you here and now…Hurray!

Bleach pens are cheap. Real cheap. About 3-4 bucks. I grabbed some rubber gloves in the same section at the store as well as Rit dye and a bucket if you don’t already have one.

Everything you need should be located (typically) in the same area of the store. When it comes to the store, I like to get in and get out. I’m motivated right now. I can’t afford to waste anytime at the store. Plus, if I spend too much time there, I will undoubtedly get distracted and decide another project is better worth my time. Suddenly i’m buying rubberbands, glue and  wax paper. All my great ideas crushed by my own lack of direction. Okay, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration- nah, no. It’s not at all. That happens to me all the time. It’s completely accurate.

Getting home you want to start with the first project, the one with the most instant gratification, the polka dot jean.

Instant gratification is the equivalent of about three cups of coffee. It keeps you going.

A paper square to help place dots evenly on denim
Practice making dots on scrap denim
see what size dot you like best


start at the top and work your way down
start at the top and work your way down
use the bottom dot as part of the next set of four
use the bottom dot as part of the next set of four
complete one panel of denim at a time
do one panel at a time











let it sit overnight or for 3 days like me because I was busy and forgot
done and done! let it sit overnight or for 3 days like me because I was busy and forgot

Moving right along to the ware and tare portion of this tutorial:

Rit dye, a stir stick and 1 cup of salt
stir the dye powder and salt together dry
add about 2-4 cups of hot water
stir mixture well
a clip like this one will help stop dye from spreading too far
clip to the bucket and start soaking the bottom
remove after your satisfied with the depth of the color

IMG_9538 IMG_9537 IMG_9536 IMG_9535



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