We are so excited to have Sharon from Cupcakes and Cutlery share her DIY denim bleach tablecloth!

Denim and Bleach Tablecloth DIY

Hi there! I’m Sharon from Cupcakes and Cutlery, a life and style blog where I share my passions (entertaining, cooking, my family and more) and let my quirky creativity come out in all that I do. You know how when you happen across something and your are just drawn to it? Well that is what happened with this amazing Tiny Prints invitation. This Stormy Blue invite, for an adult surprise party, had me wrapped around its little finger. I looked at page after page of the great invite options on the website but my thoughts were already filled with this indigo inspired beauty. I love the look of the shibori crafts you find online but it all looks like just a bit too much work for me. I’ve got two boys who do not allow for long, drawn out crafts. So when I spotted this beautiful blue denim at my local fabric store I knew that would make the perfect base for a tablecloth inspired by this fun invitation.

Denim and Bleach Tablecloth DIY

For this tablecloth, there are 4 things you need:

  • A piece of denim (the size depends on the size of table you want to cover or create a runner for)
  • Liquid bleach
  • Empty water bottle
  • Washing machine

I like my home decor a little bit rustic so I didn’t worry about hemming the tablecloth (yes it unravels a bit). If you want it to be more finished I think you would want to hem it after a washing in case of shrinkage, but I am not a sewing expert so you might want to check around online or with someone at the craft store.

Denim and Bleach Tablecloth DIY

I will be honest and let you know that I have a slight fear of bleach. I can be a bit clumsy and I also had a roommate once that used to store the bleach above the washing machine. One day it leaked down in to the machine and ruined clothes. But if you are extra careful, you can create a really cool looking craft and not ruin anything in the process. I grabbed an empty water bottle and removed the label so that I could make sure everyone knew not to drink from it. I also went a step further and wrote on the bottle with a permanent marker. And even though I rinse this out between use, I do not store this anywhere that kids can reach it. I also had a talk with both my kids about what that bottle looks like. You just can’t be too careful. You all remember the Nadia Comaneci movie where someone drinks bleach out of a coffee mug, right? Before you add any bleach to the bottle you will want to poke a hole in the cap. I was able to make the hole using a pair of scissors. Please do this very carefully! Have your husband help you with an awl if you need to.

Denim and Bleach Tablecloth DIY

Spread out your fabric in an open space. I found that my patio area worked the best for this part. The bleach will soak through the fabric so you will want to remember anything underneath it may lose color also. My patio didn’t change at all but keep that in mind when you are choosing your workspace. Also, the smell can be strong so make sure there is lots of ventilation. With the cap on the bleach bottle, I began shaking it, without squeezing, over the fabric. This will let little droplets out and after a few moments you will start to see the color lifting. Next, I passed over the fabric with the bleach again, but this time I gave the bottle a little squeeze. This will get more of the bleach out and leave larger streaks and spots. This might be all you want to do. This is totally personal preference. The design is up to you. I checked on the fabric about every ten minutes to see how the colors looked. I think I ended up leaving mine on for about half an hour. But again, this is up to you. Just know that with full strength bleach, fabric can begin to break down. I would not put the bleach on and then run to the market. Although I have never had it happen, the fabric could end up threadbare or with holes if left with bleach on it too long. Once you get it to the color that you want, put the fabric in the washing machine (I put it in on its own) and run it through a cycle. When it came out, the edges were frayed and I needed to cut the long white strands apart.

Denim and Bleach Tablecloth DIY

Although I liked how the tablecloth looked, I decided to do another pass with the bleach. This time, I laid the fabric out (still wet out of the wash) and did not put the lid on the bottle. I bunched up the fabric in places and then sloshed the bleach on to the fabric. Without the lid it comes out in larger splashes. Then I folded up the fabric on itself around the places I added more bleach to have it transfer a little bit. Again, I let the bleach sit for about 30 minutes and then washed it a second time. I put it in the dryer and when that cycle was done, it was ready to use.

Denim and Bleach Tablecloth DIY

I laid the tablecloth out over my table and set up some fun, bright tableware. I think this set up would be perfect for an adult surprise party and goes really well with my new DIY tablecloth. The yellow pops against the indigo of the fabric. Mixing patterns and colors brings a lot of interest to a table without having to spend a ton of money on fresh flowers or needing to have a dozen or more matching plates and serving pieces. You could certainly get a more traditional look by keeping the colors in one color family or by using all white. Also, I am a big fan of using what you have on hand in terms of food, to keep things simple. On this day I had some Monte Cristo Roll Ups that I had just made, but the others were mostly foods found in my pantry. Most people love snack foods so they will be happy to see old favorites on the table. But I always like to throw something new in the mix to surprise people so the little bananas were a fun way to add more yellow but would also be fun for the guests. I hope this inspires you to get crafty AND throw a surprise party for someone. Now, who’s birthday is coming up…

You can check out more of this fun, bright table, and my other craft DIYs and entertaining posts, over on my blog, www.cupcakesandcutlery.com.

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Category: DIY, Inspiration
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5 Responses

  1. Carmen says:

    Such a great project. I love pulling elements from an invite to carry out a party theme and this bleached out denim is awesome! Putting it in my pocket for future events.

  2. pattie says:

    i love this idea!

  3. What a perfect statement piece Sharon! I love how it ties perfectly with the invite. Great DIY element!

  4. Kristin A. says:

    Love this! This would be great to use as a picnic blanket too! Bleach scares me as well but that bottle with a hole trick is nice.

  5. This is absolutely fabulous! Now thinking of so many possibilities for this project….

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