Introducing a DIY Series: Beautifully Contained!

This is a DIY series called Beautifully Contained

I am so excited to finally share something that I have been working on for the past couple of weeks. I love Syracuse and I knew that there has to be someone else out there in the blog world that’s located here. I sent a shout out at the end of the August Blog Brunch to see if there were any Central NY bloggers and someone responded! Thanks Jessica for introducing me to Sara Aaserud of Beautifully Contained. I immediately read through Sara’s blog and fell in love with all of her creative DIY projects [yes that’s right, a DIY blog here in Syracuse – a girl after my own heart!!!]. We started emailing back and forth and it led to a collaboration! Sara is guest blogging here on bedsidesign today so please make her feel welcomed! I figured it would be great to get to know her so here is a little Q&A for ya [please don’t miss her amazing bleach shirt DIY after the Q&A]!

bedsidesign: What’s your favorite thing to do in your city (or about your city)?

beautifully contained: I love to take my dogs for walks at Green Lakes State Park, which is just up the road from my house. Upstate NY is very beautiful!  Aside from that, I also really like to go thrifting and garage sale-ing and there always seems to be a lot of that stuff going on during the summer.  

bedsidesign: Why do you create, DIY or blog?

beautifully contained: I DIY because I like to have nice things, but I don’t like to spend a lot of money.  I started my blog to keep friends and family up to date on what I’ve been doing, and it kind of turned into a hobby.  

bedsidesign: Can you share a recent favorite read or find (could be music, a blog etc.)?

beautifully contained: A friend that I went to college with just started a fashion and lifestyle blog called The State Street Edit.  Jessica is a fantastic writer and takes some pretty awesome pictures to boot.   

bedsidesign: What is an interest, or something you’re passionate about?

beautifully contained: I have pretty much always driven a Volkswagen.  I have a black 1982 VW Rabbit that runs on diesel and I just LOVE that thing.  I’ll admit that the style isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I think that it’s adorable, and it gets really good mileage.  I can’t wait for the day when all cars get 50+ mpg!  

bedsidesign: What is on your bedside table?

beautifully contained: My Macbook | My West Elm ceramic pig speaker | A box of tissues |My glasses

bedsidesign: What are five things you couldn’t live without?

Other than the obvious friends and family:

  1. Chocolate
  2. My doggies: Max and Brooklyn
  3. Smartwool socks
  4. Button-up cardigans
  5. The TV show “Big Bang Theory”

DIY: Bleach T-Shirt by Sara Aaserud:

Hey!  I am so excited to be guest posting today!  I was thrilled when Christie asked me to do this, and I had just finished a project that I knew would be just perfect.

I’ve been seeing a lot of DIY bleach shirts around Pinterest lately (check out this one for more inspiration), so last weekend I decided to finally make my own.  It’s very straightforward, and I think that the hardest part was coming up with an idea for a design and then tracing it out onto the shirt.  I found the phrase inspiration “Make Art, Not War” from a sweatshirt that I found a while back, and popped the wording inside a heart to give it a graphic twist. (Mostly because I just really really love hearts).

First, grab yourself an article of clothing to bleach.  I got my t-shirt at Target for $8, and it is just a basic knitted cotton-polyester blend shirt.  You could also opt to do pillowcases, or a tote bag as well, so use your imagination!  However, I’m going to mention that my friend was using woven pillow-cases and the project didn’t turn out so well because the bleach soaked in and spread out a LOT when she applied it.  So before you commit to anything, put a drop of water on your shirt/pillow case, and see how it soaks in to be sure that you’re ok with how it looks.

You’re also going to need a piece of chalk, some fine paintbrushes, some bleach, and a piece of cardboard to insert between your fabric layers to keep the bleach from soaking through.

DIY materials for making a bleached t-shirt by beautifully contained

First, insert your cardboard between your layers.  This will make it easier for you to draw on your shirt with chalk, and keep the bleach from soaking through when you get to that step.

Then, get creative with your chalk!  Keep in mind that fine details that you draw out may not translate so well with the bleach later on.  This part took me the longest, and I ended up “erasing” some parts more than once.  If you’re not good at free-handing things, feel free to print something out and trace around to get the design that you want.

Once you’re done drawing with the chalk, take your paintbrush and draw with the bleach over your sketch.  You’ll have to go back and re-wet your brush fairly often.  Be careful as you go and take your time!  The bleach works its magic within a matter of minutes so you won’t have to wait long.

After you wash your shirt, you’re all done!



  1. thestatestreetedit

    Moving into school has slowed down my commenting speed, but I’m so, so excited about this! I can’t wait to see what’s to come in this series :) The shirt is so fun, too. Love love love it!

  2. Pingback: The HUMP: Part 23: Create! «

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