Category Archives: HodgePodge Freebies

Cowboy Boots Revisited! Cowboy Boots: FREE PDF Crochet Pattern Meet the Revamped Cowboy Boot!! Originally blogged about in February, 2012, this cutie bootie has gone through a thorough revision to fix missing round counts, incorrect wording, and to make it more crocheter friendly!

It is an INTERMEDIATE pattern–this one isn’t for new crocheters!! You must have some prior knowledge on basic baby bootie construction as well as a firm grasp on how to work the reverse single crochet.

For those brave enough to tackle them, they are perfect gift for a baby shower (or even your own bundle!) What you will find within the pattern: Included with your FREE PDF file is a complete and thoroughly tested pattern for the Cowboy Boot. Cowboy Boots: Free Pattern

You can find your FREE COPY over in my Craftsy or Ravelry shops. Enjoy! And don’t forget to share your pics, drop a comment below, or mosey on over to the sidebar to hit that Follow HodgePodge button so you don’t miss anything!

DIY Bleached TARDIS Tee DIY Bleached TARDIS Tee

Okay…I admit I’ve always wanted my very own TARDIS… Who wouldn’t?!? As long as it comes with a Time Lord, I’m set. :)

Since I am highly doubtful that my TARDIS dream will ever be a reality (anyone out there who knows David Tennant or Matt Smith and is willing to pull some strings would earn my eternal gratitude!), a girl has to settle for Plan B. My Plan B is to put the TARDIS on everything I possibly can.

Today, that thing is a t-shirt!

I had a ball painting the TARDIS on my DIY Handbag, but in order to get acrylic paint to behave better (I admit, I’ve never thought about washing a handbag before…) you need to add some acrylic medium when painting on clothing so that your fabric stays soft and lasts through more washes. Note: You don’t technically NEED to add it–acrylic paint won’t wash out–but it helps keep the color vibrant and also helps your fabric still feel like fabric and not get too stiff. 

So, instead of painting, I decided to bleach.

Bleaching can be a lot of fun (and is certainly less expensive) but whenever you tackle a project that involves color, the first thing you need to think about is…well, the color!

When you paint, you can either paint on the darker contrast or opt to paint lighter tones and cause the fabric under to contrast.

When you bleach, whatever the bleach touches will automatically lighten. So technically, whatever is covered by the stencil will be what contrasts.

I’ll show you an example of what I mean:

TARDIS stencil on fabric with paint (Notice how the black paint instantly creates contrast, causing the fabric to pop): Doctor Who and the TARDIS

TARDIS stencil with bleach (Notice how the bleach lightens the fabric, creating contrast with the original color of the t-shirt, causing it to pop): DIY Bleached TARDIS Tee

Whatever way you choose to do it, I promise you’ll have a ton of fun getting it done.

So what do you need to create your own bleach tee masterpiece? You probably already have everything on-hand!

  • The first thing you will need is a t-shirt. It doesn’t have to be the most fancy thing on the planet or even brand new. (Got an old oil-stained or paint-stained one you’ve been hanging on to? This project is perfect for it!!)
  • Freezer paper. You will need this to create your stencil and it’s absolutely critical to getting a good bleached tee.
  • A printer.
  • A sharp X-acto knife. Scissors won’t work unless you are doing something with relatively straight edges and no inside cut-work.
  • An iron.
  • Bleach.
  • A glass measuring cup.
  • A spray bottle.
  • A rag you don’t mind getting bleached.
  • Rubber gloves.
  • Cardboard and aluminum foil or plastic garbage bags and a large flat surface.
  • Water.
  • White vinegar.
  • Washing machine and dryer.
  • A nice day to work outdoors.

The process: DIY Bleached TARDIS Tee

The first thing you need to do is decide what to put onto your shirt. The internet is full of interesting graphics that would work well when bleaching a tee. Just pull up Google and type in silhouette followed by whatever it is you are interested in finding an image of and you won’t be disappointed.

If you’d rather tackle the TARDIS above, you can grab a copy of my template right here: HodgePodge Crochet DIY Bleached TARDIS Tee.

Once you have your image, the next thing you need to do is print it and then layer it under your freezer paper and trace over it. You will be cutting out everything that is white and leaving everything that is black. TAKE YOUR TIME!! Spending extra time now to make it right will pay off later! DIY Bleached TARDIS Tee

I recommend writing on whatever part of the stencil will need to be removed to make the whole process simpler. DIY Bleached TARDIS Tee DIY Bleached TARDIS Tee

Now that your template is all trimmed, it’s time to iron it onto your tee. MAKE SURE you are ironing shiny side down. The shiny side is the side that will adhere to your shirt and you don’t want that stuck to your iron!

Use a hot iron with no steam and once you have the paper good and stuck down, leave your shirt to cool off for at least 30 minutes. It’s not mandatory but I find that I get a better resist when I let the fibers cool off from the heat of the iron.

While you are waiting, mix up your bleach solution. I do NOT recommend using straight bleach for this project. It’s way too harsh for the fabric and will more than likely eat through the t-shirt before you have a chance to peel back your stencil. Instead, measure out a 50/50 ratio of bleach to water and add it to a spray bottle. Make sure that you label the bottle so there aren’t any accidents later!! 

When you are ready, prepare your cardboard by covering it in aluminum foil. (You can opt to line your shirt with garbage bags instead.) Once it’s covered, slide it inside your shirt. This will be used as a barricade so that the bleach only stays on the front of the shirt. Feel free to skip this part if you plan to bleach the back as well as the front.

Now is a good time to take your work outdoors. Bleach is not fun to breathe in and can be dangerous if inhaled. Working outside provides great ventilation as well as great lighting! If you are particularly sensitive, wear a respirator as well.

All that’s left is to put on your gloves, grab your rag, and start spraying your bleach mixture!


Lightly spray your design, blot up the excess asap, and then force yourself to wait!! You won’t see anything happen at first but give it a few minutes for the bleach to work its magic. You will notice the fabric you’ve sprayed to begin lighten. The result is more dramatic with darker colored tees.

Quick tip: Don’t let your bleach pool anywhere and try to keep your paper as dry as possible. Also, BLOT!! Don’t wipe. Wiping might push bleach under your stencil and ruin your design. 

Keep layering on bleach as you go, waiting between sprays and blotting up excess bleach, until you get the desired effect. DIY Bleached TARDIS Tee

Once you are happy with your design, leave the shirt to sit for a few minutes (it should be barely damp, not soaking) and then carefully pull off the stencil. Make sure your hands are clean (no bleach!) otherwise you may end up bleaching an area that you didn’t want bleached! DIY Bleached TARDIS Tee DIY Bleached TARDIS Tee

Now that you’re all done with the bleaching, it’s time to deactivate it and stop the process!! The first thing to do is immediately throw that shirt into some water (running water is awesome!!) and rinse and rinse and rinse! DIY Bleached TARDIS Tee

Make sure you really rinse well because the next step involves vinegar and you don’t want to mix bleach with vinegar!! That’s bad..

Once your shirt is totally rinsed–several times with lots of fresh water–it’s time to deactivate whatever bleach might be left with some straight white vinegar.

Throw your shirt into a bowl and then pour some vinegar over it and squish it through. Then leave it to sit outside for 1-3 hours to do its work. DIY Bleached TARDIS Tee

After it’s done soaking, ring it out and rinse it one last time with some fresh water and then launder as usual!

The result is pretty spectacular!! DIY Bleached TARDIS Tee


The following are some of the questions I’ve gotten since posting this tutorial that I thought would be best shared right here! 

Q. Do I need to prewash the shirts?

A. I recommend prewashing to remove sizing because if your shirt shrinks weird on you, your design will shrink weird and all that work is gone. Also, sometimes sizing will resist bleach and you won’t end up with the result you expect.

Q. Can I put different color shirts into the vinegar bath together or do I need a separate bowl for each?

A. You can put all shirts together in the same bowl as long as you are 100% positive you’ve rinsed all of them REALLY WELL before putting them into the vinegar. (Mixing straight bleach and vinegar will produce toxic fumes so it is **really important** to rinse your shirts well before dunking them into vinegar.) Vinegar won’t cause colors to run.

Q. I’ll be working in full sunlight, any special precautions I need to take?

A. Working out in the daylight (on a hot day) is best for making these shirts because it encourages faster dry times between mists of bleach. It’s also encouraged to do these outdoors because bleach fumes aren’t good for you. If working inside, make sure you have adequate cross ventilation!!

Q. My bleach is lemon scented, will that affect the process?

A. The scent of the bleach will not affect the end result.

Q. Anything else I need to know?

A. Yes!

  1. It is TEMPTING to dump as much bleach onto your shirts as fast as possible, but you must resist the urge!! Putting on too much bleach too fast will soak your shirt. The result will be bleeding under your template (especially if you have a lot of thin areas on your stencil) and might ruin your design.
  2. After some experimenting, I’ve learned that bleach will not work on most synthetic fabrics. What you end up getting is this almost ghost print (if anything at all) which could be cool if that’s the look you’re going for. For an awesome bleach shirt you will need natural fabrics. The good news is that even the cheap t-shirts at WalMart (where I got all of mine) are a natural fiber blend and they will work just fine. 100% cotton will also work well, HOWEVER, bleach really weakens cotton so adjust your bleach ratio so there is more water than bleach and use sparingly. If you get big, wet drips of bleach on 100% cotton, they will quickly develop into holes in the material.
  3. If you use cardboard and skip the step of covering it with aluminum, be warned! Cardboard will soak up your bleach and become a nightmare (especially if you are heavy handed with the spraying). For the best results with your stencil, make sure your cardboard is either wrapped in plastic or covered in aluminum foil.
  4. Don’t wear anything you would cry to get bleach on when tackling these shirts!!
  5. Different color shirts WILL bleach differently. I’ve had unexpected results with quite a few shirts I’ve done. What I’ve found is that purple shirts bleach to green OR pink tones. Green shirts lighten to yellow or lime.
  6. The darker the shirt, the better the result with the least amount of bleach. Black and brown have been my two most successful bleached result.
  7. The lighter the shirt, the more bleach you will need to lighten the fabric around your stencil.
  8. Only mix small batches of bleach at a time and empty the leftovers (don’t store it). If you store leftover bleach it could weaken your spray bottle and end up a giant mess on you.
  9. ANY cheap spray bottle will work for this project. If you don’t have a spray bottle you can use a kitchen sponge dipped into your bleach ratio and squeezed out so that it’s damp but not dripping. GENTLY dab onto your shirt and go slow. Make sure  you are wearing really good gloves if you decide to go with the sponge and when you are finished, rinse the gloves with water, dip into vinegar, and rinse again before removing them.
  10. When you are all done with your final shirt rinse and ready to wash, throw them into your machine without any other clothing to reduce the risk of accidents!!

If you make a tee, I’d love to see it!! The following is a HodgePodge Pic Gallery filled with contributions from some amazingly crafty Podgers! DIY Bleached TARDIS Tee

If you try one of your own, head on over to facebook and share it with me! I’d love to see your creations! DIY Bleached TARDIS Tee

Knits: Beginners Lace Scarf Knits: Beginners Lace Scarf

I have always wanted to learn to knit and have ALWAYS spectacularly failed at it. For some reason, the points on the ends of needles just didn’t make any sense to me (In my mind, sticks need to end in a hook to be effective…)

But, I’ve never really been one to shy away from a challenge either so I bought needles about two years ago and kept trying–always blaming the yarn or the needles for my failures–and never succeeding.

That is, until I bumped into the most charming lady over in YouTube. Her channel, The Casting On Couch literally changed me from JUST a crocheter who knows how to cast onto a knitting needle but that’s about it…to someone who can work magic with any kind of stick and some yarn!

Her hypnotic rhythm…and let’s be honest here, her English accent!! made knitting seem effortless and comfortable! My hope is that she will do more videos because I think she’s brilliant!

If you want to try your crocheter’s hand at knitting, I suggest you grab some needles and yarn and have a look!

Oh!! And a quick tip for those who might be a beginner to lace knitting that was given to me (paying it forward is always a good thing!) is to use a lifeline!


Handbag Roundup!

In the spirit of handbags (I seem to be on a roll with them lately!) I decided to dedicate some space to amazing crochet alternatives to the sewn version I recently completed.

Get ready for some eye-popping designs!!! HANDBAG ROUNDUP


Number one and two on the list belongs to 

Knotted Notions!!

Number three, four, and five on the list goes to

Cuddle Me Beanies!!

 Number six on the list goes to

Corrina Ricke!!

 Number seven on the list goes to


 Number eight on the list goes to


Number nine on the list goes to

Knot your Nana’s Crochet!!

 Number ten on the list goes to

Crafting Potpourri!!














Doctor Who and the TARDIS

Most people who know me also know that I am a fan of Doctor Who. I wouldn’t call myself a Doctor encyclopedia (I know you guys are out there!!) but I’ve always had a soft spot for nerdy science stuff. Throw in a British accent and a blue box–it’s bigger on the inside–and I’ll eat it right up! TARDIS by mad42sam


Lately I’ve been dabbling in the world of sewing and fabric and I really wanted to do something Doctor Who inspired for my first project but every fabric I found was super–crazy–expensive. (I have no idea how you guys out there who sew for a living stay in business!!)

Since I have a sewing machine and have used it a handful of times–Not kidding; I am the world’s worst sewer. (Sewer…is that a thing?? That has to be the worst word on the planet to call someone who sews for a living…)–I wasn’t willing to part with my coins for something that I would likely end up huddled over in a pile of tears when finished….

So, bring in plan B!! Peter Davison–The Fifth Doctor–once said, “There’s always something to look at if you open your eyes.” Good advice! And I always take the Doctor’s advice.

Scavenging around my house I found the answer literally hanging in front of me. Enter, One Pair of Old Curtains. Cost: Zero! I took them off the window (I didn’t really need them because they weren’t exactly functional curtains anyway), washed and ironed them and viola!

But…there was still a problem of how to incorporate a Doctor Who theme on a pair of old curtains. Sure, they were blue…but…BLUE!! See where I’m going with this?!?! 

A quick trip through Pinterest and I found the PERFECT solution!

Bubbles Before Bath Time!

Turns out she has a geeky hubby and wanted to spruce up her son’s wardrobe (and blogged about it!) Thanks so much for the tips and shortcuts!!

With the help of her amazing blog (seriously, this is simple stuff here), a few supplies, PATIENCE, and some black acrylic paint, I was able to transform my plain and boring curtain fabric into…well, LOOK!! <3 <3 Doctor Who and the TARDIS Doctor Who and the TARDIS

There are a few crucial things you need in order to make this a success and those are:

1. A SHARP x-acto knife. Don’t waste your time with anything else because you’ll just get frustrated and cry–trust me on this one. ;)

2. FREEZER PAPER. This won’t work with wax paper or parchment paper or any other kind of paper.

3. Black acrylic paint. Any brand will do. Check the bottle if using fabric paint because some of them need to be heat set to be permanent.

4. A paint brush. If you’re lucky enough to have a silk screen, you can skip this part. Since I don’t deal in fabric–I’m a crocheter!!–I don’t have one. Some blogs recommend those throw-away foam things. Forget those and get a real paint brush. When painting, DO NOT use brush strokes. Instead, pounce the brush up and down and layer on your paint thinly. (You’ll thank me later!!)

5. PATIENCE. Don’t start this project thinking it’ll be done in an hour. You’ll need to concentrate on the cutting and then take your time layering up the paint so that it doesn’t ooze under the paper and make a mess on you.


Step One Doctor Who and the TARDIS

Print out the TARDIS template from Bubbles Before Bath Time and trace onto the paper side of your freezer paper. Take your time cutting it out!!

Step Two Doctor Who and the TARDIS

Iron the paper–shiny side down–onto your fabric. Make sure you use a hot enough iron (no steam) to fuse the paper to the fabric so you won’t get any paint leaking under it.


Step Three Doctor Who and the TARDIS

With your paint brush, layer on the black paint by pouncing the brush over the iron-on. Several thin layers will need to be applied so take your time!


Step Four Doctor Who and the TARDIS

After letting the paint dry, peel off the freezer paper to reveal your design!

I’ve had a ball with this so far and I’m planning on turning this TARDIS panel into a fun handbag with the help of Debbie Shore. (Who has a lovely British accent, by the way!) More to come in a later blog with whether or not I was successful! Wish me luck, ;)


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