bleach pen t-shirts are my fave

October 2, 2012

Sharon is back today with a super easy t-shirt tutorial.

My kids wear a lot of plain t-shirts. They are ridiculously economical (hello Hanes buy 5 get one free packs at Target!) and they make the kids look super cool (in a not even trying to look cool kind of way). But sometimes it is fun to be a little crafty and do something just for them. I am not an artist in any way. But these shirts still managed to come out looking pretty cool I think.

All you need is a black t-shirt, a Clorox gel bleach pen and some wax paper. I got these black t-shirts from the thrift store, but like I mentioned above, Hanes and Fruit of the Loom have packs of plain shirts at Target. They have an awesome pack of black, army green and washed out navy all together, but they are sometimes hard to find). The bleach pen I used has a thin side and thick side which is perfect for the two different designs I’m showing you. The wax paper just keeps the bleach from seeping through to the other side of the shirt as it sets the design.

Draw any design you want. It can be a silly little guy, it could be words, it could be a portrait of your mother…possibilities are endless. Once your design is done, let it sit for about 20 minutes. The gel bleach doesn’t really spread and firms up just a bit so you don’t have to worry about it bleeding too much. When the time is done, take the shirt to a water source you are comfortable putting bleach down and rinse the design. I tried to be very careful and not have the bleach run off go back over the t-shirt but it really didn’t matter. Once you rinse the bleach out, throw it in the washer and dryer and you are ready to go.

As you can see from the finished shirt, there is a little area near the bottom right where you can see a little bleached out area. I think this is because I had the bleached design sitting on that part of the shirt while it was waiting for its turn in the washing machine. So just note that even though you washed out the bleach, it can still remove color if left on something. Oops.

My oldest son is not allowed to dress up at school for Halloween. So I made him this shirt to wear instead. For this one, I used the thicker side of the bleach pen and didn’t leave it sitting for as long (I think it was closer to 12 minutes) so it would be more of an orangey color.

What kind of a design would you do?

Images by Sharon of Cupcakes and Cutlery



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