Thursday, July 26, 2012

Basic tee upgrade ~ bleach pen

Time for another plain tee shirt upgrade! 

You'll need:
  • plain cotton t-shirt in any color
  • Clorox bleach pen (found in the laundry aisle or an off-brand one found at Dollar Tree)
  • white towel or newspaper
  • inspiration image (optional)
Before we get started, I want to state up front that I'm not trying to pass these ideas off as my own, because this is by no means an original idea or project. It's been done and done and done some more. But if YOU haven't seen it done yet, maybe this might just inspire you to give it a try! It's easy, my friend. EASY.

First, pick out your shirt.  Mine is yet another fabulous Target tee in my favorite 'boyfriend' style like last time, only this one's gray.

Next, choose an image you want to recreate, or come up with one of your own.  Here's my inspiration image that I found online.


I laid my plain ol' boring shirt out flat and placed a white towel inside the tee. (Any kind of protective layer will work, just make sure it's not something you'll be really sad about ruining. We're working with bleach, ya know.)   I knew I wanted my design to go up one side of my shirt and maybe wrap around a little, so I laid it with the seam and a little of the back showing.

Next, grab your Clorox bleach pen, SHAKE IT GOOD and go to town!  (I only shook mine a little bit because I didn't want tons of bubbles, but I think you really do need to shake it well. I wonder if I were to shake it better if maybe the bleach wouldn't have bled and I would've gotten a sharper design?)
 The bleach pens have two tips, wide and a fine, and obviously you'll want to use the fine tip for a design like this. 

Move quickly so your design is somewhat uniform in color by the time you get done, but if you intend to let your lines turn completely white then no need to hurry.



 There will be bubbles that come out as you draw, but don't worry too much about it.  Pop 'em, blend in the blobs with a toothpick or pencil and move on.  Accept that your finished product won't be perfect and that the imperfections are what make it unique!

 Allow the bleach gel to sit for a couple of minutes to pull some of the color out of your shirt, but DON'T WALK AWAY FROM IT!  Keep a close eye on the shirt so as soon as the bleach has done its job you can rinse it off.  Again, if you're going for white lines then no need to fret about how long it sits.  In theory, you could let the gel dry completely.  (In my two attempts at doing this, though, the longer I let my bleach sit the more it bled.  Again, maybe because I didn't shake very well.)
When it's ready, CAREFULLY carry your shirt to the tub and turn on the shower.  Rinse off all of the bleach gel, using your hands to help it come off. 
If you can, throw your shirt into the laundry to finish getting the bleach out.  We were still in the hotel when I did this project so I just used some baby shampoo to wash out the bleach and then laid it out to dry.

 I really love that the gray turns sort of a peachy color when it's bleached.  Cool, huh??

Check out these other bleach pen projects I found online.  You could go with a really complex doodle design like this one~

or a pretty henna design like this~

or even write words or lyrics on your project, like this one!  I love that she even added some embroidered detail to it!  See the red?

How about using a bleach pen to jazz up some plain SHOES?  WHAT A GREAT IDEA!

I'm totally doing this to a baby onesie.  Watch me.

And you know what?  Who says you have to do a super intricate design?  I'm kind of loving this kids' tee with the simple, happy sunshine face.  Plus, what an awesome way to disguise a stain!
Nobody said that your project HAS to be clothes (or shoes), either!
How about:
  • cloth napkins
  • a scarf
  • a tablecloth
  • curtains
  • throw pillows
  • quilt squares
  • a baby bib
  • a baseball cap - pretty much anything!  Just remember when choosing what to draw on that bleach works best on natural fibers. 

Have fun bleaching!  ;)


Z said...

Super cute and fun idea. Thanks! I'm gonna become a chlorox pen maniac!

MaviDeniz said...

I love this idea. Definitely going to try it.


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Lisa Vinci said...

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