Sunday, March 25, 2012

Bleach Pen T-Shirts

I have made bleach shirts in the past, but never with a bleach pen. I decided to embark on a new adventure this weekend--bleach pen t-shirts. I bought a black shirt and a bleach pen at Target and whipped out this bad boy on Saturday morning:

(Part of Psalm 139)

I was quite please with how it turned out, so I couldn't just stop there.... 

For those of you who would like to embark on this bleachy fun filled activity, I'll walk you through it step by step.

You will need:

* A t-shirt of some sort (I decided to bling out some of my gym shirts instead of buying anything).
* A bleach pen (you may want to keep some extras on hand because you'll want to do this again).
* Magazines or cardboard or wax paper or something to keep in between the layers of the shirt.
* Chalk (optional)

* A window you can crack so you don't pass out from the fumes.

(I used magazines because they were right there and provided a nice solid surface)

Let the games begin!

1. Trace a design on your shirt with chalk (some say that it helps the bleach from running; some say it helps you know where to put the bleach--I say it's a waste of time). 

2. Give the pen a few shakes and test it out on a paper towel (do this periodically throughout the process to keep the bleach at the tip of the pen and hopefully prevent bubbles).

3. Begin tracing your chalk design with the bleach pen, keeping the tip of the pen off of the fabric like you would puff paint (or, if you're not using chalk, just start free-handing it).

4. Continue until you are please with the design and wait!

5. Before long, you'll start seeing the fabric change colors.

6. Let the bleach set for 10 or 20 or 30 or however many minutes you want... (it differs depending on the fabric, but you'll notice when it has changed).

7. SOME people say to then rinse out the shirt in cold water, but I say that's another useless step--just march that sucker to the washer, drop it in for a short wash (maybe a second rinse), and BAM!

There you have it!

I really have no clue why the spots where I actually placed the bleach stayed purple and the areas surrounding them turned pink, but it looks cool to me. 

Aaaaaand, like I said, once you start, you won't want to stop. :)

Here is another gym shirt I transformed shortly after the first....

No chalk on this bad boy---I just went to town.

 You can really see the colors of this one turning...

And BAM! Here it is after the wash! 

Again, I'm not sure why it stayed blue where the bleach was and turned white around the edges--it must be the kind of fabric--I bet I couldn't do that on my own if I tried. :)

Go ahead---run your little self to Target right now and get your supplies. I'd love to see your finished products if you so dare. 

Oh! And one last thing...

May the odds be ever in your favor.


Anonymous said...

SO the top picture with the black shirt has really crisp looking lines...How'd you do that??? Mine bled a lot and I did it exactly like you did (from another tutorial originally...but the same instructions). It even made an almost tie dye effect on the rest of the front of the shirt...Doesn't look bad per-say...but not what I was trying to accomplish...

aerickson said...

I've found that it depends on the type of fabric you use. The top shirt is a really soft cotton fabric (don't know the makeup because I cut the tags out), and the other shirts are a little more grainy (for lack of a better word). You can see that even in the other shirts, the bleach bleeds a bit more. You can also try to wash it a bit earlier so it doesn't bleed as much. Hope that helps some!