20 minute crafter {how to make a bleach pen shirt}

So if you have been following me on Instagram for any amount of time you know that my youngest child has been wearing dog ears for seven weeks straight now.  All day, every day.  Only takes them off for showers and bed time.  What you may not know is that he is equally obsessed with wearing cat shirts, as in shirts with cat images on them.  Interesting little one this kid is. :) As you can imagine, cat shirts for boys are a weeeee bit hard to come by and since I was already planning on trying out this method for making a shirt for Moses I thought I'd practice on a wacky cat shirt for Aaron.
All you need is a plain colored cotton shirt (above, from Target), a bleach pen (found at Target in the laundry department) and to know or have the image you want printed out.  I googled "funny cat clip-art".  
Before you start you will want to put a layer of cardboard covered in foil in the middle of the layers of the shirt (between the front and the back).  This will prevent the bleach from bleeding through to the back of your shirt.  
To start the process I cut the clip art out and centered it on my shirt.  I then outlined the image with the bleach pen.  The best method seems to be to never let the pen touch the shirt but to hover just above the shirt allowing the bleach to ooze out in a small "string" as you "draw".  This is a not a perfectionist method so don't worry about that!  Less is more also! 
Once my outline was done, I filled in the details with the pen.  Once you are done you just wait for the bleach to do it's thing.  Within 10-15 minutes you should be able to see that your design is ready.  You will be able to tell by looking whether or not your bleach needs more time.    
Once it's "cured" I found that the best way to remove the bleach gel is to hold the shirt under the flow of water and follow the outline until all the bleach is removed.  Wash in cold water and dry as usual!
He loved it of course!  It was super easy and you can do any number of patterns and designs! :) 

Have fun trying something new!! 

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2 comments:

ememby.com said...

So cute - I need to find an orange shirt and try this for Jack-o-lantern shirts :)

desertskyquilts said...

Your son tickles me. He'd be a great children's book character!

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