Bleach Writing on T-shirts


June 15, 2012 by thenerdyhousewife

Hello again Space Cadets,

So if you checked out my last tutorial here on changing a t-shirt into a spaghetti strap/tank top for the summer, then you’ll remember that I mentioned that I had big plans for these shirts. *Twirls proverbial mustache* So as I am constantly on Pintrest trolling for new ideas to try out (that are not difficult to do), I came across this one from A Beautiful Mess blog that I thought looked awesome and easy to do.**

So this is ridiculously easy to do, but I have some trials and errors to share with you so listen up. The aforementioned blog uses a paintbrush to actually paint the bleach on. I read somewhere else (can’t remember) about using a Clorox Bleach Pen to do the same thing, but quicker and easier. This is obviously what anyone would want to do, right? Weeellll, my project didn’t turn out quite as cute as the picture, but I’m happy with it. Is this because I did the pen instead of painting? Is it because of the particular fabric of the shirt? Is it because I really don’t know how much wood a woodchuck could chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? The world may never know.

  • Shirt
  • Bleach pen
  • Pins
  • Cardboard
  • Chalk

So here are the basic instructions with my tips and input–

Step One: Get your shirt picked out. Go for dark colors as trying to bleach write on a white shirt is just stupid. I decided on one of my shirts I made in the last tutorial, but you can use whatever you want. I don’t care. You are the one wearing it after all.

Step Two: Get some cardboard (shoe box lids would work well) and place under shirt where you want to write. Pin shirt to cardboard so it doesn’t move around so much.

Step Three: Hopefully at this point, you know what you want to write. I free-hand copied (*but fixed) the quote she used to say “We are made of star stuff”, a famous quote from Carl Sagan on Cosmos. I’ve seen every episode approximately 9, 574 times, so even though I would normally just come up with my own quote, this just really appealed to me. If you suck at freehanding things, I would recommending stencils. Take your chalk and write out what you want to be bleached. (Don’t do tiny print or the bleach will run through and soak into a giant blob) If you screw something up, just lick your finger or add a drop of water to erase it and start over.


Step Four: Go over chalk with bleach pen. MAKE SURE YOU SHAKE THE PEN OFTEN. If you don’t, just like with ketchup, you will get that watery crap squirting out everywhere and not the thick stuff you are wanting. That watery substance will still bleach whatever it touches, but it is nigh impossible to control like the thick paste stuff.  You can see on the following picture where I had this problem on the A in Are. Bah humbug.


Step Five: As I mentioned before, mine didn’t turn out as planned. This is to say that after leaving the bleach on for a few minutes, it started turning a red-ish color. I let it sit longer (about 30 min) and most of it turned white with red on the edges of the writing. Not bad if you are making a fourth of July shirt (which is my Birf-day btw). So basically I will just say watch it as the bleach is drying and when it looks like a good color you can be happy with, go rinse off in the sink. Follow up by washing in the washer like normal. TA-DA!


Ok, so not my favorite, but not horrible. I’ll still wear it. I believe I will try this again another time. I have 4 more shirts I plan on making into spaghetti straps and then doing something else to them to make them zazzy! (Sorry, just watched Big Bang Theory where Sheldon gets all the cats) So more tutes to come soon. After I get this t-shirt stuff out of my system, I’ll start on some home decor, jewelry, and random tips for um…life?

Later folks,


One thought on “Bleach Writing on T-shirts

  1. Alyssa says:

    lol zazzy!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 10 other followers


June 2012
    Jul »
%d bloggers like this: