When I was in elementary school, we were required to keep a large t-shirt at school that we could use for art class. I remember mine being royal blue with yellow words embroidered on it. I believe it was an honor roll shirt. Jayden was required to bring an art shirt labeled with his name so I thought I’d make him a custom shirt. I know, I know. All that was requested was a simple shirt with his name on it (probably just on the tag), but here I am doing the most. Hey, at least his shirt’ll be easy to find ;-). To note, this tutorial is an example of what NOT to do with a bleach pen and how to recover if you make the mistake that I made. I let the bleach sit too long, which led to bleeding bleach globs. I recovered by going over the letters with a fabric marker, which added a cool effect.
I found the supplies for my project at Walmart. In addition to the bleach pen that I purchased, I also racked up on Fruit of the Loom tees when scouting one out for this project. At $3.47, they are hard to pass up. They are a perfect back to school wardrobe staple. Enough about fashion, let’s get started.
100% cotton shirt
Clorox bleach pen
Cardboard or wax paper
Fabric marker (optional)
I created a stencil printout in Photoshop, laminated it, and cut the letters out with an X-acto knife. I laid the shirt out on a flat surface and slipped a piece of cardboard inside the shirt to keep the bleach from transferring to the other side of the shirt.
Next, I taped the stencil on the front of the shirt and traced the design with the bleach pen. I let the bleach set in for 15 (what not to do) minutes before rinsing the shirt. I noticed that my design bled because I let the bleach sit too long. I improvised by going over my design with a fabric marker. I let the shirt air dry overnight before washing it on a quick cycle. The result were letters that appear to have a glowy effect. The ink from the marker actually blended in with the rest of the shirt.
This was a learning experience and I think I did a pretty good job for my first try. It’s not perfect, but cool and practical nonetheless. Imperfect or not, Jayden thinks it’s pretty cool. After all, he’s going to splatter it with paint, glitter, and glue, so whatevs. =)
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