Bleached T-Shirts {kids project}

I got this idea from a gift my boys received this past Christmas. A super creative, non-blogging friend of mine made awesome bleach sprayed t-shirts for my boys. I loved the idea of using bleach to create a message on a shirt.bleach t-shirt
Today, I’ve put together a little lesson on what to do, and what NOT to do if you want to make one yourself…{smiles}
You will need bleach and a dark colored t-shirt. I’ve used a stripped on here, and it is okay, but I think the solid color is best.
First, lets start with what DIDN’T  work… My first attempt I ran to the store and bought the largest foam letters they had. Now, my little craft stationary store here in Hong Kong is NOT Micheals… and the largest was still quite small. But, we went for it anyway… my son helped me peel off the back of the letters {don’t do this} and we arranged what we wanted it to say.
bleach t-shirtI put a cutting board in the middle to prevent the bleach from leaking through. This was good {do this!}!
We took a small bottle and sprayed the bleach. This is what it looked like as the bleach took effect.
We took off the letters, and this is what it looked like… The bleach had leaked under the letters…. uh oh!
 After I washed this… I saved it by outlining the letters with a fabric marker. I forgot to take a photo of the after… We also bought another gift to counter the not so great shirt {ha} 
Lessons I learned:
Use brand name bleach (Clorox)
Don’t use small foam letters, if you do use foam 1 1/2 inches letters are the minimum size recommended.
Use a spray bottle with large spray droplets.
Here are the two spray bottles I used… The small one on the left was the one that didn’t really spray out enough bleach…
The next batch turned out great!
For the second go, I cut out large felt letters for the name. I would recommed the felt for two reasons…. 1. you can make whatever size you want and 2. it absorbs the bleach so the lines are cleaner on your letters. I just laid the felt on the shirt and pressed them smooth, they are not attached. (the stars are also just sitting on top)
Here’s what the layout looked like. {don’t judge my dish towel}
 Spray the bleach and let sit for a few minutes, the color should change before your eyes. It will continue to fade until you put it in the wash. Wash it alone, or with another bleach shirt the first time.
Again I used a cutting board as a barrier and also I folded in the sleeves and side of the shirt to avoid getting it all over.
 My son wasn’t so impressed to model a shirt with someone else’s name on it… So I just took photos of the shirt… I really like how they turned out and I think the bleaching is just the right amount to see the names, but not wash out the color too much.

 We are pairing the shirts with the kids knapsack I showed last week for a gift for our friend Josiah…

 Happy Birthday!
You can find the tutorial for the knapsack by clicking the picture.

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Emily is a stay at home mom to two crazy boys {which she adores} and one amazing husband. She loves to sew, but also dabbles in crafting and recipes. Her faith, friends and family keep her going and motivated. Come along for the ride!


  1. This is such a cool idea! I’m keeping this in mind for some future t-shirt alteration adventures. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Cool! That’s a great tip about the felt absorbing the bleach.

  3. This is a great posting I have read. It’s exactly what I was looking for!

  4. Thanks for the tips!

  5. I love this idea! I wanted to make a craft with my team for a team building experience and still have it relate to work! We can make our company slogans or catch phrases and have fun using it!!! Thanks for such a wonderfully fun craft!!!

  6. What a fun project to do with kids! I appreciate how you shared what didn’t work so readers wouldn’t make the same mistake! Stopping by from Tatertots & Jello :)

  7. :)

  8. :)

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