Thursday, June 23, 2011

Bleach Pen Painting

We love this cute idea for painting negative images on t-shirts using bleach pens. You can quickly transform plain shirts into works of art. Our 6 and 9 year old both enjoyed the project and could do most of it themselves with a little help from mom.

What you need:

  • shirt

  • bleach pen

  • chalk

  • cutting board, cardboard or other item to place in shirt to keep bleach from bleeding through

Using the chalk, sketch out design on your shirt.
Shake bleach pen well. Make sure it is flowing well by testing it on a scrap of paper. Then trace your chalk drawing. Jonah made a dragon.
Let the bleach sit until you can see the shirt changing color. This should take from 10 min to 2 hours depending on the shirt. We found that shirts that were older and had been washed many times only took about 10 min. The new shirt we tried took a lot longer.Mom or Dad should carefully take out the cutting board and rinse the bleach out very well (try not to let the bleach sit too long on other parts of the shirt). Wash and dry as usual.

Ben designed a Lego shirt. Mom had a shirt that already had a big bleach stain on it. She made a zinnia with a few leaves to cover it up.
You don't even notice the stain anymore! We all love our new shirts!

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  1. Cute idea. It'd be nice to have bleach on my shirt when it's not an accident, for once!

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  2. I like to appreciate for your great work. It is such a very unique idea to design very excellent way. I sure everyone will give good reviews.
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  3. I've seen people using bleach pens for all sorts of super cute things. I'm afraid to try it though because regular bleach actually degrades cotton a lot (in my experiments at least!) Is there a difference when it's the gel in the pen form?

  4. where can I get this thing in Australia?

  5. As much as I hate bleach, it does give a unique look, doesn't it? Love the dragon!!!

  6. Those are so much fun! Great project idea. Thanks for all the tips, I'll be linking.

  7. I've got to try this with the little girls that I watch. Thanks for posting this!

  8. I can't find these bleach pens anymore. Where did you buy them?

  9. You can totally use dishwashing detergent instead, which is cheaper. Make sure to get the gel kind with bleach, I don't remember the brand. I put it in plastic ketchup bottles to squeeze out into the design.

  10. When I tried this, the bleach spread out a lot, tripling the width of my lines. Did you do anything to keep them narrow?

  11. My mom saw your idea and combined it with a separate blog post she read to make t-shirts for my kids! Thank you for inspiring her!

  12. What brands do you reccomend? I have never had any luck with this and Ive tried it with my kids several times.