Introduction: Bleach Shirts

Picture of Bleach Shirts

Step 1: Spray Bottle

Picture of Spray Bottle

Easiest thing to do is empty a bottle of perfume you don't want or buy one at the dollar tree.

Step 2: Poor the Bleach

Picture of Poor the Bleach

Pour the bleach into the bottle and replace the lid

Step 3: Word

Picture of Word

Place the letters (cutouts or magnates) on the shirt how you want them

Step 4: Spray

Picture of Spray

Spray the bleach into the shirt only around the words

Step 5: Dry

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Let it dry off for about 5mins

Step 6: Rinse

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Rinse it off to insure no bleach spots in the wrong spot

Step 7: Wash

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Wash normally and dry

Step 8: Done

Picture of Done

Look awesome


pie popper made it! (author)2014-02-14

Now I can make doctor who reference shirts without paying an arm and a leg!!

CAScreate (author)pie popper2014-07-14


AlliHarkness (author)pie popper2014-03-18

that is beautiful!!!!

Ael R made it! (author)2014-05-04

Great instructable, and such a good and cool idea ! I enjoyed making it :).

Livy Apple (author)2014-03-08

hi, great idea i did it once and then i paint some other stuff with permanent markers and it worked well and it also looks fine. (i did it long ago so i don't have a pic btw)

i haven't tried but i think it would be a great idea to lock the area with hot candle wax

parisusa (author)2013-09-13

Love this for favors for my son's BDay party (already made before kids arrive). Another idea: There are Tons of nice (and Brand Name) t-shirts/sweat shirts at your local 2nd hand clothing stores for $2-$5 each! Add your tween or teen's favorite text phrase LOL, YOLO, #ClassOf2013

jwarner14 (author)2013-05-05

I think a couple of important steps were left out. First, put protection between the two layers of the T-shirt. Cardboard is great but anything that will keep the bleach from staining the back of your shirt will do. Otherwise you will get what is probably a very unsightly stain pattern on the back of the shirt.
Two, have a spray bottle of Hydrogen Peroxide on hand as well. After a few seconds or whenever you feel the bleaching process is a much as you want, spray the peroxide on the bleached areas. This will stop the bleach and then you have much more control over your finished product.
I have used this method to make designs and it is a lot of fun. Also the color of the finished shirt will vary depending on the original color of the T-shirt. Have fun!

rcollard (author)jwarner142013-05-22

Is it safe to mix peroxide and bleach? o_o That sounds super unsafe to me, but if it is then I will use it the next time I try this craft.

ericaaa (author)2013-05-19

i want to try this at my party cause i looks really easy :)

ivyrunnergirl (author)2013-05-17

Thanks to all you guys for voting for me!

ivyrunnergirl (author)2013-05-15

@realife11 it would work as long as the bleach can't seep through the letters!

realife11 (author)2013-05-08

A good tip:
I've read that if you add some vinegar to the rinse after you're done bleaching something, then it's suppose to neutralize the bleach and rinses it out much more effectively (so it doesn't eat away the cotton, haha). I've tried it and it seems to work well, but still leaves some of that nice clean 'bleachy' smell.

realife11 (author)realife112013-05-08

Also....what about using premade 'sticky' letter cutouts (at any craft store), to adhere cleanly to the material? Although, I really like the magnets idea :-)

ivyrunnergirl (author)2013-05-06

@Enjoying Electronics I like it! Lol but hey now you can have fun trying It again

HavocRC (author)ivyrunnergirl2013-05-07

Yeah, but definitely not with heart sign or a black shirt :D

Mesquite Hugger (author)2013-05-07

Mesquite Hugger (author)2013-05-06

What a cool way to easily print on a t-shirt! I made a stencil out of card stock and tried this out. Thank you for sharing this great idea!

HavocRC (author)2013-05-06

Well it's definitely not as good as yours! The wind blew the I off; I'll just have to use a black marker. Also my spray bottle was too big!! Gave ya a vote.

kitkatgreenfish (author)2013-05-05

Great instructible!I have a friend and I'm going to put on the shirt for her grandchild "I just did nine months in this joint!"Did'nt know how to do it till now Ha Ha.Too sweet!Huggs.Kitty

ivyrunnergirl (author)2013-05-05

@ebanken yes! I love imagine dragons!!:)

ivyrunnergirl (author)2013-05-05

@gotsparkles I'm sorry I forgot I would leave the bleach for 3-5 mins you can tell if it's ready by looking at the coloration it should be lighter where you sprayed it when it is ready not all the way white but just a lighter shade.

ivyrunnergirl (author)2013-05-05

@poor leno haha that's too funny

ivyrunnergirl (author)2013-05-05

@clintonmc thanks! And good luck!

ivyrunnergirl (author)2013-05-05

@snorlaxjen I used fabric / laundry bleach I suppose othe bleach would work but I would suggest using fabric bleach because the others may be to strong and put a hole in your shirt

ivyrunnergirl (author)2013-05-05

@gotsparkles if you are looking for a kid friendly way I would suggest getting Tye dye colors or something of the sort and using that instead of the bleach! I hope it works well for you enjoy!

ivyrunnergirl (author)2013-05-05

@anamikaa no it won't hurt the letters at all and yes stencils make awesome designs!

anamikaa (author)2013-05-05

Awesome! Any effect of bleach on plastic letters? Also, can we use those plastic letter stencils for opposite type of effect?

ebanken (author)2013-05-05

Just amazing! I really need to try this out soon! I also approve very much of the lyrics you put on there :) Imagine Dragons <3

tankhEnthused (author)2013-05-05

This is great. I reckon you could do this on a light coloured/white t shirt, just use dye instead of bleach. Very cool.

gotsparkles (author)2013-05-05

Wonderful idea!! Can't wait to try this with my preschooler - he has a fascination with sharks, so I think I will use a shark cutout and some letters.
Q: How long do you let the clothing sit & absorb the bleach?
Q: Can you use diluted bleach, as someone else mentioned? (Thinking of safety with a preschooler...)

gotsparkles (author)gotsparkles2013-05-05

Ok, I'm replying to myself... But, as a variation, this might be great done as a "negative" using multi-colored fabric dyes, then letting the colors set & washing. Suggestions on other ways to tweak this concept?? (Again, thinking preschool-age kids & safety!) :)

capndan77 (author)2013-05-05

If you are too generous with the bleach, it can bleed through to back of t-shirt. Found that piece of cardboard between solves the problem. Also magnetic letters stay in place if you use a thin metal spacer under the t-shirt front, just in case you bump the shirt. Great fun idea!

7under1roof (author)2013-05-05

I LOVE this!

My personal suggestion for anyone wanting to try it is to make sure you use a nice, thick cotton shirt. If it's too thin, the bleach will wind up eating a hole in it.
I can't wait to play around with not only letters, but designs!

snorlaxjen (author)2013-05-05

is it fabric/laundry bleach? or any kind?

poor_leno (author)2013-05-05

I like this. Great effect and can give new life to an old t-shirt. Just be sure to empty the spray bottle back into the bleach container or label it properly. Sprayed my good suit with "Febreze" when I was a teenager only to later find out my mum had replaced it with bleach for some unknown reason.

Bobey (author)2013-05-03

Love it

laurahowardcom (author)2013-05-03

I love this idea. This is going to be a fun summer project to take on.

clintonmc (author)2013-05-02

Nice 'ible, I'm going to use this to make "merch" t-shirts to wear when I have craft fair stalls, it just so happens I already have many stick on letters.

BTW to answer your question about entering contests, on the right of the page in the "About This Instructable" box under the Tags there is a sections that says "Add instructable to:" if you click the "Contest" button it will open a dialog window with all the Contest for you to choose which to enter, if you do I will vote for you, :)

CreativeGeek (author)2013-05-02

Nice! Also, you can get some pretty cool effects by pouring diluted bleach on some sort of colored fabric, for example, a towel, in a controlled pattern, like, for example, a spiral.

ivyrunnergirl (author)2013-05-01

How do I enter the fashion contest? @zwuckl

zwuckl (author)2013-05-01

Great idea, simple and beautiful! You should enter the Fashion Contest...

pie popper (author)2013-05-01

This is so simple and it looks great!!

ivyrunnergirl (author)2013-05-01

Thanks!:) and I tried it with symbols also it works great!:)

Fish Nerd (author)2013-05-01

Fantastic idea!

SussoGobbino (author)2013-05-01

Amazingly simple, I'm surely going to try this out, but I think I'll replace the letters with other objects to make nice symbols!
Thanks a lot for sharing :)

ivyrunnergirl (author)2013-05-01

As long as its not white it will work! Some materials won't work though, Cotten works best.

j.clemence (author)2013-05-01

Can you use this on any kind of shirt or does it have to be blue?

pinomelean (author)j.clemence2013-05-01

Any color or black shirt will work

Unicornz (author)2013-04-30


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