Sunday, November 27, 2011

T-shirt Upcycle

Bleach Design T-Shirt

I came across the idea for this on Pinterest, my newest inspiration for recipes, crafts, and decorating.  My husband and I went to the J.Crew warehouse sale on Black Friday, and we scored some great deals! 

Side note about the sale:
The sale is in Lynchburg, VA, in a large warehouse, with hundreds of boxes.  They only let 200 people enter at a time, so you need to get there early and wait in line.  If you're not in the first group, you end up waiting HOURS until people start to leave.  Once you're in, the boxes aren't organized at all.  You go in, choose a box that's not "taken," and rummage. I forgot to mention that as you enter, they hand you a price list and a trash bag - that's right - to gather your clothes.  So you go through box after box after box, looking for anything you like that happens to be in your size.  Surprisingly, my large bag always fills up quickly.  Then, when you have gathered a lot of options, you find a spot that is as out of the chaos as possible, and you start sifting.  Some of the clothes are damaged, and you can throw them out in the first round.  There are no dressing rooms, so if you want to try things on, you need to wear a tank top and leggings, and try it all on over-top of your clothes.  You do a preliminary downsizing of your things, then go back to the rummaging.  Continue the cycle as many times as necessary.

I was on the look out for some cute t-shirts (which were $5.oo!) that I could bleach.  I found 2 solid-colored, V-neck shirts. I had already purchased the bleach pen from WM. (Make sure it's for whites!)  I first put a piece of cardboard in my shirt, to prevent the bleach soaking through.  I then drew my design out in chalk.  Well, it didn't write very well, but I got the major shapes down.  I then started at the top, and just drew!  Sometimes it bubbled, but I had a paper towel handy to just wipe the tip off and continue on.   In the picture below, you can see some of my chalk lines and the wet gel.

I let it sit for about 20-30 minutes, rinsed it off in the bathtub, then stuck it in the washer machine.  I love it!  I did a side design (modeled after one I saw on Pinterest) for this shirt.  I plan on doing a front design on the other shirt I got.  I'm just waiting for the perfect inspiration.   These pictures show the design in a more yellow light; the true coloring is seen on the dress form.

Pico de Gato wanted to help. :)

Tadaa!  The best part is that it took 30 minutes total, including sketching, tracing, and rinsing.


  1. I just saw this blog! That is amazing! It looks like you bought it from a store. :) Beautiful!

  2. Replies
    1. It was a fun and easy project. Enjoy! Have fun!