Saturday, December 14, 2013

Plain Tshirts Holiday-ed Up!

Got any plain Tshirts or hand-me-downs that you want to give new life too?  Turn them into Holiday shirts with some bleach, paint, or sharpies!

I'm a little fascinated with using bleach to write and draw on fabric and was eager to try the technique again.  It's so easy!  All you need to do is pour a little bleach straight into a bowl and use a Q-tip or paint brush to "paint" the bleach on the fabric.  Make sure you place cardboard between the front and back of the shirt to prevent bleed through!  The bleach reacts quickly with the fabric and you'll see your design start to show up within 5-10 minutes.  You have to hand wash the fabric after those minutes to see the final results of the bleach (sometimes it looks more yellow before washing).

I couldn't get the idea out of my head of sprinkling bleach on a tee to make it appear like snow was falling.  So I grabbed some shirts and my bleach painting supplies (err Q-tips…).

But first I started out with the red shirt.  I had lots of ideas - candy cane, santa hat, christmas lights, ornaments… the candy cane won out.

The bleach didn't turn the red completely into white, which was little disappointing.  Bleach reacts different to every fabric/color, so you never know what you're going to get until you try it out.  I highlighted the candy cane with a gold sharpie and added a little green ribbon.  *Note - If you use a permanent marker on fabric, you should iron it for a few minutes afterwards to set it in and prevent future fading.  My favorite part about this candy cane shirt is probably the lace at the hem of the shirt.  Adding the lace takes away from the stretch of the shirt, but it's not a big deal since it's at the hem.

Next up came the blue shirt with snow effect I wanted to achieve - with the phrase "Let it Snow".  If you follow on instagram, you may have seen what happens when bleach takes a little too well to a particular fabric.  The bleach spread really fast from the letters I had painted on with a Q-tip and turned the phrase illegible.  A bleach pen may have had less tragic results.  All was not lost though!  I used a silver sharpie to rewrite "Let it" and outlined "SNOW".  Way better.  I also added some texture to the shirt by sewing on some extra snowflakes I had crocheted.  I've been addicted to making them lately and have a bunch laying around.

Hope everyone is enjoying the snow that has seemed to touch almost every bit of the country the past week.  We definitely have!

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  1. Look at how pretty your snow covered yard is! And ths shirts turned out cute...I haven't played around with bleach yer, but I need to give it a try!

    1. Loved it - it was just enough snow to have fun. I'm still learning how to deal with bleach, but it's definitely fun to watch work.

  2. I love how the shirts turned out!

  3. I love bleach on t-shirts!!! The blue one faded beautifully!!! thanks so much for linking to Create Link Inspire! I've just featured this project in a group of Christmas sewing ideas and spread the word around the social media world..... have a great weekend and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! EMily

  4. These are so cute!! My girls would love to have one of these. I know I wont get to it this year so I am pinning for next year!