Remember how I said that I was going to create some shirts for our Disney trip? Well, I invested in some oh-so-expensive Gap stretch shirts ($3.99 for super comfy cotton!) for my experiments and got to work!
Adventure #1: Bleach Pen!
First, I picked out a bold b/w graphic that I wanted to use: Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. But the problem was that my image was only big enough to fit on an 8×11″ sheet of paper… and I kind of wanted something a little bit bigger. In order to enlarge it quickly and easily (as opposed to chopping layers on photoshop), I used blockposters and quadrupled its size. I printed out the images on 4 pieces of vellum, and taped them together to recreate the image.
Then I quickly cut out off the excess paper (still leaving a good sized border) and taped down marking areas for where I’d like the design on the shirt. I ended up inking the design in 3-passes (top, bottom left & bottom right) so I made sure to put down good marks for where the pieces of paper needed to be laid back down.
I used plastic sheets inside of the shirt to prevent any bleeding, but you can easily use magazines or cardboard as well.
Then — I got to bleaching! For this project, I used a Clorox bleach pen (sorry for the lack of photos of “in process crafting” — the bleach was making me tear up a little bit), which you can find in your laundry soap aisle. I flipped the design over and basically just traced the lines in bleach, then laid it back down on the shirt and pressed down the vellum.
Here’s what the first pass (top half) looked like:
I went ahead and did the same thing with all three sections, and then waited for the design to dry:
I used a hair dryer to set the bleach (about 5 extra minutes of drying after I had laid down the last piece), and then rinsed out the shirt underneath the shower. Once it was rung dry, I put it in the dryer for 30 minutes to set the design up.
And in the end, I came out with this:
Now while it might not be instantly recognizable as Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, I think it’s a pretty fun artistic interpretation of it… thanks to bleach bleeding, air bubbles and my desire to be a bit more detailed than I should have been with the design. I was kind of operating off the cuff, since I’ve never seen anyone try and use a template to transfer the bleach. Next time around, I think I’ll invest in some stainless steel applicator tips (as recommended by Martha) to ensure more consistency with the bleech, maybe use a sheet of transparency paper instead of vellum, and leave the detail as an afterthought to fill in the design, rather than putting it on the template.