Spray Bleach Shirt: bleacher beware

spray bleach shirt

If there’s one thing I know about laundry (and there probably is only one thing), it’s that bleach ruins clothes. At least the way I use it, it does. I don’t even have to be doing laundry for it to happen – I once ruined a perfectly good 8-year-old pair of yoga pants when I was loading the dishwasher and got a little careless with the detergent. I also  bleached an attractive stripe across the front of my shirt one time when I was scrubbing the bathtub and lazily leaned against the edge of it.

I’m not telling you this just to humble-brag that I’ve cleaned twice in my life. I’m telling you to illustrate my point: bleach and clothing can be a dangerous combination. However, on OhSoPrettyTheDiaries.com there’s a spray bleach shirt tutorial that just might change my mind about that. Using a stencil and a spray bottle containing a mixture of bleach and water, you can turn a plain old boring t-shirt into something pretty cool.

Like me, at some point reader Megan must’ve gone a little crazy with the bleach and splashed some on her shirt. Unlike me, however, she had the ingenious idea of using this tutorial to hide the spot and take her t-shirt from ruined to radical.

bleach shirt failHow did her plan go wrong? To start with, she didn’t cut her stencil out with scissors – she carved it from cardboard with her husband’s tactical knife. That’s not the recommended method in the tutorial, in case you were wondering. Then she put a creased-up bag inside the shirt, which did keep the bleach off the back of it, but also prevented the stencil from lying flat. Unfortunately, in my experience, lying flat is pretty much the only way stencils function properly. Plus, I’m pretty sure I can still see the original bleach spot she was trying to hide.

So, is the shirt ruined? Luckily, not any more than it already was. And you’ll be happy to hear that Megan was able to put a positive spin on the experience, reporting, “…all the bleach wore down the fibers of the shirt, so now I have a super soft shirt that I can wear nowhere, ever.”

spray bleach shirt nailed itFor more funny, join Robyn at Hollow Tree Ventures, where her success with bleach and life in general are spotty, at best.

10 Responses to Spray Bleach Shirt: bleacher beware

  1. Tommy says:

    Use freezer paper for the stencil. You can temporarily iron them to fabric.

  2. robyn says:

    Good tip, @Tommy – thanks!

  3. I am mourning the loss of your 8 year old yoga pants. Very entertaining fail. Ellen

  4. robyn says:

    Loss, Ellen? You think I don’t still wear those bad boys??? Now they’re my tub cleaning pants. So yeah, I don’t wear them *often,* but they’re still around. ;)

  5. Aelwyn says:

    I love the idea, but mine will end up as the craft fail. :(

  6. Shannon says:

    What you can do is tie dye with bleach and save the shirt. http://honestlywtf.com/diy/diy-bleach-tie-dye/

  7. Em says:

    I recently bought some black t-shirts (how can i NOT own one already???) and am planning to try the new bleach/paint celestial craft I’ve seen all over – I have a feeling I’ll be uploading the pic here…

    (btw, cleaning nekkid totally takes care of the accidental bleach problem)

  8. robyn says:

    @Em, you’re so right! Unfortunately I can only clean nekkid when the kids aren’t home, and on the rare occasions when they aren’t here I like to spend my time completely zoning out and/or eating food I don’t want them to know we have. ;)

  9. HAHAHAHAHA. NO. says:

    thank goodness its fall you can cut it up into one of those loopy scarves that hand so freely and loosely around model necks. mine looked like a rats nest by the time i got to the car.

  10. MissusTodd says:

    I’ve had lots of success with the bleach stencil shirts. My tip? Clear contact paper for the stencil. It helps to avoid any bleed under. Also, a kitchen-size (13 gal.) trashbag placed smoothly inside the shirt means no bleed-through to the other side (and makes it easier to just flip over and decorate the back of the shirt, if you please.) Make sure you dilute the bleach so it doesn’t eat through the fabric, and use one of those water-mister spray bottles (JUST MARK IT!!! Nobody wants bleached hair!!!) Hope this helps someone. It really, truly is a great craft! (Oops, P.S.: Make sure you use a 100% Cotton shirt only. I tried doing it on a 90% cotton shirt, and it just didn’t work.)

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