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The Pintester Takes on Watermark Tees

My blog readers give me great ideas for t-shirts all the time, and while some of them are available in my store, some of them I’ve just not gotten around to creating yet, so I thought I’d try making some on my own with this watermark tee tutorial.

I’ve been meaning to do this one for a while, but blue gel glue is kinda hard to find and I ended up having to go to Michael’s for it. If you are a non-crafty person who has walked into Michael’s, you know the pain of which I speak. The aisles make absolutely no sense, the whole store smells like unidentified scented candle wax, and I’m pretty sure even the walls are judging me with their hot-glued googly eyes.

But I returned from the store with blue gel glue and a package of Rit dye, which I am assured is the right thing to dye t-shirts with.

Then I raided my husband’s closet and found some white undershirts that were never worn because he tried them once and said they made his nipples itch.

I began with a design inspired by my Cocknails episode with Amy:

fuck nebulas

Yeah, it’s hard to read when it’s in blue gel glue. (“F*ck nebulas — it’s SHARK WEEK!”)

Then, because I figured if I’m gonna do this, I might as well do more than one, I created a few more designs.

Instructions said to let the t-shirts and glue dry for a few hours, but a few hours later they were still really, really wet. I let them dry overnight and they were then mostly dry, so I decided to call it good.

The instructions also said to use some non-water-permeable thing to put the shirt on, but I only had one plastic bin lid, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to use cardboard for the other ones. Yeah. The glue stuck.

saucy bitch

(The above design was inspired by my Cocknails with Andris, by the way.)

I did manage to detach it, along with some little bits of cardboard. Oops.

cardboard bits

Then it was time to dye, Mr. Bond. You’ll notice my properly gloved hands, because I follow directions like a boss (minus that whole cardboard thing).


I soaked and swirled the shirts for 10 minutes or so and then my arms got tired so I figured it was good enough. I rinsed them out in the sink until it looked like the water was running clean, and then I put them in a Woolite bath.

Turns out I didn’t manage to rinse all the dye out. Hm.

woolite bath

The purpose of the Woolite bath was to soak out the glue (and the cardboard, in my case), but it was worrying to me that the water immediately turned pink. Wouldn’t that mean that the pink would deposit back on the white spots where the glue was previously preventing the dye from dying?

But I pressed on because it looked like they might still be salvageable.

not ruined yet

I washed them in cold in the washing machine and then dried them on medium, and it turns out all the pink dye still wasn’t out. And the shirts turned out a little less than impressive.

The sad, faint outline of a penis:

penis shirt

A saucy bitch shirt that I did not spellcheck so I’m not sure if I spelled “saucy” right:

saucy shirt

And a clever Shark Week shirt that you can’t read at all:

shark week shirt

So it turns out I just ended up with 3 light pink t-shirts with some faintly whiter spots. And they’ll probably make my nipples itch. Dammit.


To see more of Pintester’s tests (most of which are also CraftFails), check out her blog at

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