I’ve been intrigued by all the t-shirts I’ve seen with bleached designs on them, and have been plotting what stencil I wanted to use. When my boys mentioned they couldn’t find their Halloween shirts from last year, I was inspired to try bats. They turned out even better than I had hoped, with the black shirts bleaching to orange…perfect!
Bleaching is a fairly inexact way to “dye” a shirt, so each one will be a bit different. I just took a deep breath and repeated, “It will be fine” about a thousand times to cope with that. Not that I like control or anything.
To make it, I printed some bat clip art from Word, traced it on freezer paper, and cut that out. You could cut your freezer paper to fit your printer and print directly onto it, as well. I punched out a few other small bats with a punch I already had.
When everything is cut out of the freezer paper, iron it waxy side down onto your shirt.
Slide a piece of wax paper inside the shirt, so the bleach doesn’t bleed through to the other side. Unless that’s the look you want, of course.
Fill a small spray bottle with about 1/3 bleach and 2/3 water and spray away. After I saw how this was bleaching to orange, I decided I wanted it to look like a huge moon behind them, so I cut a big circle out of freezer paper. Using the part of the paper I cut off (not the circle), I sprayed inside it to make a sharper edge at the bottom of the shirt. I warned you it’s not exact! It’s art, right?
Lay the shirts somewhere flat to dry. I put mine on the deck because bleach is a migraine trigger for me. The things I do for my children. In fact, I did all the spraying outside, as well. And I ended up with no migraine, so that’s a good thing!
When the shirts are completely dry, just peel off the freezer paper and be impressed with your artistic self!
Before letting the hooligans wear them, I washed them(the shirts, not the boys) by themselves, with a color catcher and about 1/2 cup vinegar, in cold water. All the bleach washed out, but didn’t bleach the shirts anymore. I’ve since washed them with the boys’ regular loads of darks and they did no harm and stayed the same.
If you had a favorite sports team or college, you could easily use their emblem, or any other fun stencil you’d like. I’d advise nothing too delicate…I tried small snowflakes on a shirt for Princess Thundercloud and they didn’t work. But that success snatched from the jaws of defeat is a post for another day!
I’m linking this up over at Eighteen 25’s Great Halloween Linkup….come over and check out the inspiration!