Celebrate Being Wild + Free with this DIY Bleach Pen Shirt

Happy (almost) Independence Day, beauties! I hope you're celebrating with fireworks, yummy food, and people you love.

I've been pretty crafty lately, so I wanted to share this super-easy tutorial with you: create a custom shirt with bleach pen! This old slouchy sweatshirt was perfect — it's super soft & comfy and lightweight, so I wear it year-round, but I wanted to breathe some new life into it. Here's what you'll need:

  • a clean shirt, tank, or sweatshirt — mostly cotton or polyester work best
  • bleach pen
  • plastic grocery bag
  • cardboard or wooden board (to fit under the shirt)
  • paper + pencil

Step 1: Draw your design first. If you're pretty confident with your drawing or bleach penning skills, you can skip this part, but I like to draw my designs with pencil + paper first.

Step 2: Wrap cardboard or wooden board in plastic bag and place in between shirt's layers. This does a few things: it'll ensure your design doesn't bleed into the back of the shirt and it helps smooth out the shirt while you're using the bleach pen.

Step 3: Start bleach penning! Shake up the bleach pen REALLY WELL and copy the design onto your shirt. The bleach should come out pretty easily, so don't press too hard or the design will spread and bleed.

Step Four: Let it sit. Give it 1-2 hours to let the bleach soak in.

Step Five: Wash + Dry. I suggest hand-washing this because you don't want to ruin any of your other clothes with the bleach. It will most likely be safe with other clothes, but I didn't want to risk it, so I washed it by hand. Once you've washed off the bleach, you can let it air dry or throw it in the dryer (it won't harm your other clothes now).

Step Six: Wear it!! My design bled a bit (especially around the too-intricate arrows), but I think it came out pretty awesome as my first attempt! I wear it all the time.

Here's to being wild + free! Have a wonderful holiday! xo ~Sami