WFMW: Bleach Pen Craft

While I’m blaming everything (whiny children, snappy parents, dirty laundry) on jet lag, I thought I’d share a quick summer project we hope to try soon:  Decorating T- Shirts with a Bleach Pen. Family Fun has a great tutorial!

I love it because you can use items on hand: an old t-shirt and a bleach laundry pen!

Instructions from Family Fun:
  1. Wash and dry the shirt, then slip a piece of waxed paper inside it to prevent bleed-through.
  2. Bleach-Pen Drawing Step2 Sketch your design on the shirt with chalk. Because the bleach can spread, keep the design simple, and draw with lines and dots, as shown, rather than try to fill in large areas.
  3. Shake the bleach pen and give it a few test squeezes on a paper towel to make sure it’s flowing well. Trace over your chalk lines with the bleach pen. Leave the bleach on the shirt until the fabric has clearly changed color. This can take anywhere from 10 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the shirt. Wash the shirt by itself in the washing machine, then dry it.

And Momma can make one too!

Love this tutorial, look at this finished product:

Got any fun crafts that work for your old clothes? Do share.


  1. 4


    I bought new shirts for my kids to do this just last week. Why I didn’t think of using something they already had I’ll never know! It’s going to be fun though!

  2. 6


    Cute, cute, cute!! I want to go do that right now! Thanks for such a fun, and simple idea.

    Also–thanks, as always, for hosting such a great linky party. Most weeks, yours is the only party I link up to.

  3. 7


    I am so glad you are home safely and had such a great experience… you have so inspired me…my kids have been saving money for orphans in Lesotho for about three years – baking a cake or bread and selling it faithfully each week. We are hoping to surprise them with a trip to visit their orphans, who are all children their own age, in September… Haven’t told them yet, just praying that it all comes together!!!

    Meanwhile, This is a brilliant craft – just do it already!!! We don’t get bleach pens over here in Cape Town, we just used regular bleach … it is the quickest craft and we did all our Christmas presents like this last year… literally in a morning…

  4. 13


    I have to share my recent blog post with you, because I tried this last week. It didn’t work AT ALL. :( I think one key is to make sure your Bleach Pen is NEW. Mine is a year or more, and while I know it works to get stains out still – I just used it to take blood out of a white t-shirt – evidently it doesn’t work to bleach colorful shirts.
    I was SO bummed! Good luck with this project, and I look forward to seeing your artwork :)

  5. 16


    A friend and I made these these this summer and they turned out SO cute! just make sure your shirts are 100% cotton. we learned that the hard way.

  6. 18


    I can’t believe I haven’t thought to do this before as the bleach pen and I are pretty tight!!! This is going to be a fun project for the kids and I next week. Thanks!

  7. 22


    Thanks for hosting. What a cute idea. Sorry I messed up my link, but I see I’m not the only one, so I don’t feel so bad. It should have read “Low Sugar Strawberry and Strawberry Banana Jam Sweetened with Honey”, but instead I typed my name. Whoops!

  8. 23


    I never thought to use a bleach pen instead of tie dye. My ds4 has a green shirt that she loves which has stains on it, including a magic marker stain. Using a bleach pen would be a perfect way to make the shirt wearable again.

  9. 25

    Holly Splawn says

    Totally did this today with the q-tips and a red v neck I bought to wear to VBS. Thanks for the great idea!

  10. 27


    I would recommend not using Dollar Tree bleach pens for this project. We tried it a couple of years ago at the beach with dollar pens and it did not work. It could have been another factor, but I’ll be trying to avoid the disappointed looks by using name brand pens next time.

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