Another one of the Florida projects was bleach pen shirts. Now these have been all over blog land and Pinterest. With all these posts and tips, I didn't think blunders would be possible. But they were.
Geo had gotten lots of fun colored shirts in all our sizes. A few new and a few thrifted. We prepped cardboard wrapped in wax paper for in the shirts. The kids got busy drawing their shirts with chalk. I traced out tropical leaves on my green shirt. Geo traced a star fish on her orange one.
We then traced over our chalk images with a bleach pen.
We ran out of our Clorox bleach pen at shirt 3. We waited 15, then 20, then 30 minutes. The shirts were not changing. I started googling...Old bleach pens don't work. The bleach evaporates. Blogs say add straight bleach to the pen and shake, then trace images again.
As I do that, the bleach pretty much just oozes out all over the image, but you can see the shirts changing immediately. After 10 mins we rinsed the shirts. The images were not crisp. For some shirts it turned out in our favor, like my son's spiderweb. For the green shirt, it was a total fail. I could not even tell what the original design was. (tropical leaves)
After a trip to the store, we gave the rest of the shirts a try with new gel pens. These worked instantly. You could almost immediately see the design fading out. The new pens were still bleaching past the area the gel was on however. Not wanting to call the green shirt a failure, I added more squiggles with the pen. I rinsed the shirt after about 20 mins which was when the white area looked about the same bleached out tone as the first area. When I rinsed the squiggles, I found this time the fresh bleach pen left areas of blue where the gel was, and the white areas were bleach bleed.
Ok its getting better, but now there's blue on the top and not the bottom...Still not wearable. After it dryed, I added more bleach gel for a third time. Well third time was the charm. Squiggles to reveal some blue on the bottom worked. It's now wearable.
Now back to the other shirts that needed some love still...After debating how to fix, and consoling a really sad daughter, I decided to use a black sharpie to crisp up the images.
The sharpie made, the bleach bleed look intentional. We went back and added bleach to my daughter's, and the french word shirt. Success, and eventually a happy daughter who wore her shirt to the beach!
Way too many bleach pen blog posts read to attempt to achieve success with every turn our project took to even begin to link everyone. (If one was you sorry, and give me a shout and I will link you up.) And amazingly, I never read one that had all the blunders we had, so here it is now to help someone else.
Lesson learned tips:
Lesson learned tips:
- Use new bleach pens
- Straight bleach into the pen is not recommended
- Plan for bleach bleed in design
- Do outside- inside would have been way to enclosed for the bleach scent that resulted!
Have you tried these shirts? Were you successful on round 1?
shared on : Ginger Snap Crafts