I first saw the idea of using a bleach pen to write words on a shirt on Pinterest. You can find the pin here, but unfortunately, the blog has been removed. She used a bleach pen to write the word ‘bride’ on a shirt. When I saw it I thought it would be a cool way to make a school spirit shirt.
My kids are both involved in sports and my own school spirit wardrobe is sadly lacking, so I bought two iron-on so I can make a tank for my daughter and a t-shirt for myself. I haven’t found the right color green for mine yet, so today I will share how we made this bleach pen school spirit shirt for my daughter.
To make a Bleach Pen School Spirit Shirt, you will need:
- a t-shirt or tank in one of your school colors (I got this tank for $3 at Walmart)
- a bleach pen (found in the laundry aisle)
- an iron-on
- an iron
- a piece of cardboard covered with waxed paper
First, cut a piece of cardboard to fit the inside of your shirt so that the bleach doesn’t bleed through to the other side. We just happened to have pizza for dinner last night and somehow the top of the box managed to stay free of grease stains, so it worked perfectly.
Once your cardboard is cut, cover it with waxed paper before slipping it inside the shirt to prevent the bleach from bleeding through to the back of the shirt. I secured the waxed paper to the cardboard using tape so that it would stay in place.
Next, I laid the iron-on paw prints in the position that I liked so that I could use that as a guide for where to write the word ‘lions’. You can write any word you’d like here. You can do a name, ‘bride’, your team mascot, etc. The possibilities are endless. You can even draw a picture or paw print instead of doing a word. It’s up to you!
Now it’s time to bleach! Be sure to shake your bleach pen well to avoid splatters or too much coming out at once. I tried a test run with the pen on the package to get a feel for how it would flow. Then…take a deep breath and start writing!
The longer you leave the bleach on, the lighter that area will become. If you want your word or design to be white, leave the bleach on until it is dry. That is what I did on this shirt because our school colors are green and white. When your shirt is bleached as much as you like, rinse it well in cold water to stop the bleaching process. (It took about 30 minutes for the bleach to dry completely in the sun.)
Because I used a ribbed shirt, I think the bleach spread a little more. A flat fabric may give a bit more of a crisper look to your design.
Wash and dry the shirt as normal in the machine, or you can wash it by hand and then use the dryer to speed things up. I tossed mine in the washer set to a mini-sized load to wash while I was getting ready for the day and then in the dryer while I was out running errands. When I came back, it was all ready for some blingy paw prints! You can check out our article for DIY Custom Bulletin Board.
Add your iron-on using the directions on the package.
The only thing left to do is sport your new school spirit shirt and cheer on (or be cheered on) your favorite team!