Jen Causey
Jen Causey February 15, 2013

DIY | bleach bride t-shirt

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I have such a fun DIY tutorial to share with you today!!! How to easily make your own bridal party tank tops (or t-shirts… or sweatshirts, or sweatpants…)! This project is so simple that you could literally be done in less than 20 minutes!



  • Clorox Bleach Pen
  • wax paper
  • piece of cardboard
  • your choice of t-shirt or clothing


Start by covering a small piece of cardboard with a sheet of wax paper…


Place the wax paper wrapped side of the cardboard facing the layer of material that you will be bleaching to protect the rest of the shirt from excess bleach. Then smooth your shirt over the cardboard making sure that it is laying perfectly flat and even across the board.


Using your Clorox bleach pen, carefully write Bride or Bridesmaid or MOH (maid of honor) or MAID or… anything that you would like! Try to keep the line of bleach as thin and even as possible. Go back over lines that ended up sparce – to make the bleach design even. The bleach will spread a bit so fine details are not easy to create. Keep it simple. If you feel uncomfortable doing this freehanded, you can trace your design with chalk first – but sometimes that can be difficult with stretchy materials. Also, this technique works best with clothing that is tightly knit, larger knits will cause the bleach to spread too much and could negatively effect your design. *Please read the color tips below!!!


Once you are finished with your design, start the timer at 10:00 minutes.

///////    TIMING TIP   ///////

This tank and the green tanks only took 10 minutes, but my sweatshirt took 20 minutes – it all depends on the fabric! If you can’t see the shirt changing colors from the edges of the bleach, carefully lift up the shirt and look at the underside. When it looks close to white it is done! ***Since all materials are greatly different, I recommend doing a test spot inside your chosen shirt – on a seam – to find out exactly what color your shirt will bleach up to OR how long to bleach it for!


Carefully remove the cardboard and wash the bleach off the material. Making sure not to let the bleach touch any other areas of the material – it is bleach and will do what bleach does best. Wash with a hard steady stream of water until there is no bleach residue left.


Using hand soap or the like, thoroughly wash the bleached area of your shirt and then wash it like regular in the washing machine. After you have used soap and water to clean the bleach from your shirt, there is no worry of it continuing to bleach or bleaching something else in the washer with it.


Aren’t they just adorable! So easy, so quick… and you can literally draw anything (like my diamond ring above) with these bleach pens – they are so easy to use!

ST_DIY_bleach_bride_tshirt_9 ST_DIY_bleach_bride_tshirt_11

Unlike paint that might crack, a great thing about using bleach is that when the fabric is stretched – nothing happens. You actually bleach the fibers of the fabric so it morphs perfectly with any kind of stretch.


////////   LETS TALK ABOUT COLOR   ////////

The darker the shirt the darker your bleach design will be. For example a navy blue or black fabric will (in most cases) not bleach up to white – it will bleach up to an orange-ish color. If that is what you want, then great – if not, choose lighter shades of material. Bright tees, tanks and sweatshirts like these have the perfect depth of color to bleach up to white. If you are concerned about what color your shirt will bleach up to OR how long to bleach it for, do a test spot on a seam inside your shirt! ***Some types of fabric are ‘bleach safe’ and don’t lend well to this project! Please to a test spot inside each shirt to determine this before hand!


As with all our DIY tutorials, if you create one of our projects please send us a picture or a trackback – We Love Seeing Your Creativity! If you use Instagram or Twitter please use the hashtag #SomethingTurquoiseDIY. Happy Crafting!

DIY Tutorial Credits

Photography: Studio 11 Weddings // DIY tutorial by: Jen | Something Turquoise // tank tops and Clorox Bleach pen: Target // mint sweatshirt: Old Navy // nail polish: Essie in Turquoise & Caicos and Mint Candy Apple


comments powered by Disqus

Diane @ Vintage Zest
February 15, 2013

This is so cute! I pinned it for future reference. Thanks for the tutorial!

Mary Ann Hooker
February 20, 2013

I love this concept - it has so many applications besides bridal parties. Can you use a plastic bag over the cardboard instead of the wax paper? I the shirt is new, so you advise pre-washing it to get sizing or finishing off of the fabric?

February 22, 2013

I love it!! What brand of sweatshirt did you use? I love the mint green!

February 26, 2013

Such a great idea!!! Can't wait to try this one out!!!!

Melissa Hartzell
February 27, 2013

Love the sweat shirt where did you get it?

    Jen | Something Turquoise
    March 3, 2013

    All of the items are credited at the end of the post :)

February 28, 2013

I think there were bubbles in mine, but it turned out to have a bleached outline of my design! SO CUTE and I can't wait to get started on my MOH, bridesmaids and Mother of the Bride & Groom!

Sidneia Rocha
March 2, 2013

mutito legal

Cida Scarpatti
March 2, 2013

Onde conseguir esta caneta?

Karina Henrique
March 2, 2013

Também gostaria de saber onde comprar aqui em Montreal.

Courtney Coutts
March 2, 2013

Does it work on tie dye??

    Jen | Something Turquoise
    March 3, 2013

    Hi Courtney... probably... try a test spot on a seam inside the shirt to make sure!

March 17, 2013

What a super cute and super easy way to make your own shirts for before the wedding! I love them because they are so easy ad can be made out of a shirt that you know fits you and is your favorite color!

Sammi Sue Bennett
April 1, 2013

sweatshirt looks like it is from Old Navy :) just my guess.

Something Turquoise
April 1, 2013

Hi Ladies! I credit all the supplies used at the bottom of my post :) And yes, it's Old Navy.

Jessii Lynn Padgelek
April 15, 2013

what are the best kinds of shirts to so this to like cotton or polyester?

    Jen | Something Turquoise
    April 17, 2013

    Hi Jessii, I would have to say cotton works great... but most stretchy cotton tanks have a spandex blend in them. Just make sure to do a bleach test spot inside your shirt on the seam allowance so that you know what color it will bleach up to and how long it will take. Hope this helps.

April 16, 2013

How many t-shirts until a single bleach pen runs out? I apologise if my english is incorrect.

    Jen | Something Turquoise
    April 17, 2013

    Hi Davis, it depends on what style of design that you are using. Let me say that I did all my practice shirts and the ones for the post - and my pen still hasen't run out. I'd say you can do safely 8 - 10, one word shirts.

Melinda Roberts Acton
April 20, 2013

I've seen ideas like this before and would love to try it but we don't have Clorox pens in Australia. Oh, well.

April 26, 2013

Hi, this is the cutest shirt ever. I made two attempts to make them. I went out a bought light green shirts from target and followed your instructions and there was no color change to my shirts. So, today I went to Old Navy and bought light pink tanks and did the same thing and it didn't work. I definitely want to make these for my maids but I'm not sure why I'm having difficulties.

    Jen | Something Turquoise
    April 26, 2013

    Hi Kayla! It really does work... just not on all fabric blends. That's why I say to test a tiny spot on a seam inside the shirt - to know the timing and the color it will bleach up to. Not all colors bleach up to a pretty white. Keep trying :)

April 27, 2013

hi! i am writing on men's button downs. some shirts work awesome and some wont bleach at all. I would definitely go with bolder colors and some sort of fabric that is a cotton blend. only 4 of 7 shirts have worked for me so far.

    Jen | Something Turquoise
    April 27, 2013

    Hi Jeanne! Some fabrics are just weird - that's why I recommend doing a test spot on a seam inside the shirt before actually bleaching a design.

July 11, 2013

I don't know what happened but my bleach started to run. The wording looks more like bubble letters :(

    Jen | Something Turquoise
    July 11, 2013

    Hi Alicia! I'm sorry you are having trouble with your project... that sounds strange! The Clorox bleach pen gel should be really thick and if on a flat surface it definitely shouldn't run. Maybe you were using an old pen and didn't know! Hope this helps.

July 16, 2013

THANK YOU for this super simple project and EASY to follow tutorial with AWESOME photos! Your directions and warnings were clear, which made it easy to shop for materials. My t-shirts turned out perfectly.

I bought 5 t-shirts from H&M (their junior brand, DIVIDED, though we are in our 30's) @ $5.95 each for my cousin's Bachelorette party. I chose ones that are 100% cotton and another tank (just for fun) that is 95% cotton and 5% spandex. All turned out exactly as shown. Some took 10 minutes, but the thinner tees took less. I did all 5 shirts from beginning to end (including the washing and drying) within an hour.

Love it! Will make these for every special occasion from now on. Thanks for sharing!

    Jen | Something Turquoise
    July 17, 2013

    Yeah Michelle!!!!! Thank you so much for that wonderful comment and for following our directions! You are a rockstar! If you use Instagram/Twitter/Pinterest please share a picture of your tanks using the hashtag #somethingturquoisediy :)

August 11, 2013

I tried this today and after leaving the bleach on for HOURS, my target cotton blend shirts didn't bleach at all! I'm going to try again with professional hair salon bleach in a squeeze bottle. I'm sure it's the fabric that's the issue for me but I discovered a TIP!

Put the bleach pen in the fridge for a while so that you get a better line and no bubbling! It says DO NOT FREEZE so I would stick with the fridge for a couple hours before starting your project.

    Jen | Something Turquoise
    August 11, 2013

    Hi Laina!!! Terrific tip! I'll have to try that! I don't recommend professional hair salon bleach!!!! **I'm actually a professional hair dresser and I would stick to regular bleach! In the tutorial I advise to test a little dab of bleach on the inside of your shirt seam to find out the end color and bleach timing for that piece of clothing, for some reason - certain cotton blends refuse to bleach. Hope this helps!

Sidneia Rocha
August 15, 2013

mutito legal

Anna McKee
August 19, 2013

I'm just wondering how you can rinse the bleach without it touching other parts of the material? I am imagining it spreading on the material as the water hits it. How do you keep it from doing that?

    Jen | Something Turquoise
    August 19, 2013

    Hi Anna, it's not difficult at all. Using a very strong stream of water, carefully wash the bleach gel off - just like I do in the pictures. As long as the bleach doesn't get smashed into the fabric any where else you will be fine :)

Sidneia Rocha
August 29, 2013

mutito legal

September 3, 2013

It really works!! I would say leave it on for a little longer than 10 minutes, but it definitely shows up! I did it on a black shirt and it did turn out a orange-reddish color, but looks awesome!

Sidneia Rocha
January 24, 2014

mutito legal