DIY Bleach Stenciling

I’m pretty geeky and my fandoms are enumerable. One of my greatest loves is Doctor Who. Aside from the fact that Ten is nummy to look at I really like that I can share it with my children. Unlike some of the other geekeries I enjoy I don’t have to worry about blood and extreme violence. The Doctor is pretty tame in that respect; he also has a genuine appreciation for all life forms and looks for civilized ways to resolve conflict. Not to say he won’t blow up your spaceship if you don’t give him any other choice, but he’s pretty respectable. The boys love him and they like to make jokes and quote lines and are always willing to cuddle on the couch with a bowl of popcorn for “WHO time!” Making memories for them to carry into adulthood, I am so blessed to live a simply life and be able to teach my children what really matters.

Now that the holidays are upon us I really need to get my rear in gear and work on presents. The boys are lucky they have a pretty awesome set of grandparents who are willing to go a little crazy for the holidays. It’s nice for me because I don’t have to feel bad that the kids would otherwise get a really sparse holiday (yes, they know the real reason for Christmas, but as an adult it’s really sad not to have presents to open, so I can only imagine what it’s like for kids). I try to make them each a couple cool handmade gifts and I’ve been making the jammies for years, but I know they still enjoy having something materialistic. You know; your bio dad dies, your emotional dad abandons you, you eat ALOT of rice and beans, your clothes are second hand and often patched, you deserve at least one day where you get to be like all the other kids, even if your mom manages to make it work on less than $800 a month. But at least they are learning to be frugal, creative, and self sustaining.

Handmade gifts get harder as the kids get older I think. The littles are thrilled with blankets and stuffed animals etc. The older boys appreciate things, but it’s harder to impress them. Yet, I’m still making child of the eldest variety clothes. I’ve been wanting to try bleach stenciling, but had hit a creative block, until I saw this blue shirt sitting in my pile of blanks.

Really bad blurry picture, but still blue!

Ok so it’s not TARDIS blue, but that’s what it makes me think so it’ll do.

I cut my design out of freezer paper. I just love freezer paper it is a must for every crafter! So many uses! I cut it down and print on it using my printer and then just cutout the shapes. I have a Silhouette SD™ too, but not everyone does, so make friends with your printer.

Once I have my shapes cut out I place them on the shirt and iron them down. I’m sure you can use regular paper and just lay it on the shirt, but I don’t like the idea of things shifting on me.

You could use the reverse stencils and fabric paint to paint a tee too.

Remember that you may have to flip your images to get the glossy side to be the right way when you iron it down. Where ever you put the shapes down is where the color of the shirt will stay and not be bleached. I have a piece of cardboard in the shirt to keep it from soaking through. Spray the mist kinda up in the air and let it fall to your shirt. Spraying directly at the shirt will give you bigger blotchy spots, though that may be the look you’re going for.

I think I got a little trigger happy and sprayed too much. So next time I’ll do a little less of the spraying. I later learned to drop the whole thing into oxy-clean or peroxide to stop the bleaching process BEFORE removing the stencil. It works quickly so once you’ve sprayed be prepared to move to your neutralizing/ rinsing phase once you get your desired bleaching. I was winging it and had to go get the rest of the stuff and it faded more than I would’ve liked and I got some bleeding, I think because I removed the stencil before the peroxide dunk.

I ended up going back and spraying on the back a little to lessen the obvious edge on the sides, but I still think it’s cool. I know D will too. I think I can do a version using the kids’ hand prints to send as Christmas gifts; It’ll match the ornaments they made their dad last year.


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