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DIY Bleached Shirt Tutorial

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The links contained in this blog post may be affiliate links.  I may receive a small commission for the referral but there is no additional cost to you.

For this bleached shirt gather the following items

- Tank top of your choice.  I used a Next Level Festival Tank in Antique Gold

If you are using sublimation this tank works very well with both sublimation and bleaching.  Not all brands sub and bleach well, for this process only polyester absorbs sublimation ink and only cotton will bleach.  It is important to have a shirt with a good poly cotton blend of around 60/40.  
If you prefer a t-shirt I recommend using Bella Canvas 3001CVC Heathers

- Fresh bottle of bleach (old bleach will NOT work as well...ask me how I know ;) )

- Spray Bottle  

- Bee Kind SVG/PNG from Wispy Willow Designs


Let's Get Started

I sublimated the design on my tank first.  

*This file also cuts well with vinyl.  If you use vinyl, bleach your shirt first, and then heat press the vinyl on after washing and drying the bleached shirt.  You don't want to risk the bleach eating through the adhesive of the vinyl*

Let's Bleach!

First: Wait for a sunny day.  Seriously.  You need the hot sun to make the bleach turn the shirt white.  I waited for a hot summer day at 12 noon.

Find a random cardboard box, if you are like me and addicted to Amazon you have plenty laying around. This will prevent the bleach from going through to the other side of the shirt.

Fill your spray bottle with half bleach and half water.  Lightly spray your shirt.  I first focus on where the design is and then add a few additional sprays around the shirt sides.  I'll do a light mist and then larger drops.  Don't go overboard.  It's easy to add more later if it's not as white as you would like.


In about 10-15 minutes, the bleached areas should be white.  If you want more white, add another layer of bleach.  If you are happy with it, turn the shirt over and spray the back side.

Once you are happy with how your shirt looks, wiggle the cardboard out, grab your shirt, and head over to your washing machine. 

I do a full wash right away so that the bleach does not continue to eat through your fabric after the initial bleaching.  Believe me, leaving the bleach on your shirt for a long period of time will leave you with weak fabric and holes.  Not the look I'm going for.


And here it is finished!  Washed, dried, and perfect.  Can't wait to wear!



If you have a Glowforge and want to be extra, be sure to check out my matching Bee Earring File!


Happy crafting!  I'd love to see what you make in my Facebook Group.





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  • Crafteesoul

    Thank you for including the bleach mixture measurements! I literally could not find them anywhere and ended up with two perfect Swiss cheese shirts. Definitely better to not use straight bleach.

    Nov 20, 2021 at 19:21
  • Pearl Golden

    this is sooooo cute! Thanks for sharing I have a ton of shirts laying around I will try this with =)

    Jan 21, 2021 at 21:34

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