Easy Bleach Shirt Designs (Reverse Dyeing with a Bleach Pen)

This page may contain affiliate links. Please see our full Disclosure here for details.

How to Decorate and Make Designs on Your T Shirts and Blue Jeans by Reverse Dyeing with Liquid Bleach and a Bleach Pen

Have you accidentally spilled bleach on your shirt and just threw it away? Well, has it ever occurred to you to use bleach or a bleach pen on purpose to make designs on your shirts?

If that old pair of jeans you used to love could use some help then why not pretty it up the easy way with a good old bleach pen!

Decorate Shirts and Jeans with a Bleach Pen

No need to mix dye powder or make a big mess in your kitchen. All you need is a Bleach Pen. Plus, bleach pens work great for getting stains out of your white shirts, too.

And you know how teens love to personalize and bedazzle their clothes? Teens also love this project.

Supplies for Bleach Pen Shirts:

Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links which simply means if you click through and buy or sign up, this site may get a small commission, at absolutely no extra cost to you.

Old Jeans, Shorts, T Shirts (mostly cotton)
Bleach Pen
-Plastic or cardboard
-Pencil (optional)
Stencil (optional)
-Bleach & Spray Bottle (optional)

Decorate Fabric and Jeans with Bleach Pen, Fiberartsy.com

Decorate Fabric and Jeans with Bleach Pen, Fiberartsy.com

4 Different Bleach Shirt Designs

Note: For all of these pieces, place a sheet of plastic or cardboard inside to prevent the bleach from bleeding through to the other side.

1. Bleach Pen Design: Flower

Decorate with Bleach Pen, Fiberartsy.com

I wanted to put a couple of simple designs on the front of these red shorts. For inspiration and design, I dug out one of our beach towels which has flowers and dragon flies on it.

You may want to practice your drawing on a piece of paper first. Also, it’s a good idea to draw with the bleach pen on scrap fabric to get a feel for the flow of the bleach gel.

First, with my pencil, I drew the outline of a flower on one side of the shorts. Then, I followed the pencil line with the bleach pen.

Decorate with Bleach Pen, Fiberartsy.com

Decorate with Bleach Pen

Finally, I let the bleach sit on the fabric for 15 minutes or so. It’s hard to say exactly how long it takes as that varies depending on the type of fabric and the original fabric dye used.

Repeat with the other design:

How to decorate shirts and blue jeans with Bleach Pen

Thoroughly rinse off the bleach and wash your shirt or jeans with laundry detergent. If the bleach pen design is not light enough for you, you can repeat the process after the shorts or shirt dries.

2. Bleach Design with a Stencil

Easy Bleach Shirt Designs

I wanted swirls and loops along the side of the legs so I used a stencil (pink heart shape) that I found at Dollar Tree. Basically, all you have to do is follow the lines with the bleach pen. Super easy!

Decorate T Shirts and Blue Jeans with Bleach Pen

Again, let the bleach set on your fabric for a while, then rinse, wash and dry.

3. Bleach Pen Design on a Shirt

This is the same process as I used on the blue jeans. Again, I chose part of the heart stencil. Since this was an older shirt, it did not bleach as strongly as the other pieces.

Decorate with Bleach Pen, Fiberartsy.com

Decorate with Bleach Pen, Fiberartsy.com

4. Bleach Dyeing a Black T Shirt

Yes, it’s actually black. My camera is a bit colorblind….

This bleach shirt design technique is a little different. I decided to try dyeing this shirt with liquid bleach instead of the pen. First, I picked a bunch of heart shaped leaves and laid them out on the shirt.

Then, I sprayed around the leaves with a solution of 1 part liquid bleach to 3 parts water. I let this sit a while and then I washed and dried my shirt. To define the hearts a little better, I added heart designs with the bleach pen.

Decorate with Bleach Pen, Fiberartsy.com

Decorate with Bleach Pen, Fiberartsy.com

That’s all there’s to it! It’s so much fun to try different bleach shirt designs and decorations. Plus, if you get your shirts or jeans at a thrift shop, it’s okay if your designs don’t turn out quite right.

This fabric dyeing project is super easy and you can use any shape, stencil, or freehand design you want.  These shirts also make a unique gift idea.  Customize the design for your favorite horse lover, musician or even knitter. The possibilities are truly endless!

Have you played around with a bleach pen designs? I’d love to see your fun creations.

Related Fabric Dyeing Tutorials

Shibori Dyeing Tea Towels
Making Fabric Dye with Acorns
Reverse Tie Dyeing with Bleach
Tie Dye a Heart Shape

Bleach Pen Fun! Learn how to dress up and decorate Fabric and Jeans with Bleach and Bleach Pens - A Fiberartsy.com craft diy Tutorial

Easy Bleach Pen Art for Jeans and TShirts. A Fabric Dyeing and Painting Technique

Easy Bleach Shirt Designs using a Bleach Pen

Reverse Dyeing with a Bleach Pen

Easy Bleach Shirt Designs (Dyeing with Bleach)

Sharing is caring!


  1. Love it! What a great idea.

  2. This is cool! I’ve never used a bleach pen. You can make all kinds of cute designs this way. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I make t-shirts for my littles at each of their birthdays. This looks like a good idea to try next! 🙂

    • That’s a great idea, Beth! My littlest little just graduated High School… bittersweet but now we can do grown-up crafts


Craft More Happy Moments with our FREE Creativity Care Package 3/26-4/9/20! Watch over 1,300 creative education classes ranging from sewing, cooking, family crafts, and more!

Did You Know That This Blog Makes Money? Here's How!