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Star Wars bleached out t-shirts

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I didn’t want traditional favors. A friend pinned a link about custom bleached t-shirts and everything clicked. Well, it clicked in my magical fantasy land full of limitless time to do crafty things. Star Wars-inspired bleached out t-shirts. For 17 kids.


This post was my original inspiration and gives great tips. Which I mostly followed. But here’s my version:

1. Find your design. This goes without saying but the less detailed the better. I used the least detailed Williams Sonoma Star Wars pancake molds: X-wing fighter, Millenium Falcon and Yoda.


2. Trace your design onto contact paper and cut it out. Peel off the paper and position it on your shirt carefully making sure the soon-to-be bleached out edges are sealed well.

Here’s where I began to realize that 17 shirts was a lot. That’s a lot of cutting. And bleaching. And assembling.



4. Set up your materials: bleach, a bleach cup, a rag, gloves, your t-shirts, t-shirt inserts and quick access to water to rinse them after you’ve achieved your desired design. Now insert your t-shirt insert, pour your bleach in your cup and put on your gloves!


5. Bring on the bleach!


– I cut an old, thin (kitchen) cutting mat in half to insert in the shirts so the bleach wouldn’t bleed through to the back of the shirt. Cardboard also works.

– Go slowly with the bleach. Find your inner Buddha – that’s tough for me – rather than your “go fast” setting.  Some shirts needed less than 1 tablespoon of bleach. Other shirts utilizing the exact same design needed more.  Often the bleach doesn’t appear to be working and then all of a sudden it quickly spreads and brightens. I had issues with bleach seeping under the contact paper only when I went too quickly and used too much bleach.

– Practice on an old shirt first or buy extras. You will need them.


6. Rinse quickly once you’re happy with the design.  Launder normally.


And most importantly, embrace imperfection.  Were my t-shirts perfect?  Hardly.  Were they unique and full of Star Wars love?  You bet your Wookie Cookies they were.



Check out the other fun things we did at our Star Wars birthday party!

One Comment

  1. Pingback: Have a Star Wars birthday, you will | LET ME GET MY CAPE

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