Bleach Pens & Crafts

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Bleach Pens & Crafts
Bleach pen designs can mimic the look of batik fabric. (IT Stock/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Bleach pens let you target stains precisely, a handy quality when you're working with your laundry. The same quality makes bleach pens a crafty tool for creating stencilled and drawn designs on fabric. A bleach pen gives you more flow control than a brush or a cotton swab, allowing you to create more complex designs. As long as you observe simple safety rules, bleach pen crafts offer a less messy alternative to tie-dyeing as an activity for yourself, a youth group, or your kids.

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Materials

If bleach will change the colour or texture of the material, bleach pen will draw on it. Bleach may damage wool, spandex, leather, linen or mohair, so test the fabric in an inconspicuous spot before proceeding with a full project.

Methods

To use a bleach pen, touch the writing tip to the material and move it while keeping even pressure on the tube. If you draw your design on your shirt or other item with a piece of chalk or a pencil, you'll have an outline to follow. As an alternative, fill in a stencilled area with dots of bleach gel, or create a design using dots and lines. Leave the bleach on the fabric until you see an obvious colour change, then rinse it off with warm water and launder or wash your item.

Project Ideas

Give coloured T-shirts a spark of life with simple designs, such as a smiley face, a sun, or a spray of flowers. Decorate a baseball cap with your name or a simple bleached out logo. Create a design of swirls and whorls on a pair of denim jeans, or "batik" plain cotton fabric with a bleach-pen design and sew it up into the clothing item of your choice.

Safety

Work in a well-ventilated area. Protect your clothing from bleach splashes, and your hands with plastic gloves. Put cling film or waxed paper between layers of fabric to prevent the bleach from bleeding through.

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