Thursday, July 14, 2011

Art Shirts

Today, as this post is going out, my friend Bekah and her son Cage are coming over to be crafty with us.  I Facebooked Bekah the other day and said “We need to set up an educational play date.”  Thankfully, she didn’t disown me for being too nerdy, but said “YES!”

Bekah and I have only known each other for a little over a year now.  We met at our library’s storytime.  When we found out our lives were pretty parallel – she was a teacher for years before becoming a SAHM to her little boy only 3 months after I did – we decided to get to know each other better and have play dates for our boys. She was the brave one and, after months of seeing each other at storytime, she asked if we’d be interested in meeting for lunch afterward someday.  When we finally made it to McDonald’s the next week, we were standing in line when I said, “By the way, my name is Amanda.  What’s yours?”  We had only known each other by our son’s names for the many months we’d been attending storytime.   How embarrassing!

Anyway, we’ve been friend’s ever since, and love to get together to talk and let our boys play.

I finally figured out that, while I’d love to do all the great crafty activities I’m finding online with Jack, I’m too chicken to do it by myself.  So I employed my teacher-friend to help motivate me.  She said she was having the same problem about not doing a lot of stuff with her son, so it’s a Win-Win for both of us! (plus, my house gets clean if I have company over – that makes it a win-win-win for me!)

For today’s inaugural 'educational play date’, I thought I’d make an art shirt for our boys.  I found plain little t-shirts at our local craft store for $2 each and decided to bleach the boys’ names on them.  I didn’t have freezer paper, so I used contact paper as my stencil. 

P7130010While I was drawing the letters, I imagined that I’d paint/bleach the letters solid.  Then I started cutting out the letters I’d made and realized I was cutting them out backwards.  So, instead of doing a normal stencil job, I did an opposite stencil job.  What’s that called?  Other than Mistake.  P7130011

I took my Bleach Pen, traced the letters, then took a paint brush and brushed out the bleach so it would bleach all around the letter.



I love the look that I was getting.  My mistake turned out to be a pretty good idea after all.

P7130014P7130015It took FOR.EVER for the color to change, so I’m glad I started early in the morning on these. 

HOW EASY!??!  I may become addicted to this technique and end up with lots of bleached shirts. 

*Okay, that’s what I typed up in my drafts file yesterday while waiting for the bleach to work.  Then, when I thought it’d turned white enough, I ran it through the washer to stop the bleaching process. 

*ahem* this is how it REALLY turned out…P7130018

As soon as I pulled it out of the washer, the letters were GONE.  No bleaching in sight! 

Which means I totally started over.


I cut new letters and used straight bleach on them.  I let it sit for about 5 hours and this is what they looked like…


No difference at all!  Did I buy anti-bleaching shirts or something?? This was getting ridiculous!

So, before I went to bed last night, I tried again.  On top of the non-working bleach from earlier, I put more of the Bleach Pen on the letters and brushed it out again.  I decided to let them sit overnight. P7130016

This is what they looked like this morning.  NO BLEACHING! ARGH!!

My final attempt was to put a line of the gel along the letters and let them sit.  P7140022I am now going to wash and dry them so the boys can wear them while they paint today.  My money is on the bleach NOT working again and they’ll have plain t-shirts to paint in.  I have no clue what I did wrong!

*Back to my original post’s ending:

Hopefully, we’ll have many more ‘educational play dates’ in our near future.  I spent a TON of money on supplies yesterday and have been pinning like crazy, scouring the internet for fun – easy- projects we can do. 

First up, Marble Painting!  I’ll try to be timely in a blog post to show you our artwork.

1 comment:

  1. I am amazed w/ the disappearing bleach! What a thoughtful idea though! Either way, the morning could not have been more enjoyable. I love spending time with you and Jack. The activity turned out perfectly. You never know right away if it was indeed, "educational," or not. Months from now one of the boys (probably Jack) will say something random like comparing/contrasting tracks from a tire to paint marks from marbles dipped in paint. Why, I can just hear him now! Thank you, again! Looking forward to next time!


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