DIY Halloween Bleach Dyed T-Shirts (2023)

By: AutumnPosted: 9/16/21

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Filed In: Halloween| Halloween Crafts| holidays

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In today’s post: Halloween Bleach Dyed T-Shirts are made using cute signs from Dollar Tree. They turn out so cool you won’t believe how easy they are to make! Find step by step directions to make your own shirt below.

Halloween Bleach Dyed T-shirts

Today’s project is so satisfying. Seriously! It’s pretty awesome that you can make yourself a cool shirt for Halloween using a wood cutout from the dollar store, a cheap tee, and some bleach. Here’s what the wood cutouts look like:

And here are the cool shirts you can make with them:

Get the Halloween Signs

Now, it might seem early to be thinking about Halloween, but I’ve learned that Halloween supplies sell out very quickly at Dollar Tree. In fact, I had to call around to a few different stores to find these adorable wood Halloween signs I used in this post because an employee told me they can’t keep them on the shelves! So if you’d like to make your own bleach dyed Halloween shirt, try to purchase the signs right away.

If you can’t find the signs, you can use a Halloween stencil instead. You can find cool stencil sets on Amazon by clicking here – just pay attention to how big they are before you order. You may also be able to find stencils at your local craft store.

(Video) Halloween Crafts: Easy Bleached Halloween Shirts | How To Spray Bleach A Shirt

Easy Halloween DIY Project

Bleach dyeing is basically reverse stenciling: you’ll use the wood sign as a stencil and spray bleach mixed with water over it. Everywhere the bleach touches the shirt it will remove color, leaving the parts covered by the sign dark. I was really impressed by the clean lines I was able to get using the wood signs as a stencil! The secret is to temporarily adhere the wood sign to the shirt using basting spray or a glue stick. This ensures that none of the bleach leaks under the sign, ruining your design.

Working with Bleach

You’ll need to make sure you have a well ventilated place to do this craft. If possible, I’d recommend doing it outdoors or in a garage with the garage door open. Just be sure it’s not windy when you get started.

If you’ll be involving children in this project, make sure they are well supervised as bleach can cause irritation if it gets on your skin or in your eyes and definitely should not be ingested. Also be aware that it will bleachany fabric and many other surfaces that it comes into contact with. You might want to have kids wear plastic gloves and old clothes, and you’ll definitely need to place a large trash bag or plastic tablecloth under the shirt as you spray it.

What You’ll Need

I love it when crafts don’t require many supplies! To make bleach dyed Halloween shirts, you’ll need:

  • Wood Signs from Dollar Tree (or other Halloween sign or template)
  • T-shirts: I found tees at Walmart for about $4
  • Basting Spray or other washable adhesive spray OR a glue stick
  • Spray Bottle
  • Bleach
  • Cardboard to go inside the shirt
  • Trash bag or plastic tablecloth to protect the surface you’re spraying on

Video Demonstration

DIY Halloween Bleach Dyed T-Shirts (7)


Watch the video to see how to use bleach to dye your own Halloween t-shirt. You’ll find a printable instruction card after the video.

DIY Halloween Bleach Dyed T-Shirts (8)


Halloween Bleach Dyed T-Shirts

4.67 from 3 votes

Cook Time: 45 mins

(Video) DIY Halloween t-shirts with freezer paper stencils, bleach, & dye.

Print Instructions

Halloween Bleach Dyed T-Shirts are made using cute signs from Dollar Tree and turn out so cool you won't believe how easy they are to make!


  • Wood Halloween Sign
  • T-Shirt
  • Washable Adhesive spray like Basting Spray or Glue Stick
  • Spray Bottle
  • Bleach
  • Water
  • Cardboard
  • Trash Bag or Plastic Tablecloth

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  • Spray the back of the wood sign with basting spray or other washable adhesive spray until it is slightly sticky to the touch. If you don't have basting spray, you can use a glue stick instead. See note.

    DIY Halloween Bleach Dyed T-Shirts (9)

  • Place a piece of cardboard inside the t-shirt to protect the back of the shirt from the bleach spray. Ideally, the cardboard should be big enough to fill the entire shirt. Place the shirt down on a trash bag or something else that will protect the surface in a WELL VENTILATED area (outside is best as long as it isn't windy).

    DIY Halloween Bleach Dyed T-Shirts (10)

  • Place the sign sticky side down on the t-shirt and press well so it adheres.

    DIY Halloween Bleach Dyed T-Shirts (11)

  • Make sure the spray nozzle on your spray bottle is turned so you get a fine mist (test this with water). Mix 1 part water and 1 part bleach in the bottle and begin spraying it over the sign. I started by spraying inside the sign, then sprayed around the outside of the sign, trying to move around the sign in an even circle. You only need to get the fabric lightly wet, so DO NOT soak it with the bleach water. If you do you will ruin your shirt because the bleach will begin to leak under the sign.

    DIY Halloween Bleach Dyed T-Shirts (12)

  • As you wait, you will begin to see the spray lightening up the fabric around the sign. Be patient and don't spray more immediately as it takes a few minutes to see where you have sprayed. After 5 minutes or so you can add more spray in any areas it seems like you have missed. Again, do not soak the fabric.

    DIY Halloween Bleach Dyed T-Shirts (13)

    (Video) DIY Day of the Dead | DIY Halloween Bleach T-Shirts, Beaching T-Shirts, How to Make Bleach Shirts

  • Allow the bleach spray to dry for 20-30 minutes, then gently peel the wood sign off the shirt.

    DIY Halloween Bleach Dyed T-Shirts (14)

  • Immediately rinse the shirt in running water until the entire shirt is very wet, including all the parts that were bleached. Rinse and wring out the shirt a couple of times, then wash and dry it on a normal cycle in your machine before wearing.

    DIY Halloween Bleach Dyed T-Shirts (15)


I think using washable adhesive spray is the easiest way to do this craft – you can find basting spray or washable adhesive in the craft or sewing sections of most large stores. However, if you don’t want to purchase that, you can use a glue stick instead. For best results, lightly rub the glue stick over the entire back of the wood sign to make sure it will stick to the shirt. I found it was easiest to use one of the purple glue sticks so you can see whether you’ve covered the entire area. Wipe off any little globs of glue that get stuck along the edges of the wood sign before placing the sign down on the shirt. Continue following the directions above.

This craft is pretty easy, but since you are using bleach to “dye” the shirt it’s hard to predict *exactly* how it will turn out. If you have a particular result in mind, you may want to experiment on some old shirts first.

Meet Autumn

Hello there! I’m a busy mom of five who loves to make things. Crafts, recipes, sewing, holiday projects: I’ve tried them all, and you can too! I love EASY projects anyone can make.


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Reader Interactions

Leave a Comment

  1. Pam says

    DIY Halloween Bleach Dyed T-Shirts (22)
    After bleaching how do you get the bleach on the shirt so white I’ve always seen it turned Orange?


  2. Jen Maginnis says

    Does the bleach ruin the stencils or can you reuse them over a few times?



How do you bleach a shirt for Halloween? ›

Eaasy diy bleach shirt, step 1: put bleach in spray bottle 2: using sticker letters make your saying 3: spray the shirt about five times, wait 15 min (spray again where and if needed) then peel 4: wash in cold water.

How do you make bleached graphic tees? ›

Steps for bleaching graphic tees
  1. Measure the water. Add ¼ cup water to the measuring cup.
  2. Measure the bleach. Add 2 teaspoons of Clorox® Bleach to the water in the measuring cup. ...
  3. Test the inside of the shirt. ...
  4. Apply the test drop. ...
  5. Look for a color change.

How do you make homemade bleach shirts? ›

Fill a spray bottle with 1 part bleach and 1 part water, then mist the T shirt in it until you get your desired effect. Wait 5 to 10 minutes, then rinse the shirt in fresh water and hang it up to dry. Tuck a sheet of cardboard into the shirt first if you don't want the design to transfer to the back.

How long do I let bleach sit on a shirt? ›

After you apply the bleach, you will need to let it sit for a while, about 5-20 minutes. The amount of time the sweatshirt needs to soak in the bleach solution will vary based on the type of fabric it's made from. For example, 100% cotton fabrics will bleach faster than cotton-poly blends.

How do you distress a shirt quickly? ›

Just snip horizontal lines of varying sizes. For an extra worn look, rub a pumice stone or sandpaper along these cuts. If you want to make the distressed areas of your tee stand out, use bleach (we used 2 parts water, 1 part bleach) to highlight the holes and cuts in the shirt.

How long does it take for bleach to turn something white? ›

Leave your clothing submerged in the bleach solution for at least five minutes. Check it every minute to see whether it has lightened to your liking. Keep in mind that the color will be a shade or two lighter when it is dry.

What material is best for bleaching shirts? ›

What shirts are best for bleaching? You do need a shirt with at least some polyester as cotton shirts can develop holes. For sublimation, I'm using a Gildan soft style. It is 65% polyester, 35% cotton.

Can you heat press a bleached shirt? ›

You can really do it either way and the process will work flawlessly. However, putting a bleached shirt under the heat press will sometimes cause scorching. It will create a yellow tint on the bleached part of the shirt.

Will vinegar bleach a shirt? ›

A component of any type of vinegar is a mild acetic acid. It is this acid in vinegar that helps to remove detergent build-up and keep clothes looking bright and feeling soft. However, if the acid is left on fabric—especially dark fabric with unstable dyes—bleaching can occur.

How much bleach and water do you need to bleach a shirt? ›

Since your shirts have yellowed over time, there's a good chance you can whiten up the shirts again (as long as the yellowing wasn't caused by metals). Here are some techniques you could try: Soak the items in a solution of ¼ cup Clorox® Regular Bleach2 per gallon of water.

Will a 100 cotton shirt bleach? ›

When bleach dyeing, it's important to make sure your clothing is primarily made of cotton. Bleach doesn't react well with polyester and rayon blends, but it will significantly lighten them. My t-shirt was 100% cotton and my sweatsuit was 60% cotton and 40% polyester.

Does hydrogen peroxide bleach clothes? ›

Non-chlorine bleaches, such as oxygen bleach and hydrogen peroxide, are also good at whitening. These products are gentler and less dangerous than chlorine bleach, making them safe for most fabrics and dyes. You can use hydrogen peroxide to whiten and brighten clothes, disinfect laundry, and remove stains.

Do you dilute bleach when bleaching shirts? ›

Making Your Bleach Mixture

For this project, be sure to dilute the bleach before applying it to your T-shirt. You'll also need a container, such as a spray bottle, to use during application. You will need: Plastic spray bottle.

Do you need sun to bleach shirts? ›

Many claim that you have to have sunlight to bleach. You don't. It just takes a bit longer if you don't have sunlight.

Is it better to bleach a shirt wet or dry? ›

Bleach Tie Dye: Prepping Your Shirt

For other methods of tie dying, it helps if the t-shirt is wet, but for bleach tie dye, it's much better to start with a dry shirt. You'll want to prepare your shirt for whatever pattern you'd like to see on your final product. There are tons of methods for making patterns.

Can you put too much bleach on a shirt? ›

If you use too much or if you pour bleach directly onto the fabric, you will surely damage it. But careful use on your all-white garments will not cause trouble. Using bleach may very slightly hasten deterioration of the shirt, but the whiteness you will achieve outweighs the shirt's only slightly shortened life span.

What happens if you leave a shirt in bleach for too long? ›

Stir everything in the container and soak for 10 minutes

Allow the clothes to soak for about 10 minutes. Bleach can weaken or damage your fabrics if you soak for too long.

What can I use to distress fabric? ›

You can rub the clothing with rough things – sandpaper is usually used. But anything that can agitate the fibers of the fabric is useful here. A foot file, rasp, seam ripper, vegetable grater, wire brush are all used to produce natural-looking distressed marks and even holes on the fabric.

What paint to use to look distressed? ›

Use a latex, water-based paint to coat the piece in your desired color, making sure to brush on with even, thin strokes. If the piece is unfinished or the seal has worn away, layer coats until the piece is completely opaque.

Can you bleach an A * * * * * *? ›

Anal bleaching using OTC products

A person can bleach their anus at home using OTC products. However, before doing so, people should talk with a dermatologist to ensure that the product they have chosen is safe to use.

Can you bleach colored clothes to make them white? ›

How to Bleach Colored Clothes White. Bleach and water solutions are great for stripping color from fabric before dyeing it a new color. These solutions can also help you create tie dye or ombre effects. Tackle household messes with 10% off curated cleaning bundles or build your own.

Why will my shirt not bleach? ›

Much depends on how the blended fibre is made. If the cotton is on the exterior it will usually bleach and take dye like pure cotton does but if it's not on the exterior, then it's the polyester that is and that won't bleach or take much dye.

What fabrics Cannot be bleached? ›

What's safe to bleach and what's not? Gagliardi says to never use bleach when washing spandex, wool, silk, mohair or leather; regardless of their color, bleach will ruin them. Always check clothing labels.

What is the strongest bleach for clothes? ›

Sodium hypochlorite bleaches (also called chlorine or liquid household bleach) are the more powerful laundry bleaches; they disinfect, as well as clean and whiten. They work on many whites and colorfast washables - but not on wools or silks.

Why are my bleached shirts getting holes? ›

Anti-chlor will not cause holes in the fabric, when used as directed. Hypochlorite bleach (which is ordinary household bleach, also known as chlorine bleach) very often will cause holes, sooner or later, if you don't neutralize it with Anti-chlor or another neutralizing chemical.

How do you distress and fade a shirt? ›

Consider a Hot Wash

Set the machine to the highest possible temperature and agitation settings. Repeat the wash cycle a few times to quickly fade the fabric. Dry the T-shirt on a high heat setting. The repeated use of heat will weaken and softens fibers while also toning down the color.

Can I stain then paint for distressed look? ›

Use the color of the raw wood as your base color, then paint over it. Stain the raw wood, paint over that, then sand down some areas to reveal the stain. Paint a base color, a top color, then sand down to reveal both colors and the raw wood.

Will a hair dryer help bleach a shirt? ›

You can accelerate the bleaching process by using a hairdryer to heat the design. You can also put on multiple layers of bleach- more layers means a lighter color.

Do you wash bleached shirt before sublimating? ›

Soak the shirt in water and hydrogen peroxide to prevent the bleach from spreading. Then, wash and dry the shirt normally. Put butcher paper into the shirt and press it. Place your image face down where you want it and use the heat press to sublimate your shirt.

What temperature do you press bleached shirts? ›

Sublimation on Bleach Shirts

Heat up your heat press to 400 degrees and set the timer to 60 seconds.

How do you bleach a shirt without ruining it? ›

Because the chemicals in bleach can damage certain fabrics, it's a good idea to use a weaker, more diluted bleach solution for delicates. Thoroughly rinse the garments in clean water and make sure all bleach is completely removed before drying.

How do you bleed a shirt for Halloween? ›

Grab a small cup and fill it with a small amount of blood. Stand at the angle you want the blood to splatter and lob the paint at the shirt. You can lob it underhand for a smoother splatter, or toss it quickly to make it splash everywhere.

How do you make clothes look wet for Halloween? ›

For wet/fresh sweat I like to use baby oil. It will remain "dark" like real sweat for hours. Like the tea it will stain. You can also use clear dish soap which WILL wash out...just make sure you don't add in extra detergent when you wash it in the washer or you'll end up with a foamy mess.

How can I make my clothes look dirty for a zombie costume? ›

In order to make the zombie costume sufficiently dirty-looking, fill a spray bottle with coffee and spray it all over the costume and any accessories. Make sure to do it in a way that it's fairly blotchy and uneven with some areas more dirty-looking than others.

How do you fade a shirt to look old? ›

Hot Wash Technique For Vintage T-shirt

Put half a cup of salt in 6 cups of water and throw your shirt into steaming hot water. Leave it for a couple of hours and then give it a detergent wash, rinse to dry. The darker coloured or especially black shirts needs more time to fade.

Do you use peroxide after bleaching shirts? ›

Once you get the colors where you like them. You want to soak it in a half peroxide and half water bath. The peroxide will stop the bleaching process.

Does hot or cold water make colors bleed? ›

Hot water opens up the fibers in clothes to release the dye, while cold water keeps them closed, trapping the dye inside to prevent bleeding. Choosing the cold setting on your washing machine will eliminate most problems with color bleeding, and may also help clothes last longer.

How do you make fake blood for clothes at home? ›

Mix three parts corn syrup thoroughly with one part water in a large bowl. Add a couple of drops of red food coloring into the mixture while stirring continuously. Keep adding more drops of food coloring until the blood is the desired color.
Fake Blood for Clothes
  1. Corn syrup;
  2. Water;
  3. Red food coloring;
  4. Cocoa powder.
6 Oct 2020

Does cool water make colors bleed? ›

While it may seem OK to mix the different types of fabrics and different colored clothes to wash your laundry, doing so is actually not a good idea. Dark and light colored clothes should be washed separately in cold water. Washing clothes in cold water will mostly prevent color bleeding between clothes.

Can you bleach dyed fabric white? ›

Use a mixture of hot water and color remover to strip out the existing dye in the fabric to change your clothes to appear more white. You can also use a chlorine bleach solution to bleach your fabric white.

Can you bleach colored fabric white? ›

How to Bleach Colored Clothes White. Bleach and water solutions are great for stripping color from fabric before dyeing it a new color. These solutions can also help you create tie dye or ombre effects.

How long should you bleach clothes to make them white? ›

Soak the items in a solution of ¼ cup Clorox® Regular Bleach2 per gallon of water. Fully submerge for 5 minutes, then wash in hot water using detergent + ¾ cup bleach (or fill the dispenser to the max-fill line).


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