DIY: Superhuman T-shirt Bleach Dye Craft

DIY: Superhuman T-shirt Bleach Dye Craft

I’m pretty sure that boys in general are big fans of superheroes. My youngest tells me he is his own superhero because he is a super human, but if he had to pick a favorite, it would be Superman. The oldest really digs Batman and has basically since infancy.

So today after a headache inducing trip to the pumpkin patch we came back home and made some shirts and it was really easy. Perhaps the boys are easily impressed, but I think that a few of you out there just might think they are pretty awesome, too!

If you already have freezer paper, this is going to be a really cheap project for you. If you don’t have freezer paper you need some anyway. Not only can you bleach dye you can also freezer print stencil. If you don’t know what it is, google it. I am officially addicted. I promise the $5 you pay for this roll will be worth it!

DIY: Superhuman T-shirt Bleach Dye Craft

For this project you will need:

  • 100% cotton tees (a poly blend WILL NOT work)
  • superhero or other print out
  • spray adhesive
  • freezer paper
  • scissors
  • x-acto knife and something to cut on
  • spray bottle with  50% bleach and 50% water
  • piece of cardboard (to put inside of shirt)

DIY: Superhuman T-shirt Bleach Dye Craft

First things first. Find the image, logo, letter or other item that you want to appear on your shirt. You can browse online to find something specific like logos. Print them out the size you want them, then use spray adhesive to attach to the smooth (not kind of tacky/waxy) side of freezer paper.

DIY: Superhuman T-shirt Bleach Dye Craft

Use the image on top to more easily cut out your freezer paper. Use your x-acto knife for interior cuts and scissors will work well for outside edges.

DIY: Superhuman T-shirt Bleach Dye Craft

Place the sticky size of the freezer paper down on the shirt (be sure or  you’re going to have a nasty stain on your iron). Use an iron set on cotton (with no steam) to set the freezer paper onto the shirt.

DIY: Superhuman T-shirt Bleach Dye Craft

Use your fingernails to make sure that the freezer paper is stuck well. If not go ahead and hit it again with the iron.

Put a piece of cardboard in between the front and the back of the shirt to keep the back as it is. You’ll need a 50/50 bleach/water mixture to spray on. I use an old cleaner bottle but use whatever you like best.

When you are satisfied spray a light mist of the bleach water onto your shirt. I sprayed around the logo and spread it across the sleeves but do what you think looks best. Remember that colored shirts will turn a lighter color and that black shirts will become kind of brown. You can use a combination of the spray and stream to get a fine mist and the larger spots of bleach.

DIY: Superhuman T-shirt Bleach Dye Craft

And since I have two little boys that were my perfect little male models and have the Sorry board all set up with only two hours until bedtime, I’m going to hit the bricks. I’d love to see any tees that you make using this method. Until next week!


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A crafter since her earliest years, Allison spends a little time every day making something. She crafts, sews, paints, glues things onto other things, and is a firm believer that a life spent creating is a life worth living. Visit Allison's blog, Dream {a Little} BIGGER.

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8 Responses to “DIY: Superhuman T-shirt Bleach Dye Craft”

  1. #
    Holly — November 2, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    Found your post from
    Very cool shirts, and I’m surprised how simple the technique is. I could actually do that! Yahoo!
    Thanks for the tutorial. :)


  2. #
    Lisa — November 4, 2012 at 10:35 am

    A great technique worth remembering.
    The shirts look great!


  3. #
    Elli — December 6, 2012 at 8:48 am

    Why do you say that a poly blend won’t work? Do you mean that it won’t bleach right? If it has cotton in the blend, won’t it still dye/bleach some? I’m trying to figure this out by looking on the internet, but can’t find a definitive answer. Have you tried it on a poly blend yourself? I’m wanting to try this on a shirt but it’s hard to find 100% cotton in the style I’d like.


    • Allison replied: — December 6th, 2012 @ 9:09 am

      Hi, Elli – My first attempt was on a poly blend and while the cotton fibers did begin to bleach out the poly didn’t seem to change at all. I rinsed the bleach and the end product was a very faint image. I tried again with a poly blend to reverse tie dye using bleach and had to leave the shirt in considerably longer than I would have liked. I got nowhere close to the lightening I was aiming for. I went ahead and wore the shirt for cleaning around the house, etc. and after a few washes it started to get bad holes in it.

      I have never, ever had a single problem using 100% cotton so that is what I would highly recommend.


  4. #
    Mindy — February 10, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    I LOVE this idea! thank you so much for the tutorial. I really want to try bleach dying some fabric/clothing but was afraid that the bleach would deteriorate the fabric. Did you need to wash them out right away or use something to stop the bleach after you spray it?
    Or is that where the using cotton vs poly comes in?

    Many thanks


    • Allison replied: — February 10th, 2013 @ 6:28 pm

      Mindy, The bleach can totally deteriorate the fabric if you’re not careful. There’s no need to add anything to the bleach, just spray on and when the color fades to where you want it (normally within minutes) start to run the fabric under the tap to remove the excess and stop the bleach from changing the colors or eating away at the fabric.
      The reason that I suggest the cotton versus the polyblend is that the poly won’t bleach to a lighter color. So say you have a black shirt and the cotton fibers bleach down but the polyester stays black, you’re not going to achieve the color you want. It’s natural to keep the bleach on the fabric longer but you’ll wind up allowing the bleach to eat through before it will ever change to the same color as the cotton did.
      You may run into trouble when trying to bleach something very dark (e.g. black denim jeans) to white but as long as you’re using thinner material, like cotton jersey you’ll be all set.
      If you’re nervous, I’d really suggest practicing on something old. Maybe you have some shirts that are destined to be rags soon?
      Best of luck to you!


  5. #
    Debi — June 17, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    Just wondering if you have any recommendations to easily get the freezer paper off material after the piece is finished. The last time I tried to do something like this I couldn’t get the freezer paper off of the material.



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