Restyle a T Shirt With A Stencil and Bleach + Free SVG File
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Some of my regular readers know that I love to make things.  I don't just make soap and beauty recipes; I love to paint and distress vintage pieces and do paper crafting.  I got a Silhouette Cameo for paper crafting, but then I discovered that it can cut vinyl.  Then I found out that I could cut vinyl to make stencils to make my own shirts designs.  Now instead of donating my old shirts, I can upcycle them to create custom shirts.  Keep reading to see how I made owl shirts using a homemade stencil and bleach.

Before we get to the directions, I want to talk about laundry for a minute.  I'm super picky about my laundry.  Like "do not touch my machine or mess with my detergent or fold clothes the wrong way" kind of picky.

I buy quite a few classic pieces that will last more than one year, so I need a detergent that will get my clothes clean yet be gentle so they don't show wear.  This is especially important when I'm upcycling a piece.  I don't want it to look dingy after I spent so much time making it!

method 4x concentrated meets all of my laundry detergent criteria.  It cleans my clothes, it keeps my colors bright, and it smells amazing.  Where else can I get something as exotic as ginger mango??  

Another reason I love method detergent is because it works where we live.  We live on a farm in the middle of nowhere, which means we have propane for gas.  I wash all of my clothes in cold water, and method works great in cold water.  It's also naturally derived and biodegradable, which is important for our septic system.The bottle is made with all post-consumer recycled materials, and it's 100 percent recyclable.

Ready to try it yourself?  Use coupon code THREEFORME to save $3 on your next method order.  

Don't you hate it when you're shopping and see a cute top but it's dry clean only?  ASOS x method is a new line of clothes in today's hottest colors and styles, and they are all easy to clean at home!  It's every busy fashionista's dream!

How to Restyle a Tee Shirt

My daughter and I wanted matching shirts.  My grandmother, the woman my daughter is named after, loved owls, so we are keeping the love alive.  We both had solid colored shirts in our closet that I was about to donate, so I thought they would be perfect for this project.  I love the colors together too.

I used my Silhouette Cameo to die cut the owl out of contact paper.   When we've done this before, we took the die cut of the picture we wanted and put that on the shirt.  This time, we wanted the negative image.  I cut a rectangle around the owl so the part where the owl is would be lighter.  You can do this either way.  If you download the free SVG file, you can take the rectangle off and design it how you'd like.  You can resize it to fit your shirt.

Download the owl SVG file here.

What You Need


1.  It was either raining or windy here, so I was stuck in the basement.  Excuse the lighting and concrete floor.  I cut boxes to lay on the floor, and I also cut cardboard to place inside the shirts so the back didn't get bleached.

2.  Next I placed the stencil on the shirt.   You can see that I started it at the top and carefully peeled the backing off as I pressed the contact paper to the shirt.

3.  When the stencil is in place, run your finger around the edges to make sure they are stuck.  The bleach will run no matter what, but this helps stop it a little.

4.  Lightly spray with undiluted bleach in a spray bottle.  You don't want to saturate it.  It will take a few minutes to turn colors, so be patient.  

5.  This is after about 2 minutes.

6.  Carefully peel off the stencil and discard it.  Hang the shirt to dry overnight.  Enjoy your new shirt!  They turned out kind of abstract, but I love them!  I wasn't going for perfect.  I wanted unique and fun, and I think I achieved that!

Rinse your shirt with cold water and let dry before wearing.  I like to wash them separately the first time I wash it in the machine too.  

Have you ever made your own shirts?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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Cari Dunn
Cari Dunn

Cari lives on a small farm with her husband, three kids, two dogs, two cats, and a goat. She loves coffee, Gilmore Girls, her chihuahua, and her kids, but not in that order.