Friday, July 20, 2012

Out-of-this-World Bleached Galaxy Tee

I have seen so many amazing tee-shirts made with bleach on Pinterest. I figured my son and I would give it a go. The final result is out-of-this-world.

When my son got home from summer camp, we read Gail Gibbons’ book Galaxies, Galaxies! It shared loads of information about the different shaped galaxies in space and explained that the Milky Way is a spiral galaxy. This is SUCH a cool book. Seriously, how does Gibbons crank out so many wonderful non-fiction books for kids?!?!

When we were done reading, I told my son it was time to make a Milky Way galaxy tee shirt. “Are we painting it like my organs shirt?” he asked. “Nope.” He was curious AND psyched.

I gave him a piece of freezer paper with a galaxy shape cut out. (Download it here. Cut a piece of freezer paper to 8 ½ x 11 and feed it through your printer.)

He carefully ironed the freezer paper stencil onto his navy blue tee shirt. We used medium-high heat. NOTE: Irons are hot, hot, hot. No child should use one EVER without adult supervision. And even then, careful warning should be issued so children understand the danger.

Afterwards, I put two cheap plastic placemats inside the shirt between the front and back of the shirt.

Now it was time to use a bleach pen to “color” inside the lines. This is pretty forgiving. Afterwards, carefully peel off the stencil.

When that was done, we used a small dollar-store squirt bottle filled with liquid bleach. He squirted the bleach over our galaxy to make stars. We let the bleach take effect and tossed the shirt in the laundry by itself.

I love the final effect. So does my son. Can’t you tell?

Personal note: Thanks to everyone who offered prayers, virtual hugs, thoughts, and encouragement earlier this week. As we continue to get test results back, I am increasingly encouraged. The Grade 1 cancer appears to be confined in one breast, is non-aggressive, slow-growing, and doesn’t appear to be in my lymph nodes. This IS curable. And I look forward to joining the world’s population of amazing breast cancer survivors.


  1. Definitely out of this world fun!!! Thank you for sharing; you are so creative! Check out my Blog if you have not done so already! SMILES!

  2. The picture of your son is adorable! What a fun project!

    I was so happy to read your update! Thanks for letting us know.

  3. What a wonderful shirt! Glad to hear the positive update. Continued hugs and prayers to you!

  4. What an awesome project! My boys would crazy over this. I can't wait to give it a try. I definitely need to check out some Gail Gibbons books. They look like so much fun!

    So happy to hear such a positive update!

  5. Just stumbled upon your site. We're a big Science and Astronomy family here and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this idea. Thanks so much for sharing.

    I'm glad to hear about your positive update and will keep you in my thoughts!

  6. Happy to hear such an encouraging update. Thank you sharing your wonderful ideas.

  7. Your lab results are really great news. I know you'll be going through a lot in the coming weeks, but it is wonderful to have such a good prognosis. I'll be keeping you in my thoughts. The t-shirt is really awesome!

  8. This is so cool!
    Thanks for sharing with my Super Link Party! :-)

  9. hey its so nice....thanks for sharing. I may not be the regular visitor here, but now on would love to visit your blog as we both share "homeschooling" passion. Do drop in our Unschool SNS platform on art, fashion, media n design.
    Inklink Collective Unschool:

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  11. I love this idea. The shirt came out great. I like that you used squeeze bleach. Please link this to Artsy Play Wednesday on Capri + 3 (a new weekly linky for posts about arts, crafts and play activities for children).

    : 0 ) Theresa

  12. Really great idea! A fabulous collection of tee shirts are available in variety of colors and styles!

  13. I used a black shirt, that's all we could find at our craft store that was dark and in a kid size. But my bleached areas came out reddish looking, not nice and white like yours :( I did two and even left the second one overnight to dry before washing and it still has reddish hues around the edges!

    I bought some glitter fabric spray and tried to "pretty" it up a bit. The kids really like the sparkle it has to it... and it's washable!!

    Do you do anything to neutralize the bleach? I've seen different posts about using hydrogen peroxide or vinegar...

  14. This is such an awesome way to make a popular pinterest project relevant to what you're doing with your son. Very cool shirt.

  15. Wow! This is stunning! LOVE it!