We’re all busy.
And most of us really like to get a bit crafty but don’t have the time.
This little crafty craft is for you. And it’s for me.
Because it is so easy.
It’s so quick.
And the results are really, truly awesome.
We wanted to do something to let our kids know that we’re heading to Disney World in the next few days, but I didn’t want to do a full-fledged scavenger hunt like we did before.
We didn’t want to do a Disney countdown.
We wanted to pull the ‘YAY WE’RE GOING TO DISNEY WORLD TODAY!!!!’ surprise.
Kind of. We had to keep in mind that our kids do much, much better with a little bit of prep time. Even a teensy bit of prep time helps.
Here’s the skinny. . .
Bleached Out Disney T-Shirts for the Not-So Crafty Crafter
Making these was super easy.
Because my husband and I are surprising Maddy, Owen, and Cora with the trip, I needed to be able to make these t-shirts quickly and in the time that they were in school. So start to finish had to be within six hours. These took a fraction of that time.
What you need:
- t-shirts (you can grab some craft t-shirts here in black, blue, orange, yellow, pink, grey or red, — we got ours at a local store for less than $5 each)
- freezer paper
- Mickey Mouse template: you can download ours below or find one of your own
- spray bottle
What you need to do:
1. Print out the template you want to use.
We used super-simple Mickey ears ones: you can download them here–mouse templates | teachmama.com
Please, if you choose to share this post–and we hope you do!–consider linking to this post instead of the attachment page. Thank you!)
2. Trace the template onto freezer paper.
You can do this easily by placing the freezer paper on top of the printout and tracing it with a pencil.
3. Cut out the image from freezer paper.
I think if you have a detailed design, you could use a razor, but my design was easy, so I did it with scissors.
4. Iron the freezer paper stencil to the t-shirt.
Not kidding. I didn’t know this would work, either, but one side of the freezer paper gets just a wee bit sticky when heated. Find the shiny side of the freezer paper and make sure that side touches the t-shirt. Find the place you want the image, and place it there.
Remember that the freezer paper blocks the bleach, so wherever that stencil is will be untouched.
6. Mix your bleach solution.
Because my t-shirts were dark colored, I knew that we wouldn’t need a lot of bleach to pull out color, so we went with a 60: 40 mix of bleach and water. I filled about 60% of the spray bottle with bleach and then added water to the remaining 40%.
If you’re doing a light grey shirt or light yellow or pink shirt, maybe you want to use all bleach, but since ours were black, bright blue, and dark grey, I was pretty confident that even if our bleach was diluted a bit, it would yield the results I wanted.
7. Place cardboard inside the shirt.
Make sure that the cardboard covers all edges unless you want the bleach to carry over to the side a bit. We want to make sure that only the front of the shirt is bleached and that it doesn’t seep through to the back of the shirt.
8. Spray, baby, spray.
Make sure that the spray nozzle is on the mist setting — test it in the sink if you need to. Then give the spray bottle a shake, and spray the shirt.
Keep the bottle about 6-12 inches from the shirt, depending on the look you want to achieve.
You can either make sure the area around the stencil is saturated, or just spray lightly. You can use a hairdryer to speed up the drying and bleaching process, or you can let the bleach air dry. Again, it depends on what you want your shirt to look like.
9. Carefully remove the stencil.
After the bleach settles a bit and before the freezer paper stencil gets super soggy, take the stencil off of the t-shirt
All three of mine removed super easy, with just a gentle pull of a corner. If you need a start to lift up the stencil, use the edge of a dull knife or scissors. The last thing you want to have happen is to make a hole because you tried lifting the stencil too quickly with a sharp knife.
10. Let your shirt dry just a bit and then rinse and wash the shirt.
First rinse the shirt in cold water to remove all of the bleach (See those little white dots in the top photo? That’s the bleach–it must be rinsed away. . . ).
And the finished shirt? Check it out:
Then wring it out and wash it (or them, if you did several) in a gentle cycle wash. I dried my shirts on low, and they were fine. I needed them finished by the end of the school day, remember!
- Make sure you are in a well-ventilated area. I mean it. Bleach can really smell strong.
- Put your shirt on a hanger to let your shirt dry for a bit before you rinse out the bleach.
- Experiment a little–use a Q-tip to try some bleachy dots on the shirt, use a paint brush, or use the freezer paper in fun, new ways.
Really, this trip is going to be fun, so make sure that your crafty craftiness before the trip is fun, too.
Check out a quickie video with the how-to:
Looking for more Disney craft ideas?
You will not believe what some of my crafty friends are doing. They totally rock.
Definitely check out what they’ve done:
- Little Mermaid Ears, by Vanessa of See Vanessa Craft
- DIY Disney Jewelry with Free Printable, by Jen of 100 Directions
- DIY BB-8 Shirt, by Karen of Desert Chica
- DIY Disney Autograph and Activity Book, by Sara of Clever Pink Pirate
- Disney Trip Countdown – DIY Washi Tape Chalkboard, by Sara of Mom Endeavors
- Disney Drawstring Backpack, by Laura of Pink Cake Plate
- bleached out disney t-shirts for the not-so-crafty crafter, by Amy of teach mama
- Disney Sticker Story Starters, by Marie of Make and Takes
- Disney Princess Duct Tape Hand Mirror, by Heather of Dollar Store Crafts
- Custom Toy Story Shorts and Shirts, by Kelly of Eclectic Momsense
Here are a few other ways to countdown or celebrate your own Disney vacation:
- Disney word search
- Homemade Disney autograph books
- Countdown to Disney with Disney Dollars
- Disney fun fact lunchbox love notes
- Lessons from Disney Social Media Moms Celebration