DIY Detail & Favor Wedding Projects

DIY Bleach Pen Tank Top

DIY Bleach Pen Tank Top

We love the idea of spending quality time with your bridesmaids before your big day — and what better way to spend that time than getting all crafty with a DIY project! This DIY Bleach Pen Tank Top, from Melissa Ryan of Marble Rye Photography, is the perfect project for you and your gals! These custom tanks make the perfect bridesmaid gift and would be such a cute detail at your upcoming bridal shower, bachelorette party and even while you’re getting ready the day of the wedding. Check out the simple steps below to make this custom tank top at home!

For the DIY Bleach Pen Tank Top project you will need tank tops in a fun color, Clorox bleach pens, a cutting board, plastic bags, tape, a washer/dryer and great wine. Melissa got their tank tops at Target and recommends getting enough for your bridal party plus a few extras, just to be safe.

DIY Bleach Pen Tank Tops steps 1-4

From Melissa of Marble Rye Photography:
We wanted to make tank tops for the bridal party (affectionately named “Team Awesome”), and decided on this easy-to-do DIY. We chose to adorn the bridal party tank tops with the hashtag Emilia and Chris will encourage wedding guests to use throughout their wedding weekend. We’ll be wearing these bright tanks while running last minute errands and getting ready on the Big Day!

Step 1:
The first step in creating these tank tops is to determine which of your friends is the most artistic or has the best handwriting. It’s also a good idea to figure out what you want the design to look like and practice with the bleach pens on some cardboard or an old shirt before attempting the tank tops. Leigh, who had been roped into writing way too many name tags for weddings, was the candidate chosen from “Team Awesome.”

Step 2:
While your artist/calligrapher is busy practicing it’s time to get everything else set up. Start by covering a cutting board with a plastic bag. According to Melissa a shopping bag or garbage bag will work perfectly.

Step 3:
Next, slide the covered cutting board into one of the tank tops. Lay tank on table, then hold down the straps of the tank by using tape or having someone hold them.

Step 4:
Now that you have a tank top ready and your appointed artist has practiced her technique, it’s time to decorate! Using a bleach pen, carefully write your hashtag or draw your design across the chest or back of the tank top.

DIY Bleach Pen Tank Tops steps 5-8

Step 5:
After your artist pal has finished drawing the design on the tank carefully pull the cutting board out of the plastic bag in the tank top. Make sure the plastic bag is left inside the tank so that the bleach doesn’t bleed into the opposite side of the shirt.

Step 6:
Lay the tank out to dry for at least 1 hour. The bleach will turn from creamy to gel-like over time.

Step 7:
Repeat the process on each tank top!

Step 8:
Once all of your tanks are dry it’s time to wash them. Start running your washing machine, letting the water fill to at least 4 inches. Then place the shirts in one at a time, letting each one soak. Run the washer’s full cycle without detergent, then transfer to the dryer.

DIY Bleach Pen Tank Tops


Categories: DIY Detail & Favor Wedding Projects

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  1. -100. @Wedding_Agent says:

    DIY Bleach Pen Tank Top #weddings

  2. -100. @marbleryephoto says:

    RT @weddingchicks: Check out this DIY bleach pen tank top idea! @marbleryephoto

  3. -100. @marbleryephoto says:

    so thrilled to be featured on @weddingchicks today. the super easy, breezy bleach pen tank top DIY!

  4. -100. melissa says:

    Had such a blast shooting the absolute simplest DIY customized tank! Let me know if you give it a try. xo

  5. -100. Hollie says:

    I tried this today followed the steps ecaxtly but when the shirts came out of the wash they were clear/blank/ the bleach didn’t stay on the shirt! Help!!

  6. -100. Hannah Lalor says:

    I did this. IT IS AWESOME!!! Thank you!

  7. -100. Ann says:

    Where did you buy the tank tops? What material are they?

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  9. -100. Amber says:

    I read on another website that after you get done making your shirt that you need to soak it in white vinegar. Otherwise, even after washing your shirt, your shirt will get holes becuase the bleach will eat through the fabric. I did that with mine and so far, no holes :) I let it soak in vinegar for 30 minutes and then washed it and there is no vinegar smell at all! :)

  10. -100. lawyer yellow pages says:

    Terrific post however I was wanting to know if you could write a litte more on this topic?
    I’d be vdry thankful if you could elaborate a little bit more.

  11. -100. Rachel says:

    One thing, though these look super cute, bleach tends to make fabrics weaker. My mom used to stain old shorts of my dad’s she hated “accidentally”, and not only did it leave the stain, but over a short period of time it led to a rip because of the weaker fabric. Just something to watch out for :)

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  15. What a great idea, Melissa! This is a perfect alternative to the traditional bedazzled rhinestone tank tops, and it’s probably less expensive as well.

    I actually featured your tutorial as part of a recent post I shared about <a href=""5 Unique Prop Ideas for a Non-traditional Bachelorette Party. I am a big fan of unique and fun ways to throw a bachelorette party and I think the props you choose play a huge role in the overall feel and success of the party.

    You’ll have to let me know what you think!

    Lisa |

  16. Ooops, sorry, not sure what happened to the link. Here it is:

    5 Unique Prop Ideas for a Non-traditional Bachelorette Party

  17. -100. rijschool utrecht says:

    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate yyou writing this write-up plus the rest of the site is extremely good.

  18. -100. shea says:

    Thanks for the post! Making some workout tees this way!
    BTW, I read in some posts that they suggested using vinegar as a bleach stop. NEVER EVER combine bleach and vinegar! It can produce deadly chlorine gas! NEVER do it! It also does not stop the bleach from eating through the fibers, it eventually will. You can dump 1/2 a bottle of hydrogen peroxide in to a couple gallons of water and that will do it. Or go to a wine or beer supply shop and get sodium or potassium metabisulfite. 1 teaspoon per 2.5 gallons of water will neutralize the bleach. I am just cringing that someone out there is promoting mixing bleach and vinegar. Please don’t do it.

  19. -100. Link says:

    it did not work. It bled too much and you can’t read them… So disappointing. I had practiced on an old tank top and it came out fine. But on the final product that I was giving my bridesmaids, they just look not too good =[

  20. -100. Jennifer says:

    The instructions don’t say when to REMOVE the plastic bag? Obviously they wouldn’t go in the dryer but would you leave them in the wash?

  21. -100. Cara says:

    This does not work, what a waste of money and time. I’m 2 weeks from my bach with no shirts now.

  22. -100. MiAllie says:

    Hey! I tried this multiple times but it did not work. I wrote on it with a bleach pen and then let it sit for an hour and then I took it and put it in the wash with no detergent. When I took it out the was nothing the shirt was blank. Why?


  23. -100. janet says:

    do you wash in cold,warm or hot? Sorry in advance if I overlooked that part.

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  25. -100. Beverly Perry says:

    Another cute way to use this idea for the honeymoon, write `Just Married’ on the back of two tee shirts for the bride and groom. My husband and I had shirts made with this on the back (not with bleach) for our honeymoon trip to Disney World almost 40 years ago. We got a lot of congrats, smiles, and cute comments on them.

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