The 4th of July is one of my family’s favorite holidays. We have a great little parade that comes down our street the morning of the 4th. (Complete with homemade floats and dozens of kids on their bikes) On the night of the 3rd, we have our nieces and nephews sleep over in tents on the lawn with their Dads. We project a movie onto a sheet in the backyard and stay up too late having fun. Then all of the moms come over in the morning (hopefully a little rested from their night off) and we eat a giant breakfast before watching the parade. To the point: my cute Mother-in-law always does a fun activity for the nieces and nephews before the 4th, usually we decorate tee shirts. Tonight we did this by spraying bleach onto stencils on the shirts. IT looks great and is fairly easy and quick to do. Here are a few tips to try it out with your little patriots

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Materials:

Tee shirt (A darker color works best. We used mostly red, but navy looked great too. As you can see, the bleached area ended up red.)

Spray bottle with bleach (We started with a 50/50 mix but ended up using a higher concentration.)

Newspaper to put in the shirts so the bleach doesn’t seep through to the back.

Stencils (see Direction #1. below)

Paper towels

A bucket of water to rinse the shirt in was helpful

Glad Press and Seal wrap was also very useful!

Directions:

*Wear old clothes for this activity!

1. Design your stencils. Here are a few methods that we liked: The first was to use store-bought stencils. Layer Glad Press and Seal wrap around the edges of the stencil and press lightly into the shirt to prevent overspray.

Cut shapes out Press and Seal wrap and press onto the shirt, then spray around to create a relief.

Draw a pattern onto a file folder or a clear sheet protector then cut out and use as a stencil.

2. Lay the stencil onto the shirt and hold it down if necessary, while you spray bleach liberally onto the shirt. Lay a paper towel over the top of everything before you pull the stencil off to absorb the excess bleach.

3. Once you have the design you want, let it sit a few minutes until it is as light as you like, then rinse thoroughly. Wash and wear!

*If you have overspray or just want a speckled look, spray the shirt directly with the spray bottle. Less is better here. You can get bigger drops by spraying slowly and a finer mist by spraying firmly and quickly.

*You could use a bleach pen to write, outline, or draw onto the design.

*Embellishing with puffy paint would also work well, perhaps the giltter paints.