Saturday, February 22, 2014

How to NOT Make a Bleach Pen

To celebrate my 100th post, I thought I'd do a major Blog Fail, one almost as epic as this gingerbread TARDIS (it's hard to compete with the catastrophe of that project, but I put up a good fight). When I saw a beautiful shirt on Etsy plus this post from MeandMyDIY on how to make your own bleach pen, I knew I could combine the two to make an awesome shirt for myself. Instead, I made shirt to remind myself that after 100 posts, I can still make epic mistakes.

To make a bleach pen, you need:

3/4 C of water

3 T of cornstarch

1 empty glue bottle

4-7 T of bleach

Something to bleach (t-shirt, bandana, etc.)

First, combine the cornstarch and water in a small pot and bring to a boil. I found it was really liquidy at first, so I kept it on longer until (as the original post says) it should be "translucent and pudding-like." Honestly, if you let it get as thick as pudding, you're in for a lot of trouble...

...because when it comes to putting it in your bottle, it's going to be too thick to want to go in easy...

...which will result in you having to hit the bottle on the table a lot in order for it to get down enough to pour the bleach in.

Now to pour the bleach in, I recommend covering a mason jar with a plastic bag and pouring the bleach in the plastic bag.

Then you can remove the bag and cut the corner to easily pour the bleach in the bottle.

However, if your bottle is completely full, like mine was, the bleach won't be able to get in and therefore you're going to go through half a roll of paper towels cleaning up the bleach on your table and you'll probably end up throwing out half of the cornstarch mix in the bottle!

It'll still be too thick to get out of the bottle, so it won't so much as pour out in a nice even line but more splatter out. Try practicing on a paper towel first. Otherwise you might get some of this.

And this.

Needless to say, my bleach pen failed. Miserably. Oh well, happy 100th blog post!

TOTAL COSTS: Almost $4
$1.80 for cornstarch
$1.99 for bleach
Empty glue bottle and t-shirt already on hand

2 minutes on stovetop
20 minutes to let cornstarch cool
10 minutes to add cornstarch to bottle
30 minutes to clean up spilled bleach and try to get mixture out of bottle
6 hours to set

EASY-PEASY SCALE (1 super easy - 5 very difficult): 4 out of 5
If you make sure the cornstarch mixture isn't thick, you have a fighting chance. Otherwise, just go out and buy a $6 bleach pen and save yourself the headache.


  1. *snort*
    I'm a big dye/bleaching person, and am fascinated by the pens... buuuut, not enough to make one. At least, not anymore!!!

    Thank you for taking the bullet for me on this one; happy 100th post!

  2. Once again, Kat, you're an absolute peach to let us feature you on CraftFail! xoxo