Bleach Print – Floral Pattern

A remarkable route to revive or recycle your gear!  Create a pattern by using the Bleach Print method.  Instead of adding colour, this method removes or alters colour that is already there!  Be prepared for some happy surprises.  The print may be a lighter shade of the fabric you are working with. Sometimes though, a completely different colour may emerge.  The green tank top t-shirt here produced  pastel pink petals!

The good news is you can probably start the project straight away.   The materials are household staples.  Mix a bleach paste.  Cut out a stamp from a dishwasher sponge.  Dip into the paste, and away you go!


Before you begin, some vital hints:

  • Remember to use cotton or linen fabrics only.  Bleach may not remove the colour on other fabrics, or may damage delicate or synthetic fibres.
  • Adjust the amount of bleach as you see the need to.  Add more to the paste for a more dramatic result. Add less for a softer subtler print.

Full written instructions below!

You will need

A coloured cotton t-shirt.

100ml water

15ml cornflour

60ml bleach.

A sponge for printing the petal shape. A dishwashing sponge could be used.

A cotton bud for printing small dots. .

An old light coloured towel to place under the area to be printed.

A board or tray to create a firm surface.

Scissors for cutting the sponge

A marker for drawing the leaf shape

Check Out The Video

This process works well on a variety of cotton and linen fabrics.

Try the Bleach Print method on cotton knits, 

denim jeans, jackets, cushions or tablecloths

Bleach Print
Bleach Print
Bleach Print

Bleach Print – Floral Pattern – How to DIY



  • This is a great project to make use of what you probably already have at home It is a good way to revamp an old T-shirt.
  • Firstly, place 15ml cornflour in a small mixing bowl. Measure 100ml of water and slowly blend this into the cornflour. 
  • Place the bowl in the microwave and cook for 30 seconds. Remove and whisk to make sure no lumps form.  Repeat this process 3 times all together (or until a thick paste is formed).
  • Gradually blend in 60ml of bleach. This quantity can be varied slightly. 40ml bleach would generally give a gentler tone.  Fabrics, dyes and finishes vary, so bleach quantity may need to be adjusted.  (Outcomes can vary too!) 
  • Draw a petal shape on a sponge. Then cut it out with scissors.  It is a bit tricky cutting through the sponge, but you can go back and neaten the edges


  • In the beginning, practice a few prints on a scrap of cotton fabric to get a feel for it.
  • Cover a firm board with a light coloured towel, and place inside the t-shirt underneath the area to be printed. The t-shirt fabric should lay flat without any creases
  • Use chalk to make marks to help position the petals correctly.
  • Dip the sponge into the bleach paste. Shake off excess paste before moving it over to print on the fabric. Importantly,  hold a small bowl underneath the sponge to catch any drips on the way to the printing position. 
  • Firmly place the sponge in position on the fabric. Make sure that the fabric absorbs the bleach paste.
  • Print petals all the way around.
  • Use a cotton earbud to print dots in the middle of the flowers

    Finishing Off


    • Allow the bleach print to dry. You may use a hairdryer to speed up the process.
    • Thoroughly rinse the bleach paste out of the T-shirt.
    • Finally allow to dry again. Press and enjoy!
    Bleach Print

    Bleach Print – Other Similar Freshly Found Projects

    We have used bleaching to enhance surfaces before.  See the fun projects below.  The Charcoal Tie Bleaching project is the most popular one!

    (This Tutorial is based on one  originally created for the Flourish Women’s Conference Maker Friday Series.)

    tie bleaching

    Charcoal Tie Bleaching

    A very popular project! The outcome was a Shibori-Like finish.

    Resist Bleach Print - Tie Dyeing

    Peach Tie Bleaching

    Boring Brown transformed to Dreamy Peach!

    Paper Plaid Resist bleach print

    Bleached and Dyed Paper

    Bleaching and Dyeing with Ink.  A combo of adding colour and taking it away!