DIY Disneyland Bleach Silhouette Shirts

Posted on Nov 5, 2015 in Crafts, Travel |

I mentioned before we went to Disneyland a couple weeks ago that I’d tell you more about how our DIY Disneyland Bleach Silhouette shirts came out.  So I’ll make good and tell you that they came out pretty great, with one exception.  In all, I ended up making 7 shirts, 4 of which came out wearable after trials and tests that weren’t meant to be tests.  Let me tell you, this was definitely part pinwin and part pinstrosity!Ursula Bleach Silhouette Shirt


From the beginning, my plan was just to make one for myself – a double sided shirt with Ariel on the front and Ursula on the back.  As I mentioned in my 2 Days until Disneyland! post, my choice of accessories changed that plan to 1 day dedicated to Ursula and 1 day dedicated to Ariel, so that turned into 2 shirts.  Of course, when Lorenza saw the idea and how the first two (which ended up being tests) turned out, she wanted one… so that turned into 3.  After the first try at hers got ruined by some unintended laundry sabotage, I was going to make hers again on a shirt I bought, but then that shirt wasn’t going to arrive in time, so she bought a shirt… and then the shirt DID arrive in time, so that turned into 4 shirts!  Come Disneyland & Disney California Adventure, I wore an Ursula shirt & an Ariel shirt and Lorenza wore a Winnie the Pooh shirt and a Dumbo shirt.

Ariel Bleach Silhouette ShirtSo, how’d I do it?  Well, initially with the first trials, I just looked at what I saw on Pinterest & winged it.  Not a good choice – too much bleach and it ruined the first Ariel & Ursula shirts.  Then we tried less bleach on Lorenza’s first Winnie the Pooh shirt and it worked great.  Until Dominic did a load of laundry and neither of us moved her shirt off the cardboard laying across the laundry tub where the washer drains to… it dispersed bleach that had leaked from the spray bottle in the tub and completely ruined the shirt, so I had to do it again.  Since I was re-making all 3, this time I read the tutorial at Practically Functional before ruining more shirts.

Pooh Bleach Silhouette ShirtI used freezer paper, otherwise known as butcher paper, the kind with a waxy coating on one side, and cut the silhouettes using my Cricut Explore.  I made sure when cutting that the shiny, coated side was down so that the image would be the correct orientation.  After cutting, I ironed them onto the shirts.  Since this isn’t iron-on paper, it’s not meant to be permanent – a perfect stencil.  After adhesion, I took them out to the garage and sprayed a few spritzes of pure bleach onto the shirts around the design.  I let them dry, peeled the freezer paper off, then followed the Practically Functional recommendations for how to dry them then wash them afterwards.  When finished with our Disneyland bleach silhouette shirts, I was pretty happy with Ursula, Dumbo, & Winnie, but Ariel left something to be desired as it didn’t bleach quite the same or as crisply around the edges.  All of the shirts were mostly cotton except for the Ariel shirt – the only turquoise or teal shirt I could find locally in my size was a Danskin workout shirt, so I’m sure it had something to do with the make up of the fabric.


  • Less is more – the less bleach, the better!  I liked the ones I made for Lorenza better than the ones I made for myself because I used less bleach – I was more cautious with hers than my own.
  • Cotton is King – go with a shirt with the highest percentage of cotton to get the best result.
  • Bigger is Better – since I had to wash & dry these a few times, err on the side of a bigger shirt just in case it shrinks, or pre-wash it to make sure it’s the size you want.  I didn’t pre-wash but I had no issues with not doing that.
  • Wear a Smock – or a shirt you don’t care about.  I was very careful not to get bleach anywhere near myself and yet I still managed one spot on the shirt I was wearing.  Luckily it was just a tank top I really only wear at home.
  • Ventilate or GTFO –  even a small amount of bleach is pungent, so be sure to ventilate your space where you’re working or do it somewhere you can leave for awhile.  I did mine in the garage and while I did not ventilate, I was able to just leave it with the door to the kitchen closed so the smell dissipated.

In Action!

Here are our Disneyland bleach silhouette shirts at the Happiest Place on Earth! (Click to enlarge)


Thanks to Lorenza for the use of her photo of her with Winnie the Pooh 🙂