DIY trendy tank top you can make for the guy in your life

Aug 6, 2015 at 12:00 a.m. ET
Image: Thalita Murray/SheKnows

Have you ever accidentally spilled bleach on something? Pretty traumatic, isn't it?

What if you could erase that trauma and instead have a fun and crafty afternoon with bleach?

It's possible, I promise you! And if you don't want to start with your own clothing, then try your significant other's first, and make him a bleach pen tank top he'll want to wear all summer long.

Bleach gel tank top

Here's what you'll need:

  • Bleach pen (or homemade bleach gel)
  • A tank top
  • Chalk
  • Cardboard wide enough to fit into the tank top
  • Washing machine

First, begin with your plain tank top:

men's tank top

Insert a piece of cardboard, a cutting board or anything you have on hand to make sure the gel won't bleed through the tank and to keep your surface steady. Now, use your chalk to draw on your design first — this way there are no major mistakes with the bleach pen, because that can't be erased.

use chalk to draw design

complete chalk design

Now you're ready for the bleach pen. If you can't find any bleach pens in your area or would like to save a few bucks, you can make your own bleach gel. Here's how:

  1. Mix 3/4 cup of cold water with 3 tablespoons of cornstarch.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil while stirring constantly, until it becomes a gel.
  3. Let the gel cool, and add 6 to 8 tablespoons of bleach to the mixture.
  4. Add the bleach gel to a resealable plastic bag, and cut off a small part of a corner, like a piping bag.

Now that you're ready with your bleach, get started on the design!

bleach gel design

bleach gel design

Keep going until you've covered all the lines, and don't worry about timing. The gel has to set anyway, so don't rush it.

bleach gel design

Keep the cardboard in the tank top, and let it lie flat to set for at least an hour. You can see the gel start to work almost right away.

bleach gel close up

For a little bit of an extra grungy look, you can add some splotches of bleach around your design, or leave it as is. Once the gel has worked its magic, your tank top will look like this:

bleach gel set into tank

Now, let your washing machine fill with cold water, and carefully remove the cardboard from the tank top. Soak the tank in the cold water, and wash without any soap. You can either let it air-dry or toss it in the dryer. When it's all dry, this is what you'll have!

finished tank

You can be as precise or as random as you like with the bleach gel, and I love that this design turned out with imperfect lines that vary in thickness. It just gives the whole tank top a more unique and one-of-a-kind feel.

bleach gel design up close

In case you're wondering how this would look on someone, here's your chance to find out.

DIY tank top for men

I can't help but wish this tank top fit me so I could be the one wearing it.

So there you have it! An easy way to update an old tank top or to bring a brand-new one to life.

Have you ever used bleach pens or gels to deck out your clothes before? Let us know!

This post was brought to you by Levi's®.

More DIYs to try

Make your own felt diffuser necklace
DIY ribbon-and-lace tote bag
DIY painted leather key chain

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