This is a great quick gift idea. In all I spent about 10 minutes on this project and spend $2.99.

I had the idea to use a stencil and bleach to put an "M" on a t-shirt for Mia.

The bleach beyond the edges of the stencil was intentional, as was having it roll around the side of the top.

To make the "M" I neatly stuffed an old towel inside the t-shirt, neatly enough that the t-shirt and stencil could lay flat. Plenty of newspaper would work too, I just happened to have an old towel at hand.

I then laid the stencil atop the t-shirt, placed where I want it.

Once the stencil was placed correctly I poured bleach into the bottle lid, dipped a paintbrush in it, and sprayed the paintbrush full of bleach on the t-shirt, using a finger to hold the brush head back and then letting it go so the bleach would spatter all over. I bleached the stencil, around the border of the stencil, and a bit on one sleeve for balance. I wanted an imperfect raw look.

When dry I tossed it into the washer for a cycle.

Saying this took 10 minutes is exaggerating. Once I'd gather the supplies it really took maybe 2 minutes.

The t-shirt was on clearance last year at Target for $2.99.

A very inexpensive, personal project created with a personal touch, faster than you can say, "Merry Christmas to all."

If you don't have a stencil that floats your boat this idea would also work really well with your self-created freezer paper stencils. Simply print an image you want, or draw one freehand, onto freezer paper. Cut the image out of the paper (the cut out area will be bleached) and use an iron on low heat to adhere the freezer paper stencil to the top. Bleach away, when dry peel off stencil. Even easier than using a loose stencil. This technique works really well to paint a stencil too, as I've done here.

And a little side note ... if you do this and you wear brown pants you are likely to bleach your only pair of brown pants. Either buy Rit Dye, wear something you can bleach without caring, or wear a good solid apron ... or decide that you meant to put little white spots on one leg of your brown pants, sing a happy song, and move on.

My oldest son has asked for a Boy Scout symbol on a t-shirt. For his I'll do a freezer paper stencil.  I have a t-shirt that will fit one of the younger boys and am planning to do a potato stamp and bleach the image of a pine tree onto a t-shirt, probably a cluster of them somewhere on the top. The possibilities are endless!

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