Stained White T-shirt Upcycle: Sharpie Tie-Dye

My daughter has an older white t-shirt that still fits her, but she obviously spilled something down the front and it’s now stained. I saw this cute idea on Pinterest and thought it would be fun to do. I had done “Sharpie Tie-Dyed” t-shirt scarves with the girls at one of Eden’s birthday parties and they turned out pretty cool. I loved the idea of using the Sharpies to draw a simple picture instead of making random marks. What better time to try it out, than on an otherwise useless t-shirt with stains down the front. Of course, I strategically placed the flowers to mask the stains.

I got the idea from the link above, but in the tutorial it suggests using Hydrogen Peroxide. I’m not suggesting it doesn’t work, but I used rubbing alcohol for this project. I’m certainly no chemist, but I went with the alcohol because I knew it would work well from other projects I’ve done. The alcohol takes a bit of time to absorb into the fabric and the colours will continue to spread long after you finish dropping the alcohol. I suggest using an “eye dropper” if you have one. You also want to make sure you do a bit at a time or it will spread like crazy. Second Chances By Susan also has some really cute examples. This is a great craft to do with kids, but it can be smelly. Make sure you work in a well ventilated area or better yet….outside. I worked so fast that the smell wasn’t an issue, but the girls at the party spent a long time using the markers and then the rubbing alcohol. I was feeling a bit concerned about the fumes, so just be aware.

Some suggest that you can also set the design/dye, by throwing your garment in the dryer for 15 minutes on your highest heat setting. I would still wash it separately the first time…. just to be safe.

DIY Pom-Poms

I found this tutorial for a DIY jersey pom-pom posted on Pinterest a few months back. I just love the shabby chic feel and the colour is incredible….one of my favourites. Unfortunately, I don’t have anywhere to use a ball of this shade. I decided to make a few out of an old white t-shirt that was in the “to donate” tub. I figured that if I stuck with white, I could add them to my Christmas tree and it would flow nicely with the “theme” of the tree. The original post on Skip to My Lou is very thorough.

pom poms

Follow the link to visit Skip to My Lou and check-out the full tutorial.

DIY Pom-Poms:

Materials Needed

  •  old white t-shirt cut into 1/2 inch strips (I just tore mine)
  • needle
  • thread
  • wax linen thread (I just used embroidery thread because I had it on hand and it worked fine)
  • 3 X 5 cardboard
  • ribbon or fabric strips


  1. Run each strip of fabric through your fist to stretch the material. This will actually cause the strip to curl around itself and form a hollow string/tube.
  2. Wrap each string around the cardboard lengthwise. Keep layering one string on top of the other until you have used what you deem to be enough. I am not sure how to gauge this for you as it will depend on the size of your t-shirt and length of your strips. I used an XL t-shirt and ended up with 5 pom-poms. (Make sure to cut the strips horizontally across the body of the t-shirt – you need to cut off any seams as it will break the natural curl of the strip.)
  3. Slide the thread under the pile of strips and tie off one side, securing it as tightly as possible.
  4. Carefully remove the cardboard and then gather the side that is not tied and tie it together with the side you have already secured. You want the entire bunch to be tied as tightly as possible. The wax thread would make this easier as it wouldn’t slip, but I managed without it.
  5. You then begin to cut the loops in half at both ends.
  6. After each end is cut, fluff the material out to make a ball. Trim down any ends that seem too long, fluffing as you go and creating a nice spherical shape.
  7. Add a string to hang it from your tree and a ribbon to spruce it up a bit.  (You could add a safety-pin instead of a string and make pin to dress-up a scarf or add a hair-clip, so that it could be pinned on a pony tail. It would also look cute on a hat!)

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