Bleach Out Pillow Shams

Tutorial for Bleach Stencil Pillow Shams.  This project, along with so many others, came about because I aquired random supplies years ago.  I like to collect things that may become a project someday.  That is why if you drive by my garage on any given day it is FULL of “supplies”.  Well this one started with six 18″X18″Pottery Barn denim pillow shams.  A stencil design I found online would be the graphic design I would apply with a bleach spray.

UPDATE: check out my tutorial for spray bleaching T-Shirts HERE

First I searched for a stencil design.  I found one at Royal Design Studio, but being the antsy person that I am, I couldn’t wait for a stencil in the mail, so I made my own.  I blew up the image on my computer and printed it out on 5 sheets of very heavy card stock with a shinny finish (if I was to do this again, I would buy the stencil plastic at a craft store since this barely lasted through the 6 pillows).  I taped them together and cut off the overlapping paper.

Making a stencil

Making a stencil

 I accidentally cut too much paper between the sheets of paper, but no worries, the tape covered it.  Then I used and Xacto knife to cut out the white part of the design (be sure to lay the stencil on thick newspaper so that you do not cut your work surface).  Continue cutting, flip design over and cut through the back side.

Cut both sides of stencil with Xacto knife

A 17″X17″ piece of cardboard was inserted into the pillow sham to prevent bleed through and provide a stable surface for the stencil.  Lay the stencil upside down on newsprint and spray with a stencil adhesive spray.  I used Delta and it worked great, I only re-applied two times for 6 pillows.  Iron out any wrinkles in the sham.
Preparing for stenciling

 Center the stencil on the fabric.  Lay the sham with stencil on a white towel to protect your work surface.  Pour regular bleach into a spray bottle with a fine mist (I used an empty Windex bottle).

Bleach Stencil

Open any windows and put a mask on, this stuff burns your nose hairs, trust me!  Spray the bleach in an even pattern walking around each side of the sham.  Start with the outside border of the stencil and work your way to the center.  Blot any excess bleach then wait and watch.  The fabric will slowly lighten and may show some irregularity and uneven bleaching.  A few more sprays of bleach may be necessary depending on the look you are going for.
Bleach Stencil

Once your are finished spraying the bleach do an even blot on the fabric and stencil.
Bleach Stencil

Blow dry each of the next few steps.  First with the stencil on, then inside the sham and also once the stencil is removed.

Blow Dry the fabric with the stencil on, off, and inside the pillow sham

 Carefully remove the stencil making sure no drips of bleach are still on it.

Remove Stencil From Bleached Fabric

Here is a close up of my first pillow sham.  I used a LOT of bleach on this one and didn’t blot as well as the rest but I still LOVE it!
Close up of Bleach Stencil Design

This was a later bleached out sham with better detailing.
Finished Bleached Stencil Design

Here is the final pillow in daylight.  You can see how white the bleach made the denim.   Bleach Stencil Pillow on White Sofa

Detail of pillow sham.  True Color of Bleached out Denim Sham Up Close

I like these pillow shams so much I made 6!  Two for me, two for sale (at a future date), and two for you!  Yep, like Burlap & Denim on facebook below and I’ll let you know about our upcoming GIVE-A-WAY!

Two Stencil Bleached Pillows in a Basket

Linked up: Tatortots & JelloWipperberry, Beyond the Picket Fence, Funky Junk Interiors, Wow Me Wednesday, Shabby Creek Cottage, Somewhat Simple, House of Hepworths

 I received information about Clorox’s Bleach It Away campaign and am sharing my messy moment/craft fail/bleach project for the chance to win prizes from Tatertots & Jello and Clorox. You can find out more information about this campaign –  If you share YOUR messy moment story, you can enter to win $25,000 and daily prizes, and you can get a coupon for Clorox® Regular Bleach.


  • These turned out amazing! Hope I win! If not, I just might try this myself. Thanks

  • Awesome pillows Mandy! You make it look so easy!

  • These are fantastic! Great idea :)

  • Very Cool! I’m a little scared, but I think I HAVE to try it!! Thanks for sharing!

  • Becca, You can totally do this! It’s much easier than it looks. I’ve seen your blog…AMAZING! Oh, and I love your “I Bee-lieve” button.

  • I love these. They would be perfect on my white bench! You can never have too many pillows, right?

  • Found your blog via Whipperberry. This is such a great idea! thanks for sharing!

  • This is fabulous! I think I could do this. Thanks for sharing! Also thanks for the tips on how to make a stencil, because I want to make a stencil to paint one of the walls in my house.

  • absolutely love this idea. wonderful.

  • WOW! This is just awesome. I have a lonely plain pillow that I stuck in the closet since it wasn’t very fun. This would be perfect for it. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • This is so creative, and it turned out SO great! I love it! Would love for you to link up @ Find Your Craft Friday over on my blog… Have a great weekend!

    Emily @ BabyBerry

  • Featuring YOU today! Thank you so much for linking up to {wow me} wednesday last week.

    Ginger @

  • I love this project! How unique! I linked this up on my blog here:

  • […] Last week was our church group’s annual girls camp.  For our group t-shirts we decided to do a bleach out design.  The following is my Bleach Out T-Shirt Tutorial.  {The original inspiration for this T came from THIS AWESOME POST, for ANOTHER BLEACH TUTORIAL click HERE} […]

  • […] are entering to win, check out my post on bleaching pillow shams by clicking on the image below. […]

  • These are so cute! Technique was harder than it looks buyout sure do make it look easy! How do you get it to look white instead of ninja turtle mutant green? I figured just time? I’m letting money sit overnight and I used the hair dryer but the longer it sits the lighter it looks! Love the tee shirts for your girls camp!

    • Ashleigh, I wonder if the undertones of your fabric is “ninja turtle mutant green”. If so, you may be able to get it even lighter by adding more bleach, but it will probably still have the undertones. I’m sorry it was harder than it looked!

  • Do you happen to know how well the bleached fabric washes?

    • Beautifully. That is why I love bleach over paint, it washes out great every time.

  • The stencil effect is terrific! You didn’t mention neutralizing the bleach. A short soak in anti-chlor will rinse out the bleach. This will keep the bleached fabric from rotting away. It is cheap and available from Dharma Trading Co.

  • looking good

  • nice post

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