DIY Bleach Quote T-Shirts To Inspire You To Power Through Your New Year's Resolutions

Let's all be honest with ourselves: making New Year's resolutions is a lot easier than actually keeping said resolutions. You can do yourself a favor and employ some easy resolution hacks, but you'll probably need some extra motivation, too — which is where these cute DIY T-shirts come into play. Take a page out of Mindy Kaling's book and "be your own role model" by surrounding yourself with daily doses of inspiration.

You can get yourself a chic little planner, but you could also add a bit of motivation to your wardrobe with a personalized bleach shirt. Whether you make a muscle tank for your workouts or a T-shirt for powering through those errands you've been putting off — work it, girl!

Images by Emily Kelley

Step 1: Gather Materials

If you’re interested in making a muscle tank, I suggest getting a few cheap T-shirts from the craft or sporting goods store. You’ll also need some scissors, fabric chalk or painter’s tape, some cardboard to put between the shirt layers, and a bleach pen. You can also use a measuring tape to help mark off where you want to cut.

Pro tip: Make sure to hold the shirts up to you since the sizes can be pretty weird (I bought a Youth L and an Adult L, and both fit). You’ll want them to be a bit baggy for muscle tanks.

Step 2: Mark Where To Cut

If you’re making the shirt for yourself, try it on and mark how deep you’ll want to make arm openings and how thin you’ll want the shoulder straps to be. If you’re making one for a friend, you’ll just have to guestimate.

Use the painter’s tape or fabric chalk to mark off where you’ll be cutting from the shoulders to below the sleeves. I marked 4 inches from the edge of the collar on the shoulders and 13 inches from where the sleeve connects with the shoulders.

Step 3: Pin T-Shirt (Optional)

If you want to make sure that you get an even cut, as well as give yourself a little path to follow, you can add sewing pins.

Step 4: Cut

Using a sharp pair of scissors, cut from the shoulder mark to the bottom mark in a slightly curved shape on both sides.

Step 5: Cut Off the Collar (Optional)

I always find that the cheap T-shirts have very tight, stiff collars, so I cut mine off. Simply cut along the lowest stitch line to remove it.

Step 6: Prep for Bleach

Remove the markers and the pins to prep the shirts for the bleach. Insert your cardboard (I used an old mailing envelope, but a cereal box works well too) between the front and the back of the shirt, so that the bleach won’t seep through to the other side.

Step 7: Draw Out Your Design

I choose to do a few inspirational quotes on my shirts, but you can do any design you like. You can use the fabric chalk to sketch it out first, or you could just free hand it.

Pro tip: The bleach will spread out a little bit, so don’t put anything too close together.

Step 8: Let the Bleach Set

You should let the bleach set for 5 to 10 minutes. Don’t worry if the bleach starts to get orangey — the cheaper shirts will have this reaction. How the bleach turns out will depend on the material you use, so it may look different than mine!

Step 9: Rinse

Once the bleach has set, carefully remove the cardboard from inside the shirt (make sure not to touch the bleach to other parts of the shirt), and wash the remaining bleach off in the sink under cold water. After all the bleach is off, you can put it in the washer and dryer like normal.

Ta Da: Bleach Muscle Shirt

Feel like the powerful woman you are at the gym in this bad boy!

Bonus: Beyonce-Inspired T-Shirt

After my “practice” with the muscle tank, I also made an everyday T-shirt (using one of Forever 21’s basic shirts) inspired by Queen B herself. Same steps as the muscle tank, but no cutting.