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Day 99: Enter the Sharpie

Day 100: Black & White & Rad All Over
Day 98: Flowers on my Shoulders Vol. 2

When I was 12, I worked as a filing monkey for my mom’s law firm (child labor laws be damned!).  It was actually pretty sweet.  I was relegated to the filing room ( i.e. basement) where I blasted my music, drank way too much Mountain Dew, lived off Dunkin Sticks, and filled my hands with enough paper cuts to make people think I was a cutter.  I ended up doing this for about 5 years.

One afternoon, I emerged from my subterranean lair to bug my mom for a bit.  Not thinking, I picked up a bottle of white-out and shook it (no reason).  The cap went flying, and my mom’s new black wool coat was ruined (She really wasn’t going for that Jackson Pollack look)!

Her eyes widened, then narrowed to tiny slits as she walked out of the room.  I was screwed.   When she came back, I knew I would get the tongue-lashing of the century (my mom can be very scary).  🙁

Time was of the essence!  I began picking off whatever clumps of white-out I could, but there were still white spots all over my mom’s brand-new coat.  :/  Eeep!  That’s when I saw the solution, the very thing that would save this coat and my ass…

Day 99: Enter the Sharpie 2
Enter the Sharpie!

I grabbed the sharpie from my mom’s desk and frantically colored over the white spots.   And you know what?  It worked!  The white spots were completely hidden!

When my mom came back, I shrugged, saying “I fixed your coat.  You know, you really shouldn’t leave your white-out laying around unscrewed.”  (I was a bit smarmy back then).

Mom was so impressed with my ingenuity that she let the whole thing go.  I think she might even still have that coat to this day.  🙂

Fast forward 17 years later…

I stupidly decided to clean my bathroom in one of my favorite black tees.  Of course I managed to get bleach all over it.  :/

Day 99: Enter the Sharpie 3

Luckily, I had a sharpie in the house.  🙂

Day 99: Enter the Sharpie 4
A la "Pretty Woman"

The great thing about the sharpie is that it’s very permanent (which is why it is the marker you use to write obscenities on your sleeping roommate’s face in college).  It doesn’t come out in the wash, and it doesn’t get on your other clothing.  It’s pretty awesome, actually.  🙂

Day 99: Enter the Sharpie 5

So yes, this was an admittedly slack day for me.  See that couch I’m sitting on?  I didn’t move from it all night.  I promise I’ll give you a more impressive refash tomorrow.  🙂


Day 100: Black & White & Rad All Over
Day 98: Flowers on my Shoulders Vol. 2

14 thoughts on “Day 99: Enter the Sharpie”

  1. One caveat–it will eventually wash out, although it may take months or years. Do normal people just replace clothing after that long?


    Vinegar is just as strong, non-toxic, and environmentally friendly. If you do not work in a service industry where it is required (though still dangerous and toxic — just politicians playing scientists think it’s best), NEVER use bleach to clean anything!

    The only reasonable exception is when bleaching clothing, but please wash it carefully before putting it on your body. Also limit this usage so more toxic bleach is not added to the water supply.

  3. Im a hairstylist and sharpies are our go-to! Inevitably bleach will get on out black attire and cause those pinkish stains- but super easy fix. And bonus!!! You feel like Pretty Woman! hehe

  4. I used the Sharpie trick last week when I stupidly cleaned up a doggie accident with bleach and ended up with bleach spot on my Banana Republic work pants. Now, now one knows, except you guys!

  5. So glad I ran across this! I’m working my way through your blog from the beginning right now. I work in a scrapbook store and I clean the tables here with a bleach spray. Bleach spray is very dangerous to use while wearing your favorite flowy black cardigan. I never would have thought to just use a sharpie. You have just helped me immensely. I love your blog, it is an ablolute inspiration!

  6. The bleach trick you did on another refashion that didn’t turn out so well could be another option. I do it all the time but you have to watch it and rinse it it cold water as soon as it gets to the desired design. I cut designs out of contact paper and attach it to material to make my own logo T shirts for my business. I print it from the computer, put it on top of a piece of contact paper, cut around with my exacto knife, stick it to the shirt and spray with bleach! Voila!

  7. Working for jobs that require a Black on Black theme for the staff has lead me to use the sharpie on more then one occasion, as you don’t want to buy new work cloths (a least $20.00 for pants) to only come home with $40.00 in tips.. Great stuff on your blog.Just found you this morning and have managed to use up the last 2 hours !!!!

  8. Great story. Love your story telling. You have a knack w/ words. Sharpies have helped me out w/ scuffed shoes on many ocassions. Office chairs wreak havoc on black high heels.

  9. Hee, hee, reminds me of the encounter with my brand new boots several years ago. I was going to travel to Iceland at the end of November and had just bought the boots. I thought a little waterproofing wouldn’t hurt, so I sprayed on some and left the boots outside to dry. It was quite cold and when I brought them back inside, some white marks were on the boots, but it wasn’t ice… The waterproofer had bleached the shoes very unevenly (yeah, always try on a spot not too visible, I know – now!). And I was going to fly on the next day…
    Took out my permanent marker and repainted the shoes completely, from brown to glossy black. The colour stuck like anything and as a side effect, the shoes always looked like I had just polished them.
    Might be a good way to spruce up shoes that still fit but have some spots.


  10. Black sharpies rock – I have used them on everything from handbags to shoes to clothing. When nothing else will work – reach for the sharpie!


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