I got to throw my sister a baby shower over the weekend. I am giddy with excitement to meet my niece, Paisley (love that name!). I am already an aunt…on Chris’ side of the family I have 4 nieces and 4 nephews (ages 21 to 2)! This will be my first niece or nephew on my side of the family. AND since it is my sister having the baby I feel the freedom to push my way into her business….and I will:)I’m not sure the shower reflected my sister’s taste, but I think she liked my hodge podge of randomness! We had a little party under the sycamore in the backyard….

It seemed appropriate to take scraps from Firecracker’s nursery quilt and make some ruffles on the invites. (remember that is Baby Sister’s new online name)

It was an evening party so I had desserts and drinks…thanks mom, dad, grandma & Lars for baking some yummy treats.

Lesley loves chocolate cupcakes with white frosting. Usually my cupcakes look like one of my boys made them.

Meg came to the rescue with this frosting recipe (the end part where you add cool whip)…my cupcakes looked awesome if I do say so myself!

A jar full of advice, so when Lesley wants advice she can get it….more on this project (& a giveaway) on Friday!

Yep, my chair (post 4 hours of deep upholstery cleaning) made an appearance.

Isn’t she a cute little pregnant thing?

Before you email or comment to ask about the invitations, banner and food signs….they all started with this template set from Design Aglow. If you are a photographer YOU NEED TO VISIT DESIGN AGLOW. The products you can purchase there will take your business to new heights. Back when I was shooting for clients I used their holiday card templates and birth announcements. Every now and then I post fun block looking letters, a circle and a square collage of pictures…all products from Design Aglow. Though I don’t currently use the products for clients, I use them all the time for personal projects and gifts. They are so versatile…and no I am not getting paid to promote Design Aglow…I am just a big fan and I think those of you that are photographers are going to be so excited to find it. If you check the blog section of the site, you can find a little post about how I used the Fun & Flirty template for this shower.

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  • laura - love. i’m sure your sister was very blessed! can’t wait for the follow-up posts!

  • Lesley - LOVED the shower, the pics don’t do it justice!! Thanks again for an incredible evening – you blew me away.

  • Amber - Ashley, you make every thing beautiful! Seriously…very impressed.

  • Jamie - Beautiful! Is that a banner made out of vintage hankies/napkins!? Precious. You did an amazing job; so cute! Is that your own collection of vintage dishes? I’m blown away. This looks like the stuff you see in magazines. Great job!

  • Katie - You know how to throw a party! This belongs in a magazine!

  • julie - I love every happy little detail. So my fave type of party. How can I magically get a giant sycamore in my little Cali yard? Love. Love. Love.

    Then there is the Design Aglow’s collage canvas templates.
    I totally fainted. All your fault.

  • ashlee - What a beautiful shower! I adore the eclectic style you have going on:)

  • Jesse - What a beautiful shower!

  • An - I just found your website…LOVE everything!!! Thanks.

  • Kae - I feel like I’m reading a magazine full of beautiful stuff! What a lucky sister you have. God bless you both & your families. All I can say is..beaaauuutifulllll!!

  • DianneLisette - Oh my gosh! Thank you for sharing! The shower looked lovely, and THANK YOU for the tip-off to Design Aglow! What a wonderful resource! I can’t wait to sit down and look through their site!

  • Shannon @ What's Up Whimsy - I can’t wait for the follow up emails on this shower because it looks absolutely gorgeous!! Nice work!

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - First of all, that shower is lovely! (Do you need another sister?!). I can’t wait to go play on that website! Thank you for the advice!

  • Maggie - Ashley~ i just spent an hour on this rainy Monday perusing your fabulous blog~ i teared up at all the beautiful photos & stories….I feel a little caught up on your life…and congrats to Lesely~ you are so creative & blessed to have your family near to witness all you have going on. Love to you xo

  • Jill J. - What a beautiful party! It actually makes me want to throw a baby shower.

  • amanda torres - I love the note about not spanking! Too funny!

  • amy - oh, this shower looks like the coolest thing ever. makes me want to be pregnant so i can do this–or wait, i guess it makes me want to have a shower for someone else so i can do all this again. : ) so, so cute! and i love how you added the fabric on the invitations. love it all!

  • robyn - you put a LOT of work into this! your sister is very lucky to have you :)
    and my favorite picture is “please don’t spank my granddaughter”.

  • emily anderson - stop with the beautifulness!

  • Abby - I held a baby shower for my sister at my house just yesterday, too! Baby Scarlett will be here in August. Everything was pink and green for us. I’m still exhausted so no photos up yet on my blog, but soon! We had hoped to have ours outside, but the N.C. humidity (and 95 degrees outside) pushed us indoors.

    LOVE the decor at your shower. Your style is so adorable! I can tell how excited you are to meet the little one!

  • Rachel - I’m fairly new to the blog. Been following now for a few weeks and have gone all the way back to page 20 and read every post in between. does that prove you’ve got a fantastic blog and personality? its great, wonderful, creative and real and I look forward to your posts. thanks for sharing with us all!

  • Heather - oh, wow! so much prettiness in one place. i have to go look at it all again….

  • janelle howard - hey. the pictues were amazing. you did a good job ashley. wish we lived closer so that you could take pictures of my family. talk to you soon.

  • abby - You did such a fabulous job on your sister’s shower. I love all the little details and the overall eclectic look. And I love the name Paisley! So fun!! :)

  • karen davis - what a party!! I love your style, it’s totally my style! simple and fun… and man those cupcakes look YUMMY!

  • Asha - I love the name Paisley, I saw it on another blog and had to compliment the mother. so cute!
    Question, I know your out west, right? any problem with bugs at an outdoor food party? If so, how do you keep the bugs away?

  • Faith - oh, now that’s super cute!

  • anne c - beautiful shower ashley!

  • Sabrina L - I have a now 14 year old niece named Paisley! Such a perfect name for a girl. Your baby shower looked amazing!

  • Amber Zimmerman - What a fun array of decor! Love love what you did! :)

  • An - So I’m looking through your shower post again and I’m hoping in your follow up post you could post some more details about the notes (“When it comes to daddy…”). That is such a great idea. I would love to know what other phrases you had. THANKS!

  • Lindsay - Just found your website, lovin it! And my daughter’s name is Paisley!!

  • Paisley — We Met in a Bar - […] (Check out the rest of this super cute shower here!) […]

  • Kami @ Everyday Heaven - I think this might be the most beautiful shower I have ever seen!

  • tasha roe - lovely baby shower! it was so whimsical and dreamy; simply perfect!
    i love the eckert’s basket!! we have 3 eckert’s orcards near us and pick apples and peaches yearly. fun stuff!

  • A Backyard Baby Shower | The Sweetest Occasion - […] all the details visit Ashley’s blog and check out her DIY tutorial for the decorated note jar. Thanks for sharing, […]

  • Weddinic – Wedding Articles » Blog Archive » A Backyard Baby Shower - […] all the details visit Ashley’s blog and check out her DIY tutorial for the decorated note jar. Thanks for sharing, […]

  • Damaris Palmer - simply breathtaking

  • » A “Paisley” Baby Shower - Divine Party Concepts - […] Baby Shower March 30th, 2011 Tweet This is such a beautiful baby shower from Under the Sycamore that will definitely get you excited about spring.  It is filled with wonderful colors and […]

  • gigiofca - Was researching something or other and came across your gorgeous party. Your sister’s so lucky. You did an excellent job!

  • Jess - Hi, Could you tell me the fabrics you used for the invites? And, if there were any others used inthe baby quilt. Thanks bunches!!

  • Cari - Beautiful shower! Can you tell me where you ordered your notecards with the prompts that people filled out? In particular, I am most interested in the phrases used – wonderful idea and much more fun that just plain advice cards.

  • Natalie - Hi,

    this is such an inspirational shower, would you mind sharing the prompts for your lovely cards that you did?

    I hope that I will be able to do something similar for my best friend.
    Many thanks in advance

Remember this post….their family is together at home now!

Complete family pictures to come….once we get together to take them!

Congratulations Jeremy & Melanie –  a family of 8 looks good on you.

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  • Shannon Phillips - Goosebumps and tears as I view these photos. I do not know this family but I am overjoyed for them and the life they will be giving their new children. Thanks for posting these photos. Prayers going out to Jeremy and Melanie and all of their children in this transition time.

  • Stephanie - Oh. Love these so much. So neat to see God come through BIG TIME as always. Love Love Love that they are home. THANKS for sharing Ash!

  • emily anderson - oh my gosh!!!! you know how much i love these photos :) so excited for this family that i don’t even know!

  • Christina Larsen - Beautiful. We are coming home from Korea on Wednesday at 10:43 pm. FYI.

  • Liz - The picture are wonderful… I love the look on Melanie’s face… such sheer joy!

  • Stefunkc - So glad you were able to take picture for the family like me that couldn’t be there!

  • Kimberly - You made this cousin’s day!! I was at a workshop all day and was so sad to miss this amazing moment! Abby and I loved these pictures. Thank you so much for capturing this special reunion!! Tears of joy are flowing.

  • Ang - I can’t hold back the tears

  • Patsy - You truly captured the spirit and love of this once-in-a-lifetime event. Watching you at work that morning, I knew this
    precious time was going to be beautifully recorded through
    your eyes. Thank you so much!

  • Amanda - Thanks so much for capturing this moment so beautifully for our dear sweet friends! I am once again reduced to tears! So happy for them!

  • Os Tartarouchos - What a special moment!

Thanks for all the comments on my trip to Seattle and odd way of entertaining myself in the airport. For those wondering the SkyBridge we were on was a more remote one that only led to a few gates. For that reason it was basically empty unless a plane landed. I sat my camera on the ground – with no one around. I did also sit it on the SkyWalk. Those things are meant to speed you up when you are walking. If you are standing still they move rather slowly so I had plenty of time to take timer pictures without reaching the end.

Here’s another outdoor summer activity.


My disclaimer: This requires very attentive adult supervision and responsible kids that are obedient and good listeners.



Water Guns

Water bottle that can do a light mist spray

Solid color t-shirt (I got mine at Hobby Lobby when they were 50% off…costing me $1.50 each. Score.)

Freezer paper

Rubber gloves (for you and the kids)

Using freezer paper cut out your letter or design. Iron the paper securely onto the shirts. Hang the shirts outside with a piece of cardboard on the inside.

Put on rubber gloves. Fill the water bottle and water guns with bleach. Using the fine mist setting on the water bottle spray around the letter. Then let the kids use the water guns to squirt more bleach randomly on the shirt front and back. This is where the adult supervision is crucial…you don’t want them shooting the gun at anything but the shirts. In the sun it doesn’t take long (just a minute or two) for the bleach to start changing the shirt color. Once it is as light as you want, rinse the shirt…then wash it. You can buy chemicals that further stop the bleaching process, but they cost more than your $1.50 shirt. You don’t want to leave the bleach on too long or it will begin eating the shirt. My friend tried this with a hot pink shirt and it came out super cute.

He should be wearing a rubber glove…the cheap water guns leak a little.

It is Big Brother’s current favorite shirt. It reminds me of the 80s, but 80s is back in style – right? If you notice on the “h” I didn’t get the freezer paper ironed on securely enough. I kind of like the effect it made. The brown parts of the shirt had the bleach on the least amount of time, the gray parts the longest. (yes he got a haircut in between the day we bleached the shirts and the day I took these pics)

Biggest Brother was hanging around when I was trying to get a picture of the shirt. He decided to try to leap over the cooler. Can you guess how that ended up for him?

And after all that fun of making your own shirt, you can curl up on the couch with your legos…snuggling Luke Skywalker & his lightsaber…for a summer nap.

In other news…next week I am going to be a part of the Blogger’s Guide to Summer at Blessed Little Nest. There will be several posts each day and giveaways each day. Some of my very favorite bloggers will be guest posting during the week too…be sure to check it out….just don’t enter any of the giveaways I would kind of like to win them all!


It has been a while since I posted any diy projects…next week I will be posting one….

UPDATE 6.16.10: My friend Jamie emailed me the day I originally posted this. The night before I posted this, she had done a similar thing to a onesie for a gift. It is so cute! I asked her if I could share it with you! Thanks Jamie!

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  • Jeannette Swan - Another great idea!

  • meg duerksen - i wanted to do this this summer too.
    or tye dye with spray bottles instead of the usual stuff.
    we will see what i get accomplished.

    and how have i never done freezer paper?! what is the matter with me!

  • Kelly - I love freezer paper and my boys love helping make their own shirts! I’m adding this to the endless summer to-do’s for sure! I often notice your boys are wearing the same clothes that are in my boys closets…you must frequent Target.:) I noticed the awesome multi-colored Chewie shirt today. My middle boy has that one and for some reason it makes me laugh every single time he wears it. :)

  • Amy - I made these using contact paper for my daughter’s sleep over. I put a peace sign on the back of the shirt and they were adorable. Thanks for all your awesome ideas..

  • Anna Joy - this is soooo awesome! im making one this weekend!!! :)

  • Carla - the shirt turned out so cute! i think 25 year olds could still wear shirts like this… so maybe i have an activity for my husband and i this weekend. maybe even a cute doggie one.

    love all of your ideas. and especially your photography tips. i’m find new angles every day because of you!

  • Sara - I love this idea! I am wondering if Hydrogen Peroxide would work as a safer alternative to the bleach? I use it in my laundry for whites to brighten them. Anyone know if it would be worth a shot?

  • ellen - I love this one so very, very much. Look at how excited Big Brother is to wear it. The joy on his little, scrunched face is too much. This is going on my must copy list!

  • chantelle - ok, you are now officially the coolest mom I know/in the world. I am now runningout to buy shirts and water guns and bleach. wow are you cool.

  • Kaylene - these look wonderful. It’s summer so my man cub is looking for “projects”. We just finished finger printing w/ ed emberley’s book. looking forward to doing these.

  • gardenmama - How cute!!
    Your photos are beautiful, what sweet little ones : )

  • Balancing Everything » Bleached monograms - […] wonder if we could pull this off, the result is great! ← Eric […]

  • Alison - I LOVE LOVE LOVE that idea and am definitely going to have to try it with my kids. So happy to have found your fabulous blog!

  • giozi - I love it. I’m going to try it on pink 😀

  • Os Tartarouchos - Oh, my! this is a great idea!! And the results are so cool!
    Love your blog, and your photos!

  • Casey - I love this!! definitely going to try this on a shirt for my guy

  • Ez - Oh my word! What a fantastic DIY idea! I love it. And the applications for your technique could be applied to so many things (dinner napkins, throw pillow covers, etc). Thanks for the inspiration! xo Ez

  • tara - I tried this on a t shit but couldn’t keep the bleach from soaking through where I had the letters ironed on… any tips?

  • Brinn - LOVE this and love your blog! Thanks so much for sharing your creativity. I made a halloween version if you want to check it out:


  • Heather - I LOVE bleaching shirts :) Actually, after the bleaching process, I’ll throw the garment in the washing machine on the rinse cycle with about a cup of plain white vinegar. Vinegar (super cheap!) neutralizes bleach. Once your level of “bleachiness” is achieved – throw it in the vinegar water solution and the bleach will not continue to eat away at the fibers – you can wash it over and over again normally and not have to worry about holes!

  • Ashley - i just did this today with my three boys…we did their initials on three shirts, and then did some halloween themed ones. it worked great…thanks for the excellent idea!

  • bleach + squirt guns = potential disaster, but such fun! | lindsay mcintire photography - […] a bit nerve racking and a tad stressful…. but oh such fun results! I found this idea on this BLOG and decided to embark on re-creation. O loves his shirts that he made and wore them all […]

  • Lanell Stahlberg - Something is up with your rss subscription. Any ideas?

  • To Do List « Crafty Upcycled Fun - […] Bleach Tshirt  […]

  • glow in the dark » My Blog - […] store buying the paint and jars, I also picked him up a package of grey and black t shirts to do this project, but since they were laying there on the counter, (he refuses to wear shirts while at home) […]

  • Cricket Whitman - Thanks so much for this great idea. We made our own as well! You so totally rock at everything! http://mommycricket.blogspot.com/2011/06/custom-bleached-t-shirts.html

  • Kristal - Awesome idea!! Hydrogen Peroxide stops the bleach chemical reaction and it’s cheap. :)

  • Joanna - I tried this(too rushed I admit) yesterday and I basically completely screwed up a simple thing! I guess I must not have gotten the freezer paper on well enough because only the top part of the A came out. Secondly it’s brown =( not white. Too much bleach?? The bottle I got (because I couldn’t find my old one that I knew did fine spray) puts out quite a lot. Help?

  • Custom Bleached T-shirt | You Frill Me - […] he was here in SF.  So to celebrate the day, I wore this custom-bleached tee, which I made using Ashley Ann’s amazing freezer paper stencil idea, which I originally saw on her blog, but was reminded of it in an issue of Fresh Style magazine.  […]

  • {30} Fun & Useful Things to Do with Old T-Shirts - […] 25. Custom bleached shirt. […]

  • nana - As a grandmother I am afraid of the bleach for little ones … too dangerous maybe bleach pen but even that is just poison for kiddos and the earth !!! IT LOOKS CUTE and sweet to.spend time together but you really must know a tiny accident could be devistating with chemicals. It also would give the impression it is alright to touch bleach at another time . I hate to be ugly but I do know acidents that have happened and an adult that burned their lungs breathing bleach and caused pneumonia. Thanks for reading and so sorry to sound rude !!

  • Christine Hutchings - Does she sell these? I would definitely buy them :)

  • DIY: Bleach Stencilling « brdse - […] came across this post awhile back and I have always wanted to stencil a tshirt so it seemed like the perfect thing to […]

  • Becca - I tried this, but the bleach only turned the black material orange, not white…anything I should have done differently?

  • 6 ways to savor the tail-end of summer | Simple Mom - […] Bleached spray gun stencil […]

  • Custom Bleached Tee | T-Shirt Craft - […] http://ashleyannphotography.com/blog/ This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. ← T-Shirt Blanket […]

  • design your own t-shirt - Wonderful stuff. Bundle of thanks!!!

  • Custom Tee Shirts - USABeading - Fantastic blog, Thanks for sharing. Keep posting like this.

  • Clarissa - Hi! I like the way your shirts turned out. They’re real neat. I love the onesies too! What a cute idea. I’m interested in doing the same type of thing, only I can’t use bleach or have it used on my clothes. Is there a way of doing the same thing using hydrogen peroxide?

    Thank you!

  • Custom Beading, Fabric beading patterns - USA Beading - All those beading, laser cutting trims and Embroidery. it is very cute jewelery.

  • Duct Tape & Tshirts - […] an simple idea that uses bleach! Here’s a fun tutorial where they used freezer paper but I think masking tape would work, […]

  • Báró Júlia - Fun! It is great to create something by playing a game like this :)