I did it!
I took the advice you gals (and guys) and made a pleated skirt. I used a mini skirt pattern (by pulling out all the stitches), cut out the pieces (making them bigger to fit), sewed them together and made some big pleats. I'm pretty happy with it, I even added a zipper to the side as well as a long purple scarf as a belt (the zipper was on the mini skirt I pulled apart). All of which only came up to about $1.50
And with the other pleated skirt (the one I wanted to bleach) I sewn it together with this old pair of jeans I had in the closet...
(Here's my white pleated skirt)
yes, those are my jeans... hehe...)