If you are like most adult women, you probably have a drawer full of T shirts that you probably love dearly and also never seem to wear (unless you are spending a lazy day at home).
Let’s face it, there are just way too many awesome t shirts out there with cool prints or quotes on them. Even though your mind is saying “Honey, we don’t need any more t shirts!” your heart is saying “but it’s got a picture of a pizza on it!”
You know all the best life coaches (or at least all the best motivational memes) tell you something about following your heart. So buy the pizza shirt! And then use your crafty skills to transform it into a unique new top.
And if you don’t have much in the way of crafty skills, there’s still hope! All of these tutorials are totally free of sewing. As long as you can handle scissors and glue without harming yourself, you can handle these simple DIY T Shirt hacks.
T Shirt Hack #1
This super simple hack will turn your T shirt into a cool short sleeved cardigan. All you will need are scissors, a piece of chalk, a piece of paper or a ruler, a T shirt, and super glue (or hem tape). Follow these steps:
- Lay your T shirt out on a flat surface. If it’s really wrinkly, iron it first so that it is smooth.
- Carefully find the exact middle of the neck and mark it with the piece of chalk.
- Use a ruler or a piece of paper to carefully draw a straight line with chalk from this center point all the way down to the bottom end of the T shirt.
- Take your scissors and carefully cut along the chalk line that you made.
- Once the shirt is cut down the middle, turn it inside out and lay it flat again with the cut side on top.
- Take the super glue gun and squeeze a line of glue along the edge of the cut you just made.
- Fold the cut part up over the glue line about half an inch. This is how you are making the new hem.
- Repeat this on the other side as well.
- Let the shirt lie flat until the glue has cooled and hardened. To be safe, wait at least an hour.
- Once dried, turn it back to the right side out and try it on!
T Shirt Hack #2
This second hack is even easier. With this simple DIY project, you can easily transform the sleeves on any T shirt to give it a little more style. Using just scissors, glue, and measuring tape you can turn your sleeves into adorable little bows!
- Measure out 2 ½ inches across the shoulder (going down along the sleeve side of the seam).
- If the inside seam is showing after you do this, you can trim it off.
- Repeat this on the other sleeve as well.
- Now, carefully cut off the bottom part of your shirt just below the hemline so that the seam is still left intact.
- Cut the strip of fabric you have now so that it is not a loop.
- Unfold the strip so that it lies flat. You may need to iron it so that it stays flat.
- Measure and cut two 2 ½ inch long strips from this.
- Use your thumb and forefinger to pinch together the top and bottom of the T shirt sleeve in the center to form a bow shape.
- Wrap one of your 2 ½ inch strips around this center point.
- Use glue to glue it in place.
- Repeat this process on the other sleeve.
- Let dry overnight before trying it on. You’re done!
T Shirt Hack #3
Follow the steps in this hack to create a cool lattice pattern on the top part of your T shirt. You can easily make sure you don’t interfere with any print or quote on the front by just not cutting so far down. You will need scissors, a ruler, chalk, studs, and, of course, a T shirt.
- Lay the T shirt out on a flat surface.
- Place the ruler horizontally across the T shirt below the neck hole.
- Move the ruler down as low as you want to cut. About halfway down the hem of the sleeve should be good. Use the chalk to draw a line across from sleeve hem to sleeve hem. You won’t be cutting the actual sleeves.
- Now use the rule to draw vertical lines going from the horizontal chalk line up to the top of the shirt. Draw them about 1 inch apart.
- Now take your scissors and carefully cut along these lines. Do not cut the backside of your shirt, only the front. Unless you would like to have the same patter on the back as well. In that case, go for it.
- You should now have a set of “straps going across the top of the front side of your shirt. Take your scissors and remove every second strap by cutting along the top edges. This will leave you with straps that are spaced further apart.
- Pinch two straps together and add a stud to hold them together. Do this at random points to form a cool pattern of diamonds and triangles.
- You’re done!
T Shirt Hack #4
This super quick hack can be done in under 10 minutes and adds a cute little breast pocket to the front of your shirt. You will need a good amount of supplies but it is really a basic process. Here’s what you’ll need:
- T shirt (surprise!)
- A piece of fabric (about a 5” or 6” square, with your favorite pattern on it)
- Post-it note
- Pen or pencil
- Fabric glue
- A piece of paper
- A piece of cardboard (or heavyweight paper)
Follow these easy steps do add a cute pocket to your T shirt:
- If your shirt is wrinkly, iron it. The same applies to the small square of fabric.
- Put your T shirt on. Place a post it note on the spot where you would like the pocket to be.
- Take off the shirt and lay it on a flat surface.
- Use the pen and ruler to draw a pocket pattern on the cardboard (it should be no larger than the square of fabric you have).
- Cut the pattern you have just drawn out of the cardboard.
- Place that on top of the fabric square. Use a pen to trace around the cardboard.
- Remove the cardboard and cut out the shape from your fabric.
- Flip the fabric over so that the pattern side is facing down.
- Fold each edge in about a quarter of an inch or so to create a seam.
- Apply glue to the edges and then fold down again. Press it flat.
- Place a piece of paper inside your shirt in the area that your pocket will be. This will stop any glue from accidentally gluing your shirt closed.
- Apply glue along the seams that you just made on your pocket and stick it onto the shirt where you want the pocket to be.
- Let this dry for about 30 minutes before wearing.
T Shirt Hack #5
Add an adorably creative lace-filled cut out to the back of any t shirt using this simple tutorial. You’ll need:
- A T Shirt (this can also be done on jackets though!)
- Black lace (or any color you like)
- Hem tape or fabric glue
- Printed picture (or your own drawing) of a crescent moon (or heart, or whatever shape you want)
With your supplies ready, follow these steps:
- Cut out the crescent moon (or whatever shape you are using).
- Place it on the back of your T shirt. If your shirt is wrinkly, iron it before doing this.
- Use the pen to trace around the moon.
- Use scissors to cut along the tracing.
- Turn the shirt inside out. Lay it out so that the back side is on top.
- Place your lace in the center. Make sure that the piece of lace is larger than the size of the shape you cut out. You want to place it so that it fully covers the cut out.
- If using hem tape, place a piece of it on the top and bottom of the lace piece and iron it on.
- If using fabric glue, put a piece of paper inside the shirt to avoid gluing it shut. Then glue the lace to the shirt.
- Let it dry for about 30 minutes to an hour (or overnight if you want to be safe).
- Turn it right side out and try it on!
T Shirt Hack #6
Turn a plain T shirt into a cute summery crop top with this easy DIY project. You will need a slightly oversized T shirt, a pen or piece of chalk, a pair of scissors, and fabric glue.
- Put the shirt on. Stand in front of mirror and draw across the front where you want the neckline to be and where you want the sleeves to be cut off. It’s good to do this while wearing the shirt so you know you aren’t cutting the neckline too high or low or cutting the sleeves too deep or too far inward.
- While drawing the lines, keep in mind that you need to go about ½-1 inch higher on the neckline (and the same length wider on the sleeves) because you need some seam allowance.
- Remove the shirt and start cutting along the lines you made. Cut the front and back at the same time so you can make sure it is an even cut all the way around.
- Turn the shirt inside out.
- Squeeze a line of fabric glue along the edge of the new neckline. Fold the edge over glue about ½-1 inch (however much seam allowance you added).
- Do the same with the edges along the sleeves.
- Let dry for about 30 minutes to an hour before wearing.
- Optional: cut off the bottom of the shirt to expose a little midriff. Remember to leave seam allowance and repeat the gluing process here as well.
T Shirt Hack #7
If you want something a little more unique, follow the steps in the previous tutorial (skipping the optional last step) and then use this tutorial to create an adorable little fringed bottom. All you need are scissors and the top you made in the previous tutorial (or any other shirt you want to use).
- Cut evenly spaced vertical strips (about 1” or so wide) into the bottom of the shirt. It doesn’t matter how many strips you make but there should be an even number. They should be anywhere from 8” to 12” long. It depends on how high up you want the strips to go. Show as much tummy as you like!
- Take two strips that are next to each other and tie them together to create a knot at the top. Do this with every set of two strips.
- Once you have knots all along the top, take one strip from the first pair and one strip from the second pair and tie those two strips together to form a knot a couple inches below the top row of knots. Repeat this across the row of strips.
- Repeat this process one more time to create a third row of knots. Or repeat this as many (or as few) times as you want to create as many rows of knots as you want.
T Shirt Hack #8
Turn any oversized T shirt into a cute summer beach cover up dress using this super simple hack. You will need a pair of scissors, a ruler, a pen, and a long, oversized T shirt (preferably a men’s shirt).
- From the bottom of the arm holes, measure 5 ½ inches down. Mark this point with a pen.
- Use the ruler to draw a straight line across from this point you marked to the other side of the shirt.
- Use the scissors to cut all the way across this line.
- Cut along the outer edge of the neck hold to remove the neck.
- Use the ruler to measure and draw a 4” vertical line up the center of the shirt.
- Use the scissors to cut along this 4” line. Cut both the front and the back of the top.
- Use a ruler and pen to draw a 2” vertical line down the center of the “skirt” (the bottom half of the shirt you just cut).
- Use scissors to cut along this line on the front and back.
- Put the shirt top on and then pull the skirt bottom up around your waist so that the slit you cut is lined up with the slit in the shirt.
- Cross one end from the shirt over and double knot it with the opposite side on the skirt (i.e.- tie the left piece of the shirt to the right piece of the skirt).
- Do the same with the remaining two pieces. And do the same on the back.
- You’re done!
T Shirt Hack #9
This simple hack turns your T shirt into the perfect summer crop top or workout top. You just need a T shirt, a pen, a pair of scissors, and some ribbon (any color you like).
- Put the T shirt on and draw lines where you want the neckline and arm holes to be. Keep in mind that this is meant to have a pretty deep neckline and pretty low hanging arm holes. You should wear it with a sports bra or a cute bandeau bra. You don’t need to leave seam allowance because you’ll just leave the edges as they are.
- You also want to draw a line along the bottom to crop the top. Draw this line like a sad face from one side seam to the other.
- Remove the shirt and cut along the lines you drew.
- Turn the shirt over so the back is facing upward.
- Cut a piece of ribbon and tie the back of the straps together. Make a nice bow with the ribbon.
- Alternatively, you can cut a strip of fabric from the scraps of T shirt you cut away and tie the back straps together with that.
- Put the shirt back on and gently tug at the straps to get them where you want them to be.
- You can also glue the ribbon or fabric to the spot once you have adjusted it if you want to prevent it from slipping around.
- Voila! You’re done!
T Shirt Hack #10
Create an awesome edgy cut out top using this surprisingly simple tutorial. All you need is a fitted T shirt, a pair of scissors and some chalk.
- Flip your T shirt inside out and draw any sort of geometric or other kind of design you want. Make sure that it is something that you can cut out without the shirt falling apart. Check out the linked tutorial for an idea.
- Carefully cut out the pattern. You can choose to just cut out the front or cut out both sides to have a pattern going all the way around your shoulders. Your choice!
- Once you have finished cutting out your pattern, flip the shirt back so that it is right side out again.
- Try it on and check out your stylish self in the mirror!
- If you are worried about the edges fraying, add ½-1” of seam allowance when you are drawing your pattern and then use fabric glue to fold and glue seams along the edges of each cut out. If you do this, let it dry 30 minutes to an hour before trying it on. Also, remember to put paper inside the shirt so you don’t accidentally glue it closed.
T Shirt Hack #11
Add a super cool geometric design to the bottom of your T shirt by following these easy as pie steps. You just need a pair of scissors and your T shirt. This works on either a fitted or a looser T shirt.
- Lay your shirt out flat. Fold the bottom up about 5” to 6”.
- Use the scissors and start cutting out triangles. Make sure you don’t cut the seam, though.
- You can make the triangles as wide or narrow as you like but keep a little bit of fabric in between each triangle (about a ½-1” gap between each one). If you want to be extra careful, you can get a pen and draw them on first.
- Once you’ve cut out triangles all the way across the T shirt, unfold and voila! You’ve got a row of diamonds all the way across the bottom of the shirt!
Now go forth and buy all the awesome T shirts you want! Because you know have endless possibilities for turning them into totally unique tops to suit your style. And if you want to take your game up to the next level, we also have some tutorials that do require sewing so check those out if you know your way around a sewing machine.