How to customise & recycle your old t-shirts

by Andy on September 29, 2009

Refreshing & Reconditioning an old t-shirt (so that it’s still kind of like a t-shirt)

1. [W/M] How to Transform a boring black t-shirt using bleach by Stinkymum at Instructables

2. [W] How to turn a t-shirt into a tank top/camisole (no sewing required) by Threadbanger


3. [W/M] Make a Customized Silhouette T-Shirt Of Your Kids [DIY]

4. [W/M] Customizing a t-shirt with iron-on transfers by HedgeTV. The video may open with the hosts legs being a little too wide for (our) comfort, but it’s a pretty good tutorial.


5. [W/M] Reducing Large Tees by Cat Morley at Cut Out + Keep. This might help solve the “damnit my cool tee is too big for me” problem.

6. [W/M] How to cut the sleeves off a t-shirt with Elle from Hot Topic. All they do is cut off the sleeves with a pair of scissors, it’s that simple, they don’t even sew it to neaten up the cuts.


7. [W] T-shirt into a pleated tank top by Justina B. at Cut Out & Keep. A pleasing result and it doesn’t look too hard to do.

8. [W/M] Stenciling 101: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Spray Painting a T-shirt by I Am The Trend

9. [W/M/Idiots] How To Cheat on a Test with a T-shirt by Nextraker at Metacafe. This one is ridiculously dumb, basically they suggest taking a t-shirt and putting your answers onto the front of it upside down with an iron-on transfer, then hiding the answers with a zip-up hoodie, this is clearly not a good idea in any way, instead of spending all that time trying to cheat, just study instead.


10. [W/M] How to turn a t-shirt into a button-up shirt by Cat Morley at Cut Out + Keep


11. [W] How to make a Tuxedo T-Shirt by Felicia Rose at Cut Out + Keep
. This one will probably take a bit longer than the others as there are 23 steps to the tutorial, but I guess making a tuxedo tee takes a bit of effort.


12. [W] How to make a diagonal crop top from a t-shirt by American Apparel. Of course, they would want you to cut up their clothes, wouldn’t they?


13. [W] 80s Boxy T-Shirt. Another idea for making use of those old tees that are way too big (and the instructions are in English and Finnish, which is something).


14. [W] Another tutorial about how to make a t-shirt smaller.


15. [W] Wide Neck T-Shirt Recondition with buttons. The buttons are non-functional on this tee, so essentially all you’re doing is taking scissors to the neck and sewing on some buttons, which shouldn’t be a stretch for anyone that knows how to weild a needle.

16.[W] A video tutorial about how to make an oversized tee into a fitted t-shirt


17. [W] Tied Up T-Shirt. A quick and simple tutorial showing how to make a tee that ties at the back.

18. [W] Kat Von D’s official t-shirt cutting class. Yes, it’s that Kat Von D, explaining how she creates her look.


19. [W] How to cut a t-shirt to sexify it.


20. Turn a t-shirt into a deep V top.


21. How to turn a t-shirt into a shrug, whatever that is.


22. Refashioned Beefy Tee into Boat Neck Top

The fourth page has 15 ideas for transforming your old t-shirts into skirts and dresses.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5

  • Kenabnena

    No offense to her, but with Gianny L.’s tutes, it always ended up wrong. Like, epic fail wrong. All the others, I like.

  • SpoiledTom

    You have more than 200 T-shirts and don’t want to give them to charity? Instead of helping poor people you prefer use them for women’s bodies exploitation? Sigh…

  • Andy (Hide Your Arms)

    Excuse me, firstly, it says ““what do you do with a tee when you don’t want to wear it anymore? (and you don’t want to give them to charity for whatever reason)” that doesn’t mean I don’t want to give my t-shirts away to charity. Surprising as it may seem, I wear all of the shirts that I am sent (I receive them as gifts or samples), I have samples sent to all the other t-shirt bloggers that write for this site, and I give them to friends and family. When I’m finished with a tee, it likely won’t be in a state that a charity would want to receive it in.

    Secondly, I don’t care for the suggestion that I use t-shirts to exploit women’s bodies, whatever that means. I don’t know any of the people whose tutorials I’ve linked to, and I didn’t get them to take any of the photos featuring themselves (which is the only way I can possibly see any kind of ‘exploitation’ if I got people to work for me for free, which I haven’t done), these tutorials were all freely available to be found, I merely collected them together in this blog post.

  • C Reed Cate99

    I love what you are doing, the designs are so cute and you are recycling so keep up the good work :)

  • Mona

    I completely agree! She makes it look so easy yet when I try any of her tutorials exactly the way she does them, it turns out horrible! Maybe it’s because she’s so tiny and even failed garments look good on her.

  • Just us 4

    LOVE THIS! Thanks for putting all these together. Being a single mother of three, two of the three being 9 and 11, this is a god sent. Of course no kid wants to look like their clothes are from a thrift store so being able to refashion what we can find is a must.

  • carrie

    I have 5 girl’s so needless to say ton’s of old T’s! Thanks for inspiring us. They just hit their older brother’s dis-guarded T’s he was getting rid of and asked me to look for some new ideas to recycle them. We will be using these sites. Thanks again, you saved me so much time hunting for ideas.

    Mom of 8

  • Davesutton143

    That ‘s cool and green , here a site for more green ideas

  • Vroywarren

    t-shirts are personal keep sakes. i have tons of t-shirts that i have collected. i even have some from when i was a toddler. they are like a scrap book of memories for me. i don’t want to give up my memories. i hang them, cut them, pass down to my children, use as hankies. i keep them just to remember. the older they get the better they get. i really think your statement is out of line. i am not trying to start anything, but especially when you have “helping poor people” and “charity” in a comment we should use kind words. why did you come to this website? were you looking for a charity or looking for creative t-shirt designs?

  • Nacerabouh
  • Lee2cats

    This is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you so much! Fantastic and very cool ideas, that I would’t have thought of. I have a bunch of Hard Rock Cafe tshirts from my travels that i would like to restyle. So i will have fun now with all these ideas!! thank you thank you :-) from Nova Scotia, Canada.

  • NotaPrettyGirl

    Well, let’s see. She could give them to charity. OR she could use them to make herself new cloths that she will wear instead of giving them away and buy new cloths which were made through the exploitation of children and underpaid workers in other countries and then shipped to her local store using less-than-earth-friendly transportation…pick your poison, my friend.
    Also, unless all the women in your family wear nothing but plain t-shirts, over-sized sweatshirts, and baggy sweatpants I think you need to back off on your “body exploitation” comments and steer your outrage toward people who are ACTUALLY exploiting women’s bodies instead of providing tutorials for DIY crafts.

  • luna

    There’s also a super cool ebook about T-shirt revamping: Creativi-Tee ( It has only 30 projects but they’re really amazing and sophisticated. And the ebook is super cheap!

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    Nice post. Check out bandarwalla.cojm

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  • Anu Patil

    Superb post. Thanks for sharing. Enjoyed reading this post.

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