5 Creative Ways to Customize a Plain T-Shirt

5 Creative Ways to Customize a Plain T-Shirt


For your next craft project, why not give your wardrobe a little extra panache? T-shirts are versatile and easy to customize, and you’ve probably got a million of them piling up in your closet. Turn those plain tees into wearable works of art with these creative ways to customize a plain T-shirt.

Embroidered Accents

You don’t have to be a sewing whiz to get creative with a needle and thread. Freehand embroidery is like doodling! If your shirt has any writing or designs on it, go over them with colorful embroidery floss. Dress up seams by covering them with satin stitch.

Tie-Dye (or Bleach)

It’s not just for summer camp anymore—tie-dyeing an old shirt with your favorite colors can give it new life. If your shirt is too dark for dye to show up, try bleach! It’s like a reverse tie-dye. In a well-ventilated area, scrunch up your old shirt and wrap it in rubber bands just like you would for tie-dyeing. Make sure to wear gloves as you dip the shirt in bleach and wring out the excess. Let it sit overnight and untie it in the morning.

Creative Cutting

Make a new silhouette out of an old shirt with a few strategic snips of the scissors. Chop off the bottom few inches of the shirt for a daring crop top, or slice off the sleeves for an athletic look. You can also cut vertical strips at the bottom to create a fringe or snip the collar into a V-neck or off-the-shoulder style.

Vinyl Designs

Heat transfer vinyl, or HTV, is a quick and easy way to jazz up a plain shirt. You can create logos and designs to apply to the center, or you can use patterned HTV to add interest to the entire garment. Add bright polka dots or sparkly stars to your shirt for an eye-catching design.

Beads and Sequins

To add sparkle to your shirt, sew sequins around the collar or in firework patterns all over the tee. Lightweight beads also add a glamorous touch. Simple motifs like flowers, stars, and hearts are all easy to create. Combine beading with simple embroidery to turn a weathered old tee into a fun look for lunch with friends.

Turn a pile of old T-shirts into a spread of fun and unique tees that will find their way into your regular rotation. These simple and creative ways to customize a plain T-shirt will get your imaginative brain working and keep your hands occupied. Look forward to your next DIY afternoon with these tips!

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