T-Shirt Surgery

Hack it Up, then Dress it Up. Doctor You, report to the ER.

In a closet, or in a pile, we all have a stash of t-shirts. I bet half of them aren't even in your size. Why do we go out and painstakingly try on clothes, but keep so many t-shirts that don't fit?

The answer is because they're cheap and turn you into a walking billboard about your personality, favorite band, or where your family went for vacation last year. In fact, if you don't go out and buy a t-shirt, a cheerleader is likely to shoot one at you.

Since you can't help accumulating tee's, turn them into something that actually looks good on you.

01
of 19

The Braided Trident Racerback

Upcycled T-Shirt Transformation
T-Shirt Transformation: Braided Racerback. Rain Blanken
This fitted t-shirt transformation has a polished look to it. By braiding the edges, the fabric is pulled in for the perfect fit... no flaps or hanging on this project. If you are looking for a well-fitting, finished t-shirt project, this is it.

Design by Rain Blanken

02
of 19

Turn a T-Shirt into a Tube Top

T-Shirt Tube Top
T-Shirt Tube Top. Rain Blanken

Tube tops are great for party nights or just keeping cool during the summer. Here, I had a Harry Potter t-shirt that only came in a size Large. After turning it into a tube top, it was the perfect fit for my sister.

Tank Top Bag
Tank Top Bag. Rain Blanken

Tank tops are a great summer ally, but sometimes they can lose their shape after repeated washings or even shrink. If you've got a tank that doesn't quite fit anymore, you can still put it to good use. This tutorial will show you how to make a reversible tank top tote using two tank tops, or a tank top and a t-shirt. More »

04
of 19

Baby Doll Shirt

Make Baby Doll Shirt
Make a Baby Doll Shirt. Rain Blanken
Change up a t-shirt to make a baby doll shirt that is flattering to the bust line and can even cover a little extra tummy you're still trying to work off.
05
of 19

Upcycled T-Shirt Scrap Rosettes

Upcycled T-Shirt Rosettes
Upcycled T-Shirt Rosettes. Rain Blanken

Using a scrap sleeve from my braided trident racerback design, I created some cute rosettes that require just a few folds and some stitching that will be easy for beginners. these have a lot of impact for just a bit of work.

Girl's t-shirt dress
Girl's t-shirt dress. About.com
Create a cute dress for a little girl that is perfect for those hot summer months. In this video, you'll learn how to clip, stitch and add ribbon to this easy transformation. More »
Fingerless Gloves
Fingerless Gloves. Rain Blanken
Fingerless gloves make a statement or just keep your hands warm. We are going to use a t-shirt sleeve to make this quick pair of fingerless gloves. More »
T-Shirt Tank Top
T-Shirt Tank Top. Rain Blanken
Now you can wear any t-shirt, no matter what size it is. Make a large t-shirt fit you better, or simple spice up an old tee that has lost it's appeal. This tank top is laced up the sides to offer a perfect fit every time. More »
09
of 19

Stitch an Over-Under Skirt

t-Shirt Skirt
T-Shirt Skirt. Rain Blanken
With this t-shirt skirt, the collar and sleeve seams are left intact so that you can show off the fact that the skirt used to be a t-shirt. It is also longer than most t-shirt skirts and uses the bottom hem of the t-shirt as a drawstring casing to minimize sewing!
T-Shirt Halter Top
T-Shirt Halter Top. Rain Blanken
How do you make a halter top? Just take your t-shirt to a daring new level. This halter top gives your shirt a more feminine shape, and only takes a few minutes to complete. More »
11
of 19

Quick T-Shirt Sleeve Headband

T-shirt Sleeve Headband
T-shirt Sleeve Headband. Rain Blanken
Turn a t-shirt sleeve into a headband, and turn up your good recycling karma. Create this soft and cute headband with these easy steps.
12
of 19

Stitch a Purse with Two T-Shirts

T-Shirt Purse
T-Shirt Purse. Rain Blanken
Make a cute purse out of two t-shirts with these easy step-by-step instructions. This is a great project for DIY fashion beginners.
13
of 19

Make an Anime Hat from a T-Shirt

Anime Hat T-shirt
Bunny Anime Hat. Rain Blanken
T-Shirts are made of a stretchy fabric, which means they can turn into hats that are easy to fit. These instructions have everything you need to turn a t-shirt into a cute anime hat, including patterns for the ears and face pieces.
14
of 19

The T-Shirt Jumper Dress

T-Shirt Dress
T-Shirt Dress. Rain Blanken
This cute jumper-style dress is a cinch to make in just a few minutes using one t-shirt.
15
of 19

Make a T-Shirt Grocery Tote

T-Shirt Grocery Tote Bag
T-Shirt Grocery Tote. Rain Blanken

There is nothing greener than getting your groceries in a reusable bag instead of plastic or paper. Well, actually, you could be even greener if said bag is made from upcycled t-shirts!

This reversible bag is big enough and strong enough to hold the chunkiest of soups and frozen TV dinners.

More T-Shirt Surgery Projects

16
of 19

Fold a T-Shirt into a Ninja Mask

T-Shirt Ninja Mask
T-Shirt Ninja Mask. Liz Bowerman

So, you might not be using this one on a daily basis, but it's still fun to try and useful for suprise pillow attacks on siblings. Learn how to turn a t-shirt into a ninja mask with just a few folding techniques.

17
of 19

Turn a T-Shirt into Yarn

T-Shirt Yarn
T-Shirt Yarn. Sarah E. White

Making T-shirt yarn is a fun way to recycle T-shirts you might have stopped wearing because of stains, sizing issues or because you simply don't like them anymore. Sarah E. White, our Guide to Knitting, will show you how.

Spray Paint T-Shirt
Spray Paint T-Shirt. Rain Blanken
Use a simple stencil to give a shirt a professional screen printed look. This is a great beginners project to customizing your own clothing. I even have a bunch of free stencils ready to print and use. More »
Screen Print T-Shirt
Screen Print T-Shirt. Rain Blanken
An extreme makeover for your t-shirt...or all of them. Learn how to screen print the at-home easy way and make shirts for you, your buddies, or your team. More »