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.

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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

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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.

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Make a Purse Out of Tank Tops

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.

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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.

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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.

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Girls Summer Dress from a T-Shirt

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.

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Turn a T-Shirt Sleeve into a Fingerless Glove

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.

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Fitted T-Shirt Tank Top

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.

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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!

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Make a Halter Top Out of a T-Shirt

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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Spray Paint a T-Shirt

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.

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Screen Print T-Shirts at Home

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.