It’s almost summertime, and that means it’s time to get out your T-shirts! This was a long winter, so it’s going to be great to shed some layers and show off some skin. Speaking of which, maybe some of your old T-shirts just aren’t doing it for you anymore. Maybe they’re a little worn or faded, or maybe you’re just bored with them.
In any case, I have a ton of awesome ideas for you to make an old shirt new! That’s right—you should skip that trip to the thrift store and pull those shirts back out of the donation bin. Instead, take them to your craft room. I’ve got so many T-shirt cutout projects and other ideas for cute, flirty T-shirt transforms for you that you won’t know where to start.
Yeah, you might get some weird tan lines, but who cares? You are going to love these looks! Best of all, most of these projects are no-sew. So even if you aren’t handy with a needle and thread, you can enjoy these fabulous summer fashions!
1. Add a cute ribbon.
If you are looking for a simple, cute, easy modification for a T-shirt, here is a great idea. Simply cut the back out of a shirt, and then attach a bow which you can tie. You can go with any color or pattern fabric you want for the bow, so this is a good way to add some color and fun to an otherwise plain shirt.
2. Cut out most of the back of your T-shirt and tie what’s left.
Everything but some thin strips has been cut out of the back of this T-shirt, with the strips then tied together along the length of the shirt. It’s a simple idea and looks relatively easy to do, but it comes out looking ridiculously cool! Even the tan lines from this shirt would be fabulous in an odd way!
3. Make a skull cutout.
Here is another simple but brilliant cutout concept for a T-shirt. Just cut out holes in the shape of a skull. It’s eye-catching and a very fun look!
4. Make a line of bows along the back of your T-shirt.
If you’re a girly girl when it comes to fashion and you love bows, then you will just adore this idea! You do need to do some sewing for this one since you need to make the bows out of other fabric and attach them all along the back. The finished look is absolutely adorable, and don’t you just love the floral fabric?
5. Make a geometric design.
If you want to create an orderly geometric design with your T-shirt cutout, it is surprisingly easy to do—what you need is simply to create a stencil which you can use. If you click through to the source link, you can view a brief tutorial. Remember, you can easily adapt this idea to suit your tastes; you can design a stencil with any pattern you want!
6. Cut out a tree of life shape.
The tree of life has become something of a fashion trend, usually seen in wire wrap jewelry. But as it turns out, it also looks completely awesome as a cutout on the back of a T-shirt.
7. Make a butterfly twist tee.
Here is a different look which is both fun and flirty and elegant and sophisticated at the same time. Click the source link below to view a tutorial. You do need to get out your sewing machine to do this one.
8. Create a cool high-contrast look by layering.
With this tutorial there are actually two ideas I want to draw your attention to. The first is the very cool design created on the back of the shirt of course—and if you click through to the source link, you can see how it is done. The second thing however is just the way the two shirts have been layered to create a bold contrast. I also love the coordination with the bag and the jewelry.
9. Make a cute crop top.
This link teaches you how to make a quick and easy crop top out of a basic T-shirt. The end result is super flirty and cute!
10. Add some extra straps to the back of a tank top.
Most of these ideas and tutorials focus on removing bits of T-shirts in order to create a fun look for summer. Here is the opposite—a design which relies on adding something to an existing tank top.
11. Jazz up the collar of a boring T-shirt.
You know how some shirts don’t really give you much room to wear jewelry? If you try to wear a choker or a necklace that sits close to the throat, the collar will get in the way, but with a longer necklace, the collar will still cause the necklace to sit oddly. Here’s a solution—modify the collar of the shirt so that the bling is part of the shirt!
12. Make a ladder down the front of a T-shirt.
This style is super trendy right now and you will see a lot of these shirts for sale—but this is something you could also make yourself! Just cut a v-shape down the front of a T-shirt and then add some fabric straps across the middle to create a ladder pattern. This is a simple but flattering design.
13. Cropped T-shirt with cutout arms.
This T-shirt modification requires sewing, but just check out how totally rocking the end result is! This would be well worth the effort!
14. Embellish a tee with stitching.
Most of the projects in this list feature cutting and/or sewing, but here is something completely different! With this project, you do not need to do any cutting at all; you just do some stitching. But the idea here isn’t to make your stitches disappear—it is to make them stand out!
15. Make a beautiful cutout around the neckline of your shirt.
This is a pretty easy pattern for making a pattern around the neckline of a shirt, not so different from the idea shared previously. As you can see, it can transform even the dullest T-shirt into something gorgeous.
16. Make a Brandy Melville-inspired top.
This video tutorial teaches you how you can make an adorable crop top inspired by Brandy Melville. There are so many ways you could personalize this look!
17. Add pearls to the neck and sleeves of a T-shirt.
This is a lot like the idea shared previously, except that it involves stitching pearls into the gaps you are cutting at the neck and sleeves of your T-shirt. This is a great way to add some instant classiness to any tee!
18. Create a no-sew modified T-shirt that ties—but isn’t a crop top.
Want to modify a T-shirt without making it into a crop top or something else super skimpy that is only suitable for the blazing hot days of summer? Here is a no-sew pattern where you just cut part of the bottom out of a long shirt so that you can tie it around your waist. Incidentally, if you want it to be a crop top, it can—just cut higher.
19. Cute a heart pattern into a T-shirt.
I love this tutorial for several reasons. First of all, the end result looks awesome. Secondly, this tutorial explains why it is easy to make cutout T-shirts. If you are new to this, you may think you need to cut sizable gaps to make a pattern like this, but you don’t—you just have to cut parallel lines, and the material rolls when you pull on the stripes, leaving the gaps naturally.
The other thing I appreciate about this tutorial is that it points out that you can wear a tee like this over top of a contrasting tank top. This is a good move if you don’t want to wear it over a bra, but aren’t built to run around braless.
20. Make a cute cutout dress for summer.
Have a longer T-shirt that you want to modify? Why not turn it into a fun summery dress? This design is cute and flirty and also keeps you cool on hot days. Check out the video tutorial to find out how to make your own step-by-step.
21. Convert a baggy T-shirt into a fitted tee without sewing.
Okay, so this one is pure genius. Have a baggy T-shirt you want to convert into a fitted tee—maybe even a men’s shirt which doesn’t fit you at all? Turn it inside out, cut parallel fringes along the side (click on the link below to see the tutorial and you’ll see what I mean), tie the ends together, and turn it back the right way. Problem solved … mind blown!
22. Turn your T-shirt into a cute halter top.
You wouldn’t think turning a T-shirt into a halter top would be all that easy, but you’d be wrong. This tutorial only has a few quick steps to it, and the result looks gorgeous!
23. Make a cute, simple dress out of a long tee.
You can easily tell that this dress is a modified T-shirt, but that doesn’t make it any less adorable—it just makes it more so! This looks like a fun, fast, easy project to turn an oversized tee into something stunningly chic!