5 Easy DIY Ideas to Update a Plain Old T-Shirt

A t-shirt is one of the very basic clothing items that everyone owns and because it is basic, you tend to end up having one too many after some time. Old t-shirts that are no longer in use can take up so much closet space that can get you into thinking of throwing them away or using them as rags though they’re still in great condition. If you have a bunch of plain old t-shirts you no longer use, why not breathe new life into them by DIYing them? Here are 5 easy DIY ideas to update a plain old t-shirt so you can start using them again.

  • Do something different with the sleeves – the sleeves are a small part of the shirt but changing it up and doing something different with it can actually make your shirt look better and more fun. You can cut up the sleeve from an old shirt and replace it with a new sleeve made out of a different fabric with a different style (which requires basic sewing skills) or you can also just embellish the sleeves (either sew or glue on embellishments) to make it look different and unique from the rest of the shirt. Cut out sleeves are great, too, and they lend a subtle sexy vibe to your outfit.

sleeve sleeve DIY

  • Add a pocket – a pocket on a shirt? That sure sounds crazy. But, sometimes, crazy is cool. Plain t-shirts are just too mainstream so if you want to perk up an old shirt without doing much, a small, out-of-nowhere pocket is sure to do the trick. Just cut out a small patch of fabric in the shape of a pocket and attach it to yout shirt. The good thing about this DIY idea is that you can either sew it (if you know how to) or glue it on if you lack sewing skills. It’s win-win situation for anyone who like something quirky and quick.

pocket DIY


  • Turn it into a crop top – crop tops are one of the hottest trends these days and while you can conveniently get them at any mall, boutique or any fashion outlet (though sometimes with a hefty price tag), you can also make one on your own with just an old shirt and a good pair of scissors. You may have to use a guide like a cardboard or something if your cutting skills aren’t up to par

crop top crop top outfit

  • Do a tie-dye design on it – tie-dyeing is one of the simplest ways for you to turn a plain old shirt into a colorful new one. You can use 1 dye color for a simple design or more if you want it really bright and abstract (though the process may take longer). Just gather very small parts of your shirt in random areas and tie them with a string then dip it in dye and let dry. Repeat this with every color you choose to use then dry off and wash before use.

tie dye shirt tie dye

  • Write on it – the best way to personalize an old white shirt or any light colored shirt the exact way you want it is to write on it. Write your name, write a word that you really like or a phrase at that, draw something fun, cute and quirky, just scribble and doodle whatever you want. Use a fabric marker so that the ink doesn’t come off in the wash but if you can’t find one, you can also use a sharpie and set it with hairspray.

print printed shirt