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20 DIY T-Shirt Cutting Ideas

By Elisha Baba


Updated on

If you have an old shirt in your closet that you no longer wear, repurposing the garment is a really cheap and fun way to spice up your wardrobe. It’s so easy to take a t-shirt that you no longer love and make it into a fashionable and unique new shirt, simply by cutting the t-shirt.

t-shirt cutting

There are many different ways you can transform an old shirt into a completely different aesthetic that is not only original but also on-trend. This list of DIY t-shirt cutting ideas will turn that old t-shirt smushed in the back of your drawer into a stylish shirt that you will want to wear all of the time.

Ingenious 20 DIY T-Shirt Cutting Ideas

1. DIY Cut Off Tank

I’m kicking off this list with a really easy DIY t-shirt idea from Beauty Guide 101. If you have an old baggy t-shirt that you no longer wear, you could simply cut off the sleeves to make the shirt into a muscle tank top. Wear one of these DIY tanks over a sports bra and head to the gym, or layer a bralette underneath for a cute and feminine flair to the look.

2. Bow Back T-shirt

All Day Chic gives us this unique DIY t-shirt idea that is not only fun to create, but the design is pretty too! While most of the other projects on this list don’t require sewing, this is a more intricate craft that involves some sewing skills to complete. But the extra effort put into this design will be well worth it when you flaunt your new piece out and about.

3. Tree Silhouette Tee

This tree silhouette from Buzzfeed is a fairly simple project for nature lovers. Simply draw the tree on the tee using some chalk and then cut out the spaces around the tree to make a beautiful silhouette. What’s great about this design is that it gets those creative juices flowing.

So, you could really make this easy DIY your own by drawing something other than a tree. The important takeaway is that you create a design you’ll love.

4. DIY Butterfly Twist Tee

With this butterfly twist tee from Trash To Couture, you can take your basic t-shirt and make it fabulous! It’s a great DIY project if you’re looking to turn an old shirt into a new tee with a twist — quite literally.

The step-by-step tutorial makes creating this stylish look incredibly simple. This look would be great for a date night or a girls’ night out on the town.

5. DIY Festival Fringed Tank

One of my very favorite DIY projects on the list is this design from I Spy DIY. Not only is this a no-sew idea, making it super simple to create, but you’ll also have a fashionable shirt you’ll want to wear again and again.

It’s perfect if you’re looking to transform the average-looking shirt that you never wear into a hipster’s dream tee. Fringed tanks have totally made a comeback, and celebs have been spotted attending the hottest festivals in fringed tanks exactly like this one.

6. Halter Top DIY

Halter tops will never go out of style, so why not make your own? WobiSobi gives us an easy-to-follow step-by-step guide on how to create the perfect no-sew halter top.

You really can’t go wrong when you turn a worn-out tee into a timeless halter top. This DIY is super simple and will make even a novice crafter look like a high-end fashion designer.

7. Knotted T-Shirt DIY

This design from GrrFeisty is great because you can utilize a baggy tee or a slim-fitting tee — the choice is yours. You should choose the type of tee according to how loose you’d like the knotted t-shirt to be. While you begin creating this look by utilizing scissors, but you’ll quickly find out that a majority of the work is tying the different pieces together.

This design is super cute with a sports bra or bandeau underneath. You’ll be able to rock this tee to the gym or even to lunch with your friends — it just depends on whether you’d like to dress the top up or down.

8. Workout Shirt

While WobiSobi listed this DIY t-shirt idea as a workout shirt, this design could easily be worn for other occasions. The bow that is incorporated on the top of the garment really allows this piece to be as versatile as you’d like it to be. This design would be a great festive Choosing a shirt is especially important with this option because the fabric that you choose will really make all of the difference between a workout shirt and a trendy top.

9. No-Sew T-Shirt DIY

Are you looking for a quick DIY Project? This ten-minute DIY project from WobiSobi will transform the average t-shirt into an alternative look. Only chalk and scissors are necessary to create this edgy design. Why not take a t-shirt that you never wear and turn it into something you can’t stop wearing?

10. DIY T-Shirt Dress

This t-shirt dress from Trash to Couture is perfect if you have an oversized shirt lying around. If you’re living with a dad or significant other that has an XL t-shirt that they never wear, you can transform it into this adorable haltered t-shirt dress that even they will love.

It’s important to note that this design doesn’t include the steps to actually tie dye the garment, so you will have to do that part of the craft yourself if you’d like your results to look exactly like the photo shown. If you choose not to tie dye the shirt, you’ll still get a really nice haltered t-shirt dress out of this design.

11. DIY Slashed T-Shirt

Love Maegan gives us this quick and easy DIY slashed t-shirt tutorial that only takes five minutes to create. This design immediately takes an average-looking shirt and transforms it into a piece that everyone will be commenting on.

When they ask you where you got it, you get to tell them you made it yourself. Trust me, that’s a great feeling.

12. Wrap Crop Top DIY

This modern wrap crop top from The Felted Fox is absolutely stunning. The shirt used in this tutorial was actually thrifted in a second-hand store.

Who’s stopping you from setting out to find the perfect thrifted shirt to utilize for any of these DIY t-shirt ideas? Any type of t-shirt could be applied to these designs, so let your creativity fly.

13. Shredded Tee

This shredded tee design from Gina Michele is a bit more time consuming than the other options, but it’s incredibly easy. Just grab an oversized shirt, cut the hems at the bottom of each sleeve, and begin to meticulously pick at the horizontal threads with your fingers.

Although this design may take a bit of time, you could follow the step-by-step guide while watching your favorite TV show. This design takes more thinking than doing.

14. Cute and Sporty Asymmetrical Top

If you have a plain shirt that is super comfortable but you’d love to add a little detail to it, this design from Love Maegan is perfect for you. This cut-out shirt is pretty simple to make, but adding the small details will really modify the look.

15. Cut Out Neckline Tee

This t-shirt design from Cut Out and Keep looks like something that would be displayed on a mannequin at the mall. You simply have to draw the geometric shapes on top of the garment before cutting out the shapes to create this stylish tee.

16. Cut Out Heart Tee

Macted created this design based on the idea that everyone needs a staple white tee in their closet. Why not take your white tee and create an essential piece that is not only adorable but also homemade? This cutout heart tee is super simple and doesn’t involve any sewing, but it does involve a lot of compliments coming your way.

17. DIY Off the Shoulder Top

We all have that t-shirt that we love but we’ve worn one too many times. Why not revamp the garment and create a new timeless aesthetic with this design from Cut Out and Keep? This step-by-step tutorial will walk you through cutting off the top of the garment before placing elastic inside to keep the piece in place.

18. Summer Tank DIY

This cute design from Some Dreaming Tree is a great addition to your summer closet. It doesn’t involve any sewing, so you just need to cut and then tie. You could completely transform a shirt in a matter of a couple of minutes with this option.

19. DIY Open Back Button Down Cover Up Shirt for Summer

Open back shirts are super trendy right now, but sometimes they could get pretty expensive. So why not make your own? This unique DIY shirt design from Love Maegan looks extremely classy and even pricey. The best part about this project is you could create this look using materials you already have.

20. One Shoulder DIY Tee Shirt

WobiSobi gives us this innovative look that’s perfect for those of you who love a good ol’ fashion DIY project. This design allows you to get creative without having to turn on your sewing machine. The finished product is something you’d see on the front cover of a fashion magazine.

How to Cut Your T-Shirt Step by Step

Ready to make one of the above awesome shirts out of your old T-shirt? Before you dive in, take a look at the below steps to avoid mistakes that could ruin your shirt before you are able to make it into a new and beautiful creation!

Materials Needed for Oversized T-Shirt Cutting:

  • Scissors
  • An Old Shirt
  • A Pen
  • A ruler

1. Find a Flat Surface

First and foremost, before you begin cutting, you’ll want to have a surface to work on. A table is the most ideal. It is never recommended to cut a t-shirt on the carpet because you could end up cutting the carpet as you design your shirt!

2. Gather Your Materials

Gather all of the items listed above and bring them to your table. It is also a good idea to have the t-shirt design you want handy, so you can look back at it as you work. It is also a good idea to have more than one old shirt on hand, or even buy an extra because it may be difficult to get it perfect on the first try.

3. Draw Your Design

Before you even touch the scissors, you will want to draw the design you plan to cut on your shirt. This way you will have a guide as you cut. Free-hand cutting a shirt, especially on your first try, is not a good idea.

4. Cut the Collar First

All t-shirt designs are different, but if the one you have chosen entails cutting the collar, you will want to do this first. This way you can base the rest of the style on how the shirt fits you after the collar has been removed. If you are leaving the collar intact, skip this step.

5. Cut the Bottom Hem

After the collar, the next thing you will want to cut is the bottom hem. This is because, like the collar, this is an easy part of the shirt to cut and difficult to mess up the sizing. After you have cut both the collar and the hem (if your design calls for it) try on the shirt to be sure you are headed in the right direction.

6. Cut the Sides, Sleeves, and Back

And now is the time to finally make the cuts that will drastically change your shirt. Cut the sides and the back, following the design you have chosen. Whenever cutting any scrap of fabric from your t-shirt, don’t discard it as it may be required for your design later. And remember, there is no harm in going slow to make sure your t-shirt design comes out perfectly!

Sustainable fashion is such an important effort we all need to be making. The planet and your wallet will thank you if you decide to repurpose a garment instead of setting out to buy a new one. It’s also a really satisfying feeling to create a piece that you love and then wear it! DIY t-shirt cutting is super fun to make because they get your creative juices flowing while simultaneously revamping your closet. Whether you’ve never attempted a DIY project before or you’re a seasoned crafter, you’ll surely find an idea on this list that will become a staple in your closet.

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