DIY: Transforming a Plain T-shirt

by Maria

Plain T-shirts are very DIY ables. There are lots of possibilities to transform then into great tops using many different techniques and, of course, a wide range of results. Sales are a great opportunity to purchase bargains to customize, that's why I've bought two plain T-shirts in grey (both are completely the same) and I'm going to create two different "designs" with them, so you can see the potencial of a simple basic garment like this. As I love DIY projects using paint, the first one is going to have some. Let's start with it!


- T-shirt

- Cutter

- Template

- Acrylic paint

- Sponge

- Masking tape

- Thread and needle

- Fringes ribbon

Draw, copy or print your template on a card. I've used the message "FOLK". Use a cutter to empty the spaces that are going to be printed over the tee. Affix the template to the T-shirt with some tape, the small pieces that go inside the letters can be attached to the fabric just making a small ball of tape and adding it to the back of the card. Put card or paper inside the T-shirt to protect the back of it. Create the mixture of acrylic paint you want and dampen a sponge on it. Press all over the template covering the empty spaces. Add some white colour to the mix of paint and use your sponge again to cover the template, but this time do it softer and not covering all the surface, just to add some light to the letters. The result is better if you use just a few paint, because the more paint to use, the more rigid that will become the fabric. Let it dry and remove the template.

Now, create a triangle with masking tape (see the picture). First do the outer shape, and then the inside. My triangle is over the message, so the whole triangle is not going to be printed. Cover the parts of the triangle that are not going to be printed with more masking tape. With the sponge and more acrylic paint of a different colour, cover the inside of the triangle shape. Let it dry and remove the tape. To affix the paint to the fabric, iron it.

At the back of the top some fringes are going to be added. First of all, decide where you want to put them and mesure, if necessary, in case there has to be a symmetry. Affix it to the fabric with pins and sew it. I've done it by hand, but it can be done with the sewing machine or using fabric glue. And that's it. Your FOLK top is ready to wear!

The author may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.

Want more details about this and other fashion and style ideas? Check out more here!
Join the conversation