Look Like a Million Bucks With These 10 Ways to Upcycle T-Shirts

by BlueprintDIY
4 Materials
1 Hour

I love a good T-shirt and there’s nothing better than taking one and making it look like something you spent a lot of money on! Upcycling is the name of the game! Follow my tutorial and learn 10 different ways you can transform your T-shirts to make them look expensive. These tips and tricks are easy to follow and will have you wearing stylish, fashion-forward pieces that could have cost a pretty penny but didn’t! Follow my step-by-step guide and get started on learning 10 different ways to upcycle your Ts!

Tools and Materials:

  • T-shirts
  • Sewing Machine
  • Scissors
  • Bleach

Check out the video to see the full list of tools and materials I used for each project

Twist the T-shirt
Change the color

I started this fun color change up, by twisting the T-shirt with a fork. 

Bleach-dye the shirt

I mixed together 1.5 cups of water and 1.5 cups of bleach and poured it over my twisted T. This bleach tie-dye is a super fun way to change the color of your clothes! I rinsed the T-shirt, left it to dry and the results are just amazing.

Upcycle old T-shirts

I absolutely love this monochromatic look! I decided to crop the top to add a little something extra. Ths color change is just amazing! You can make it really subtle or bold but either way, it’s gorgeous! 

Cut the shirt
Create Layers

For this next T-shirt upcycle I used nothing but scissors to add amazing layers to this top. I had an oversized T that was ready for a makeover and I started by cutting off the top of the shirt. 

Tie strips

I created these little strips of fabric on the side and tied them together

Slit the T

I then made little slits in the middle of the shirt to thread my ties through.

How to upcycle a T-shirt

I pulled the shirt up with the ties and was left with this stunning, layered shirt. This is a complete no-sew shirt and looks totally high fashion. 

Add ruffles

To create this awesome magenta tank top I repeated the same steps but this time I added another layer to give more of a ruffled effect. 

Make shoulder pads
Add dramatic shoulders

Shoulder pad Ts are so popular right now! I found two awesome ways to make these Ts. The first was a no-sew which was so easy and fun to make! The second was a very simple hand sewed T. 

Make your own pads

I even made my own shoulder pads to create this fashion-forward look!

Ways to upcycle a T-shirt

These padded T-shirts are just too good for words! You can dress them up or down and style them in so many different ways. 

Add puffy sleeves
Add puffy sleeves

For this next upcycle I used two different Ts to create an incredible puffy-sleeved T-shirt. I used one for the sleeves and one for the body. 

Attach the sleeves

Puffy sleeves are so in right now! I love how they take a plain T from simple to a little bit extra! 

Connect two shirts
Mix it up

For this next look, I wanted to mix it up! I looked at mixing T-shirts and materials to give the upcycled shirt a little more wow factor. I joined two Ts together in the middle and couldn’t believe the end results! 

Create a two-toned T

I am obsessed with this look and the effect that it has. It is definitely an upcycle that makes a fashion statement! 

Add a mesh back
Add details

For this T-shirt transformation, I cut out the back of a T and added mesh from an old football shirt. I then added straps as an amazing detail on the back.

Add details

 The best thing about upcycling is that all the details are in your hands! Add as many or as little as you want. 

Add denim
Add denim

If you have any extra denim lying around, which I always do, this upcycle is for you! Add some denim pieces onto your T-shirt and make it into a corset. 

How to upcycle old T-shirts

This is an amazing upcycle! Adding this denim can make your T, look super high fashion! 

Cut the T-shirt
Change it up

For this look, I decided to completely change things up! To make this tie-dye T look like an expensive piece I chopped and changed until I had exactly what I had envisioned. 

Make a jumpsuit

I upcycled an oversized T into an incredible jumpsuit which is just perfect for the summer! 

Upcycle T-shirts
Add all the elements

Lastly, I made one giant upcycle creating a new, expensive-looking shirt, using all the elements I had in my other upcycles. 

I love how easy it is to make something so simple look like an expensive clothing item! Which upcycle is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below! 

Suggested materials:
  • T-shirts
  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors
See all materials

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Join the conversation
  • Mag13017766 Mag13017766 on Oct 31, 2020

    This is amazing! I can’t wait to try some of these...or my own. I have a bunch of old t-shirts stashed. Thank you for the inspiration!

  • FloEti FloEti on Oct 31, 2020

    Stay elegant and creative!

    Much thanks for the inspiration.

    Continued Blessings and successes,