Four DIY Crop Top Ideas

Jess Dang
by Jess Dang
8 Materials
30 Minutes

Give that boring white t-shirt a bit of pizzazz. Today, I’m going to show you how to turn a plain t-shirt into four different cool and interesting styles of crop tops. All these DIY crop top tutorials are easy, good for beginners, and don’t take more than thirty minutes to complete. Let’s get started!

Tools and materials:

  • White t-shirts
  • Scissors
  • Seam ripper
  • Elastic band
  • Pins
  • Fabric chalk
  • Measuring tape
  • Sewing machine

Elastic hem crop top

Sew a DIY crop top

Measure, mark, and cut

Follow the instructions in the video from 2:30-3:07 for how to measure, mark, and cut the shirt for this DIY 

Make a DIY crop top


Turn both the shirt and the strip of fabric so the seams are on the outside. Fold the strip in half lengthwise, and pin the raw edge of the strip to the bottom edge of the shirt.

How to sew a DIY crop top


Sew the strip onto the shirt, leaving a gap in the stitching near one side seam so you can insert the elastic. 

How to make a DIY crop top

Insert elastic

Cut a piece of elastic that is about 4 centimeters (1.5 inches) smaller than the circumference of your waist. Attach a safety pin to one end of the elastic, and feed it into the gap, guiding the pin around the waistband until it comes through the gap.

Basic DIY crop top


Sew the ends of the elastic together, and close up the gap left in the stitching. 

DIY crop top tutorial

Hem the sleeves

To finish, I folded the edges of the sleeves up twice and sewed a short seam at the top and bottom of the sleeves to hold the folds in place. 

Easy DIY crop top

Final transformation!

Ruffle crop top

Beginner DIY crop top

Measure, mark, and cut

Measure from your shoulder to under your breast. Measure the same length from the shoulder of the shirt down, and mark that point with a straight line across the shirt. Then cut along the line.

Rip the seam

Use a seam ripper to unstitch the hem on the offcut piece of the shirt.

Measure, mark, and cut

Measure the full length of the fabric once the seam has been opened. Divide that number by two and mark that point on the fabric with a straight line across. Then cut.


Cut one side seam off each piece of fabric.

Pin and sew

Pin and sew the two strips of fabric together so they create one large circle.

Pin and sew

Fold one of the raw edges of the fabric circle twice inward and pin it in place. Then sew it down. 


Run the other edge of the fabric through the sewing machine with a straight wide stitch, making sure not to backstitch at the beginning or end. Then pull the threads at the end to gather the fabric into a ruffle. The ruffled edge should be the same length as the bottom edge of the shirt.

Pin and sew

With right sides together, pin and sew the ruffle to the bottom of the shirt.

Super cute final result!

Twisted crop top


Mark a straight line down the center of the shirt. 

Measure from your neck to the middle of your chest, and then measure and mark that length on the center line, starting from the neckline of the shirt.


Cut along the center line, starting from the bottom hem, to the point you just marked.

Rip the seams

With a seam ripper, unstitch the side seams up to the same height as the cut in the center of the shirt.


Fold each flap lengthwise, wrong sides together, and pin each flap at the corner.


Twist the two flaps around each other twice. The raw edges of the flaps should be facing towards the top of the shirt.

Pin, sew, and cut

Pin the flaps to the raw edge of the shirt, right sides together, and sew. Cut off any excess fabric from the ends of the flaps, if necessary.

Pin and mark

Pin the sides of the flaps to the sides of the shirt, and mark the bottom corner of each seam with fabric chalk.


Remove the pins, and connect the marks you just made with a straight line. Then draw a parallel line 2 centimeters (¾ of an inch) below the first.


Cut the shirt across the lower line.

Pin and sew

Fold in and pin the bottom of the shirt 2 centimeters (¾ of an inch), and then sew.


Sew down the side seams.

Cute and sexy!

Ruffle sleeve crop top

If you want to see this last one you'll have to check out my video at the top of this post. Watch from 12:00-14:54 to learn how to make a ruffle sleeve crop top.

Which of these easy DIY crop tops is your favorite?


Suggested materials:
  • White t-shirts
  • Scissors
  • Seam ripper
See all materials

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