DIY T-Shirt Upcycle You Can Actually Wear in Public

DIY Woven T-shirt

In the hierarchy of wardrobe staples, t-shirts are the Cinderellas of the fashion world—the clothes banished to the mundane tasks of life. We’re always looking for t-shirt alternatives and it’s newsworthy when a celeb wears a t-shirt on the red carpet. While there’s no denying that t-shirts are casual and comfortable, there are creative ways to wear them other than just trips to the grocery store or yoga class.

I’ve always had a thing for recycling my t-shirts—from t-shirt flower dresses to a t-shirt quilt, t-shirt material is versatile and fun for DIY projects. I first saw the idea on how to make a woven t-shirt over on Trash to Couture where Laura had the brilliant idea to make her shirt on a 14-hour road trip. With some scissors and two old t-shirts, you can upcycle a boring old t-shirt into something you want to wear in public.

How to make the woven t-shirt upcycle:

How to make the woven t-shirt upcycle:

Start your project by cutting off the top of the t-shirt.


For this project, you need two t-shirts in contrasting colors, scissors, and a needle with thread. Start your project by cutting off the top of the t-shirt. Then you can mark off the lines to weave in the strips of your other t-shirt. Cut little holes along those lines. (I would cut tiny holes first, t-shirts stretch a lot and you’d be surprised by how little your holes actually need to be to weave the t-shirt strips.) After you’ve cut the holes for weaving, cut your contrasting t-shirt into long half-inch strips.

DIY T-Shirt Upcycle You Can Actually Wear in Public

Take your long strips of t-shirt and stitch the end into one of the first holes you cut along your weaving line. Then just start weaving the t-shirt through the holes. I found that threading the end of the t-shirt strip into a large needle made things go really fast for the project.

close-up of the finished weaving

A close-up of the finished weaving.


Final outfit with DIY t-shirt

Pair your finished shirt with a floral skirt, a belt, and some wedges and your t-shirt goes from the dowdy spinster sister of your wardrobe to the belle of the ball! Just be sure to keep those “I’m with Stupid” t-shirts in the back of the closet. There’s no faster way to go from a princess to a pumpkin than wearing a t-shirt with a slogan.