8 Ways to Refresh That T-Shirt You Sorta Like But Never Wear


It's a given: 88 percent of T-shirts end up in the back of your closet. But before you Marie Kondo said closet, bring those shirts to the forefront. These upcycle projects are simple to make and will refresh your garments so they're oh-so-ready to wear again.

1. Go Sheer for Summer

Turn that old T-shirt into a fab summer top with a sheer back panel. It’s cute, it’s flowy and (best part) you can do it in three steps!

You know that old T-shirt that's tucked away in the back of your closet? The one you never wear, but for some reason can't get rid of? Grab it and shake off those moth balls — it's time to give it new life! In this upcycle, you'll transform that plain T into a fabulous summer top by adding a sheer back panel. (You could also use a colored fabric that contrasts well with your shirt). Best part: You'll be done in three (count 'em — three!) easy steps.

2. Stitch It By Hand

Fact: everything gets better with a hit of embroidery. Draw your design with a fabric pen, map out your embroidery stitches and thread up! Pro tip: T-shirts can be a bit tricky to work with thanks to their stretch, so stabilizers are a must.

3. Add a Block of Color

This project is all. about. color. Create an eye-catching shirt by swapping half the Tee for fabric that makes it pop. On top of being so fashionable, it's a great way to fix any pesky holes near your hem.

It happens: Sometimes your favorite T-shirt gets a hole near the hem. But that doesn't mean you have to throw it away! This project takes care of that pesky tear while giving your garment a fresh new look.

4. Make a Statement (Necklace)

Bold, chunky necklaces are always in style, and it's never been easier to turn that old top into your next go-to accessory. All you need is a rotary cutter, ribbon and some hot glue!

Everybody's got that drawer full of old t-shirts that never see the light of day. But we found a fun and fashionable way to give them a new life! Here's how we turned a boring old T-shirt into a show-stopping statement necklace.

5. Stamp It Up

Turn your T-shirt from drab to fab with a fun DIY stamp. We used rubber bands to make a rainbow pattern, but you can create any pattern you want by cutting a design into an eraser .

We all have "blah" T-shirts that wind up rumpled and never worn. So we're on a mission to rescue those tees from the back of the closet — all it takes is punch of color! This rainbow cutie is definitely a hit with kids, but we invite grownups to get in on the action, too. Why not?

6. Bust Out Your Embroidery Machine

When it comes to putting a new spin on a T-shirt, machine embroidery gives you soooo many options. Keep it simple with a monogram, or go all-out and add decorative appliqué around the neckline.

7. Wear Your Heart on Your Shirt

There are so many reasons to love this project: it's adorable for your kiddo, it's easy to do in an afternoon and you get to upcycle two T-shirts. Get a crash course in making T-shirt yarn , then show off your new skill!

If you've got two tees and a pair of scissors, you're less than an hour away from this adorable shirt. This hand-stitched cutie is great for kids (especially 'cause they can totally help make it). But you might just want one for yourself, too.

8. Make the Perfect Pocket

This butterfly pocket is so fly, and creating it is crazy quick. Consider it your go-to whenever there are kids around whose wardrobes need some revamping. ( Birthday party project, anyone?)

Do you have old T-shirts you never wear lying around your house? Us, too. We’re constantly looking for new ideas on how to revamp these fabrics, and what better way to make something old look prettier than by adding butterflies? This project is perfect for you and your kiddo, too!

Start a free trial for unlimited access to every project, pattern, recipe and tutorial on Bluprint.
Next for You
When actress, singer and sewist Marcy Harriell spots an item on the rack, she sees potential. Because in her hands, so-so pieces get turned into imaginative, head-turning fashion statements. This original Bluprint series follows Marcy as she brings wild creativity and a funky sense of style to outfits she refashions for her daily adventures.
Marcy Harriell
Marcy Harriell
Couples who sew together, stay together! In this Bluprint original series, sewing sweethearts Mimi G and Norris Dánta Ford work in friendly competition to create two stylish outfits, one for him and one for her, from the same fabric. See their design process in action as they take their projects from start to finish.
Mimi G &  Norris Dánta Ford
Mimi G & Norris Dánta Ford
Too much is never enough for actress, singer, dancer and expert sewist Marcy Harriell. From a jazzy jean jacket to a feathered mini, watch her transform old clothes into next-level glam ... all in a day's work.
Marcy Harriell
Marcy Harriell
Now Reading
8 Ways to Refresh That T-Shirt You Sorta Like But Never Wear