Mirror/Mirror Episodes

Makeover an Old T-Shirt

Don't even think about throwing away your stack of wornout tees! Upcycle what you already have into something super fab.

Make a vest, a tank, a variety of accessories and more with a TIY (T-Shirt It Yourself) tutorial from lifestyle expert Kristen Hilyard:


  • Spread an old t-shirt flat on a table
  • To create a pattern on top with a thick marker, draw across the collar, along the armpits, down the side and across the bottom
  • Grab your (sharp) scissors and start cutting along your pattern
  • When you're finished, it's all about how you put it on -- put both arms through the circle and let it fall like a vest!
  • Lay your t-shirt flat on a table
  • Grab a marker and create a one-inch border around the collar, pressing hard with your marker so it bleeds through to the other side
  • Draw another dotted line about one inch from the bottom hem of the shirt
  • Then draw another dotted line about an inch above that line
  • Flip the shirt over and follow the same pattern on the sleeves
  • Create a V along the neckline
  • Cut out your pattern
  • To make the racerback part, take the extra piece that you cut from the bottom and stretch it out
  • Cut it open to make one long strip
  • Gather the sleeves about two inches from the top and knot the strip around the sleeves
  • Then wrap the strip around and around, pulling tight and knotting it at the end
  • Fold a t-shirt in half, then quarters, then eighths
  • Cut one inch wide strips
  • Snip the pieces into long strips and pull to stretch out
  • Next, do a five strand braid...
  • Gather the ends of five stands together, knot them, and lay the strands out straight on the table
  • Starting at the right, take the end stand and cross it over the one next to it
  • Then take the middle strand and cross it over the one next to it in the same direction
  • Take the leftover stand and cross it over the stand next to it heading back in the other direction
  • Keep crossing the strands the same way, back and forth
  • Knot both ends and make a bracelet or necklace or headband!
  • On a dark t-shirt, freehand a quote with a bleach pen. Or, create a pattern:
  • Cut a piece of contact paper and lie it flat on a cutting board, sticky-side down
  • Draw a pattern with a ruler (or a design, like a sailboat)
  • Cut out the pattern with an X-Acto knife
  • Next, peel off the paper from the sticky side, and adhere the contact paper directly onto your t-shirt
  • Put a piece of cardboard or something thick inbetween the front and back of the shirt so the bleach won't bleed through
  • Bleach the new pattern onto the shirt, and let it set
  • Take a wet rag and wipe off the excess bleach
  • Peel off the contact paper, and you have a new shirt!
  • Grab a white t-shirt
  • Write a quote or song lyrics on the shirt with gel glue (which you can see as you write)
  • While the glue dries on your t-shirt, get a bucket full of water and add a capful of fabric dye
  • Mix the water and dye
  • Dunk the t-shirt, and let it sit for atleast five minutes
  • Remove the shirt from the dye, wring it out, and lie it on an old towel
  • When the dye air-dries, wash the shirt in cold water, and then dry in the dryer

For more information:
Kristen Hilyard, lifestyle expert

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