3 Ways to Upcycle & Style Your Old T-Shirts (No Sewing Required)


The free tee from your first postpartum 5K. That soft oversized shirt that you could wear for days at a time. The basic tee with the cool logo. You’d love to wear them, but they just don’t fit right. Or maybe you’re bored and want a new style that costs nothing!

Let’s upcycle them – no sewing required. Here are three styles to get you started – you could always swap the necklines and customize as you want. 

The Swoop 

This is a weekend mood for sunny Saturdays at the farmer’s market or rainy Sundays with a book. 

These cuts take the boxing out of your tee to add some feminine curves. You decide how short to make the hem – a cute crop to wear with your favorite leggings, or just a minor change that keeps the length? 

Decide how wide to cute the neckline – are you ok with showing bra straps? Fold the tee in half vertically to find the middle for symmetrical cuts. I didn’t and regretted it! 

The Knot

You love a cute oversized tee – but now you’d like it to be a little more interesting. Tied at your natural waist, it’ll give you more definition and an hour-glass illusion. If you’re not for drawing attention to your belly, then tie it to the side and lower on your hips.

I cut the sleeves off into a muscle tee. First, I cut a piece of cardboard into the L-shape I wanted, then used some sidewalk chalk to trace it (no joke!) You can cut the front and back at the same time, but then you could also make a deep swoop on the back if you wanted. 

Put on that cute bralette or a sports bra in a contrasting color and rock on, mama!

The Fringe

Add a little swing to your step! Maybe you’re just going to the Y, but you’re gonna look sassy doin’ it! 

You can change how deep you make the cuts on the sleeves – I did about ½ inch. Remember, you can cut more, you can’t cut less! 

I made 4-5 inch cuts along the bottom, cutting both front and back at the same time. Then I tied 2 straps together in a square knot (right over left, left over right.) If the material has some stretch to it, it’ll curl into real cute fringe. 

A V-neck can just be more fun and more flattering for different face shapes. Make it deeper or wider based on your preferences.

Which is your favorite? Have you already picked a tee-shirt to try this on?


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Jenna is a Kansas girl who married a Frenchman and lived her personal fairytale in Bordeaux, France for five years. In 2013, they moved back to raise their four children in Newton, where her husband is a firefighter. Jenna brought back a love of the French language, culture, cuisine and cheese. She never thought she would fall equally in love with Kansas and the Wichita area, where she feels so supported as a woman and mom. She is a WAHM, with a media startup.