How to DIY a T Shirt Restyle

Upcycling and styling everything from kitchen items to garments is really trendy right now. So let’s talk about how to DIY a simple T shirt restyle.

Basically, all this means is we are taking a plain shirt and altering it so it looks different. But calling it a t shirt restyle sounds fancier. So we’ll go with that. It’s 2020 afterall.

And because it’s summer of 2020, everything is weird. None of us really knows what we are supposed to be doing, or who we can see or where we are allowed to go. In this confusing time, allow me to share a project that will take your mind off the weirdness for a bit. This project is also kid and teenager friendly, so you can make the shirts together as a fun project.

Smiling woman modeling a navy blue tshirt decorated with mulit color pom poms

This sweet pom pom decorated shirt looks like you’re wearing a Hawaiian Lei, only it doesn’t get in your way, and you’re safe to grill out without having your neckwear flopping around in the potato chip dip or catching fire as you flip the roasted veggies on the grill.

Nobody wants their cookout crashed by the fire department. They never send those hot guys from the calendar. Trust me. I know about this.

Here’s what you need to restyle a plain t-shirt.

  1. A plain t-shirt
  2. 2 or 3 different colors of yarn to make the pom poms
  3. Pom Pom makers in the small size
  4. Good scissors
  5. Glue Gun
  6. Extra Glue Sticks for the Glue Gun
  7. A basket or a big bowl or something to hold the pom poms until you are ready to assemble the shirt.

There is a ton of potential here to make this shirt your own. Michael’s and Joann’s have many colors in plain t-shirts, and there is an endless rainbow of color in the yarn section. I recommend staying in a worsted weight size for your yarn. That is a 4 weight yarn as indicated on the label. You do not need fancy yarn to make the pom poms.

Here’s how you make the shirt:

  1. Wash, dry and iron the tshirt.
  2. Make the Pom Poms.
  3. Glue them onto the shirt in a pattern you like. Lay the shirt out on a flat surface to apply the decoration.
  4. Let it hang for about 30 minutes so the glue dries.

That’s it. It’s seriously such an easy project for summer. And each person can make it just the way they want.

Lay out the pom poms on the shirt to get an idea of the pattern you want to make and then glue gun those colorful puffs to your shirt.

Easy Peasy. Done. And so fun!

If you want to pass the advanced class in Pom Pom decoration, tuck a plastic trash bag inside the shirt. Then when you lay it flat to glue gun on your poms, the glue hits the plastic and won’t stick the two sides of the shirt together. Very clever.

Smiling woman modeling a navy blue tshirt decorated with mulit color pom poms

So, I’ll be honest with you. This project took a lot of pom poms and I didn’t really know how I wanted to lay them out. I just made a ton of them in a bunch of colors using the XS and S sized Pom Pom makers from Clover. I love those. They make the nicest most even poms I know of. You can always do the old school trick of drawing out a form on cardboard, but I prefer using the pom pom makers. This tutorial is written to assume you have those. Because you need them. Not sure how to make pom poms? I gotcha covered. Check out this fun tutorial that even includes a video.

But that’s not the only cute thing going on with this clever shirt design. No Sir. Why pom one half of a shirt, when you can pom pom both sides?

Yup. This shirt can be made to have pom poms on the front and back. You could put them on the hem. Or on the sleeves. Or fill the the top yoke with them. Or even pom the whole dang shirt. Maybe we can do one like that this winter. Why not? It’s an inexpensive shirt and some pom poms. Live a little!

What are some other things you can do with this t-shirt restyle? Well here are a few!

  1. Wear on the family outing to get ice cream on the Boardwalk.
  2. Take cute family pictures in the sand or on the pier. Make matching shirts for your kids to wear in the family pictures this year. This would also work on a baby’s onsie.
  3. Jazz up those boring boring boring same as it ever was Family Reunion Shirts.
  4. Make up a couple of these and wear them to work. How cute would this be for a teacher? Or Massage Therapist? I want a massage from the lady who wears pom poms on her shirt. Don’t you?

Wow. Those are great ideas! Drop me a note and let me know how you are going to style and wear YOUR t-shirt restyle, because I just know you’re going to make one for yourself! And then you’ll feel like this…..

Thanks for stopping by today! I hope you love this project as much as I do, and that you’ll make it and share the pictures with me. If you haven’t already, I’d like to invite you to sign up for my email list. It’s a great way for us to stay in touch! Drop your name and address in the box below!

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A signature that reads with love and cupcake, Patty. My signoff for every blog post. A script font with an illustration of a cupcake is included.

smiling woman in a sewing room. a portrait of the author, Pattymac

Hi! I’m Pattymac

Sewist, Maker, Baker

I love figuring out new ways to use pom poms, where I can stash more fabric, and I’m always wondering what to bake next…chocolate or lemon? When not dreaming up new things to make (or bake), I love riding my beach cruiser on the Boardwalk, enjoying classic movies, and planting new things in my tiny but mighty container garden.

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