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How to Customize Shirts & Hoodies

Updated March 23, 2017

Chances are you have old hoodies or T-shirts in your closet. Instead of running out and buying new ones, transform the ones you have by customising them. All it takes to breathe new life into a favourite old hoodie or T-shirt is a quick trip to the craft store and a free afternoon. There are any number of inexpensive ways you can customise your old clothes to make them truly unique.

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Paint your T-shirt or hoodie. Use fabric paint to apply the desired design to the fabric. Sketch out the design with a pencil prior to painting to avoid errors. Use the small paint brush to paint letters and numbers on your shirt. Splatter painting your shirt is another fun option. Dip your small paint brush into the fabric paint, getting a fair amount of paint on the tip of the brush. Pull back the tip of the paint brush and release the brush, flicking paint onto the shirt. Splatter bleach on the shirt and use the same process to create textural and visual interest.

Embellish your T-shirt or hoodie with buttons, ribbons, fancy trim or sequins. Use fabric glue to attach them along the neck line, hem and sleeves. Sew embellishments on the hoodie or T-shirt for a more permanent fix.

Cut your clothing and transform it into something else. Cut off the sleeves to make your T-shirt or hoodie into a tank top. Remove the hood on your hoodie for a crew neck sweatshirt. Create fringes by cutting vertical slits on the hem and sleeves of your T-shirt. Use your imagination to make other cuts that change the overall look of the hoodie or T-shirt.

Add fabric designs. Use a pencil to sketch designs on the fabric. Follow the directions on the package of fusible webbing to attach the webbing to the fabric. Cut out your designs with the webbing attached. Iron the cut out designs onto the T-shirt or hoodie according to directions. For an added flourish, use fabric paint to trace around the edges of your design to create a border.

Iron on designs. Use an iron and iron-on designs. Be sure to follow directions on how to apply the designs correctly.

Add a picture to your clothing. Using your computer, create a design, picture or symbol in a word processor. Print the design on the fusible printer paper. Follow the directions on the package when ironing the picture or design onto your clothing. Polish the design by outlining the picture with fabric paint.

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Things You'll Need

  • T-shirt or Hoodie
  • Fabric Paint
  • Small Paint Brush
  • Bleach
  • Embellishments
  • Fabric Glue
  • Scissors
  • Fabric
  • Fusible Webbing
  • Iron
  • Iron on Embellishments
  • Fusible Printer Paper
  • Computer with Printer
  • Pencil

About the Author

Jessica Furgerson has been researching and writing for over four years. Her notable publications include freelance writing for Picket Fence Publications. After completing her Bachelor of Arts in 2010 at Western Kentucky University, Furgerson is now working on her Ph.D. in rhetoric and communication studies as well as advanced certification in women and gender studies.

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