painted striped skirt

I am on a t-shirt kick this week. Did you see the scarf and dress I made for Kayla already? I thought it would be fun to paint stripes on an old t-shirt (that got accidentally bleached – DOH!) and turn it into a ruffled striped skirt for my daughter.

I did this project a couple of years ago and my daughter still wears the skirt. While is is almost ready to be passed down on the hand-me-down train I thought we could retake a look at it once more before that happens.


I am so impressed with the results. It is super comfy and a wonderful way to repurpose a shirt that was destined for the trash.

And my little sweetheart loved it.



  • Scotch Blue Edge Lock Tape
  • Old t-shirt
  • Martha Stewart Crafts Fabric medium and acrylic paint or fabric paint
  • Foam roller and tray
  • plastic to cover work surface
  • sewing machine
  • 1 1/2” non-roll elastic
  • scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • safety pin

Step-By-Step Instructions:

Step 1

Deconstruct the t-shirt. I wanted to keep the bottom edge of the t-shirt so that I didn’t have to create another hem.

The middle part of the shirt was for the top part of the skirt.

repurposed t-shirt skirt

Step 2

Cut open the t-shirt loops and start taping the fabric in place onto some plastic drop cloth to prep it for painting.

I did horizontal stripes for the top and diagonal ones for the bottom soon-to-be ruffle.

I just used the width of the tape as my guide for the width of my stripes.

painting stripes with tape

Step 3

Then I used a foam roller and some white acrylic paint mixed with Martha Stewart Craft Fabric medium and rolled two coats of paint on it.

The paint seeped in but I didn’t want stark lines so that was just fine with me.

painting stripes with painter's tape

Step 4

After it was completely dry I ironed it with a press cloth to set the paint and then I washed both pieces to take the stiffness out of it.

Then I trimmed the pieces to even out the edges.

Step 5

On the longest and widest stitch I ran the bottom piece through my sewing machine to create a small gathered ruffle.

I also cut my top piece to give it an angle and then sewed one side back together.

t-shirt ruffle

Step 6

I pinned the ruffle to the top piece of the skirt right sides together and sewed the ruffle on.

I then top stitched it so the ruffle would lay flat.

tshirt ruffle on skirt

Step 7

Then I pinned the sides of the skirt right sides together and sewed.

striped ruffled skirt

Step 8

Next I pressed the top of the skirt under 1/4” and then under 1 3/4” to create a casing for the elastic.

I sewed that leaving an opening for my elastic to slide in.

Using a safety pin, I slide my elastic through the casing and then sewed the elastic together.

Finally I sewed my casing shut.

elastic in skirt

striped girl skirt

recycled tshirt skirt

striped ruffle skirt

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  1. This is so cute. I would seriously wear it myself…you know, if it was a lot bigger! LOL I can’t believe the stripe was created using tape and paint. So creative.

  2. Thanks Gail, btw the I need some more of your content for RR. Do you mind sending a bunch of links again? I know you always have stuff for me to post.

  3. Long-time reader, first-time commenter here. I’m wondering how soft the fabric medium with the paint makes the fabric, because I know how stiff acrylic on fabric is. Will the fabric medium make the paint softer like the t-shirt cotton?

    I’m shopping around for my son’s Halloween costume and can’t find a red and white striped shirt in his size (they only exist for Where’s Waldo costumes for men, psh!). Thinking of doing this instead to guarantee the look and results I want.

    Btw, super cute skirt!!

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