Upcycled Painted T-Shirt 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

1.  I deconstructed my 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

2.  Then I cut open the t-shirt loops and started taping my 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

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

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.

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

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

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

striped ruffled skirt

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. You have a beautiful model with a very cute skirt.

  2. I love this! It’s amazing what you can do with a T-shirt!

  3. Carrie Eastman says:

    thats wicked GOOD!!!

  4. Brilliant! You’d never know the skirt was once a shirt.

  5. I would never have known you painted those stripes! She is just precious, Beckie. 🙂

  6. 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.

  7. It turned out super cute!


  8. This is adorable! It is going in my T-shirt craft roundup!

  9. super job Beckie! what a cutie your daughter is! 🙂

    • 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.

  10. The skirt is adorable, but I’m afraid the model stole the show! 🙂

  11. Love it!!!

  12. You couldn’t ask for anything more perfect! Looks fabulous, great tute. 🙂

  13. 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!!

  14. chantal ronchetto says:

    I wish I had the talent and time. Beautiful!

  15. The skirt is ok (wink,wink) but the modelo is just too stinkin’ cute!!


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