upcycledtshirtcoverup thumb1

Hootie Hoo summer is here!  Okay well, technically spring is here.  But if the weather is warm enough to swim it is summer enough for me! And all last week, which was my kid’s first official week of summer break, was spent in the pool.  In fact, I counted.  We had 28 people over last week (all on different days) to take advantage of our pool.

I am a lover of upcycled tee-shirts.  I have a truckload of upcycled t-shirt ideas (see the end of the post for links). Now before you anti-sewing people run away I have good news.  THIS IS A NO SEW!  And the best part is the kids (ages 5 and up) can help with this one.

tee shirt fringe shirt


T-shirt one size bigger than normal

Spray bottle


Sticko Large Scrapbook Letters or vinyl letters cut with a digital cutting machine

Rotary Cutter

Quilting ruler

Disappearing Ink Marking Pen

Quilting Mat

1.  Start by cutting from the bottom of the armpit of the pre-washed tee shirt up to the shoulder leaving about 3” at the top for the tank.  I fold the shirt in half and cut both sides at the same time with my rotary cutter and mat.  However, you could easily use scissors.

2.  With the sleeves you just removed cut two 1” strips.  Pull them to make them tee shirt strings.

upcycled tee shirt fringe

3.  Tie them around the shoulder in a bow.  I double knotted mine so I knew they wouldn’t come undone.

tee shirt fringe swimsuit cover up

4.  Find a piece of cardboard to put in between the layers of your t-shirt to avoid bleed through.  Fill a spray bottle with bleach.

suns out fringe tshirt

5. Take your Sticko scrapbook letters and adhere them to the front of the shirt with whatever saying you want.  Burnish them down well so there are no gaps.

tee shirt cover up
suns out fringe tshirt

6.  Lightly mist over the stickers with the bleach.  IMMEDIATELY remove the letters.  They are paper letters so they will stick terribly if the bleach soaks in (speaking from experience – DOH!).  You can also just take the bottom of the shirt and dip it in a bowl of bleach to get a little bit of an ombre look too.  I did that with the purple shirt.

7.  As the bleach dries you will be able to see the letters.

t shirt coverup

8.  To make the bottom fringe, use a disappearing ink pen and mark 3” from the bottom of the shirt all the way around.  Using your rotary cutter and ruler cut strips every 1/2”. Optional:  If you don’t like the look of the hem on it you can cut them hem off before you cut the fringe.  I did it both ways.

making fringe on a tshirt

9.  Stretch the fringe and tie a knot at the bottom of each one.  This will give it some weight to hang nicely.

fringe tee shirt

10.  Wash your shirt by itself to get out all the bleach.  Dry.

This is such a cute bathing suit cover-up. If you want to skip the letters you can just have fun with a spray bottle and bleach or dip bleaching too.

fringe t-shirt coverup

Obviously the fringe begs for the owner to twirl a time or two.

purple cover up

So enjoy the sun… and don’t forget to bust out some t-shirts and bleach, these little shirts are addictive.

fringe shirt

Love upcycling t-shirts?  Then you have to click on the pictures below to see more!

Upcycled tshirt shorts
personalized sweatshirt

Similar Posts


  1. Such a cute idea! The bleach tip is so clever and recycling these t-shirts that way… I could never say they aren’t store bought. Thank you for this idea. Love your posts!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *