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Give Your Closet a Glow Up With These Artsy Hacks

It’s like getting new clothes, but with more creativity, and less shopping.

Sarah Burns · 3 months ago

  • art

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Down about hand-me-downs? Or maybe your second-hand clothes have turned into third-or-fourth-hand clothes and could use some TLC. You don’t really need a reason to add new looks to your wardrobe, but you might as well start with the ones that need the most love.

To Dye For

Woman tie dying


Tie-dye is all the rage right now, and it's never been easier with all-in-one kits like this one by Tulip. Everything you need to get those classic swirls is included, you just need to decide what to dye!

Head to Well And Good for super easy-to-follow steps, and a handy fabric cheat sheet so help guide you to the right dye for your fabric. Pro tip: lotion up your hands before putting on your gloves for super soft hands while you’re modeling your snazzy new shirt.

A Day At The Bleach

Bleach Shirt Art

A Beautiful Mess

Traditional bleaching can be dangerous and chemically, but bleach pens make it super easy to work magic on dark colors — even denim! Just draw out your design, rinse, wash, and dry. Check out this stunning but simple tutorial by A Beautiful Mess for a step-by-step guide with helpful hints along the way.

Stamped for Success

Stamping Fabric


Head to your favorite local craft store for some fabric ink and pick out some stamps you like. This is a fun way to create a repeating pattern on fabric, and is a great alternative to screen printing for shapely shoes or baseball caps. Sew Guide breaks down the steps that require no drawing, cutting, or painting skills — freeing you up to get right into leaving your mark.

Organize a Cover-Up

No Sew Patch Technique

House of Hepworths

Have a tiny tear that’s here to stay? A stubborn stain that won’t go away? Sewing isn't the only way to mend a hole; patch it up! House of Hepworths can show you how to keep your jeans fashionably torn and NOT belongs-in-the-trash tattered with an ingenious clothing repair hack that takes minutes. 

Or Just Fake a Cover-Up

No Sew Heart Elbow-Patches

A Night Owl

A Night Owl’s no-sew method will make you an official patch protege. And remember, you don’t need to have a hole to have a patch! DIY patches can add a lot of character to clothes that used to spend most of their time in the back of the closet. When they’re adorned with something you made, you'll wear them all the time.

Tailoring Isn’t Hard Hard as It Seams

Crew to V-neck

The Renegade Seamstress

In the end, it doesn’t matter how you cut it, dye it, or embellish it if you don’t like the way it fits. Dig out your thimbles and fabric tape and take some advice from The Renegade Seamstress. With the proper know-how, making alterations to your clothes won’t seem nearly as intimidating, and you’ll get so many more wears out of hand-me-downs! Seams can be let out or taken in, necklines refashioned, and hems adjusted. Make the clothes you feel good in feel good on you with a bit of tailoring.

A Cut Above The Rest

Cut Out Fairy Wings Shirt

Cut Out Fairy Wings Shirt

With a plain t-shirt and a pair of scissors, the fashion possibilities are only limited by your imagination. Spread your wings with our fairy wings template, which can transform all those old shirts in your Goodwill bag into new styles like magic.

Cut Out Fairy Wings Supplies

Cut Out Fairy Wings Supplies

What You'll Need

  • The printable Fairy Wings template (below)

  • A shirt you’re comfortable cutting up

  • Paper-cutting scissors

  • A piece of cardboard about the size of your shirt

  • A flat surface

  • Chalk

  • Tape

1. Without cutting out the whole wing shape, cut out all the white areas from the center of the template.

Wings Template Cut Out

Wings Template Cut Out

2. Lay your shirt front side down on the flat surface and insert the piece of cardboard.

Cardboard in Shirt

Shirt upside down; insert cardboard into shirt.

3. Position the template page at the center back of the shirt and tape down the corners.

Fairy Wings Template Taped to Shirt

Fairy Wings template taped to shirt.

4. Use your chalk to trace onto the shirt where you cut out the shapes.

Fairy Wings tracing outline

Trace outline with chalk.

5. Remove the template pieces. Cut out the shapes on the shirt.

Fairy Wings Cut Out

Fairy Wing shapes traced, and cut out.

6. Layer your new winged look with a different-colored shirt underneath to make your wings really pop!

Completed Fairy Wings

Completed Cut Out Fairy Wings Shirt.