Cut up T-shirts can be trendy and hip, as long as you do it with some finesse in mind. Otherwise you may end up looking like a flashback to that hit 1980s dancing flick or you fell into a paper shredder. You can cut up T-shirts in a stylish and funky way with a few simple steps.

Things You'll Need

Start with a T-shirt that’s already been washed and dried so it’s already done its shrinking.

Try on the T-shirt to figure out what parts need chopping. For cropping and necklines, it’s highly recommended to note the length you want with chalk.

Take off the T-shirt, grab your scissors and go, following your chalk lines and starting at the neckline.

Go for the sleeves. Cutting off the sleeves entirely will make a nice muscle man, or woman, effect, while rounding them will give the shirt a cutesy look.

Finish it off by cropping the bottom and any other areas you wish to chop.


  • If you are going for that shredded T-shirt look, it’s best again to sketch out what pieces you want cut so they are evenly placed and not too deep.

  • Be frugal. You can always cut more if it’s not short enough, but you can’t really glue pieces back on.

  • Use serrated scissors for a primitive effect.

  • Create fringe by cutting long, vertical pieces at the shirt’s edges and then adorning with beads.

  • If you become unsure during any of the chopping, try on the T-shirt again to see what needs further adjusting.