Do It Yourself (DIY): Panda T-Shirt

January 7th, 2013 No Comments

Up-cycled Panda T-Shirt




So there is a new trend hitting the closet lately, and I have to admit it’s one trend I enjoy.  Although I’m sure this general concept has been around for a while.  Funny how some things hit the fad wave as if they are all some newfangled thing, when in reality it’s rather old.  *shrugs*  That’s life I guess.

In this case it’s t-shirt laddering, or weaving, depending on who you ask.  Personally the idea of recutting and redesigning your shirts like this has been around, at least in a basic form, for sometime.  Remember those shredded shirts from the grunge and heavy metal era?

This tutorial and upcycle will show you a design a recently did with one my shirts.  Try it for yourself!

What You’ll Need:

T-shirt, ruler, fabric pen/pencil, sharp scissors, safety pin/clip

Find a shirt that you don’t mind messing with.  It’s best to start with a shirt you won’t care if you screw up.  😉  Once you get the hang  of this you can apply the method to shirts you like.

This is the shirt I chose.


This is optional, but I do it with pretty much all of my shirts that I upcycle in this fashion.  Cut off the hem of the neck and sleeves.  I also cut off a portion of the bottom of the shirt to turn this into a belly shirt.

100_4932 100_4931

Once that is done lay the shirt on a flat surface with the front facing down.  Stare at it for a few minutes, or hours if you’re like me, and figure out what you want to do with it.  Once you know, take a ruler and fabric pen/pencil and make your lines to be cut later.


Make sure you have a pair of very sharp scissors.  Trust me it will make this go so much easier and faster. Now cut along those lines you’ve made.  Don’t worry if they are not perfect.  Perfection is over rated anyway.


Now that you have your cuts, take each strand and pull that sucker!  Don’t worry it’ll be okay.  T-shirts have this wonderful trick of curling when pulled and look somewhat like yarn afterwards.

100_4970 100_4971

Got all that pint up, childhood need to yank on things out of your system?  Good, because now the magic of design (insert fairy dust and twinkly lights here) is about to begin.

Take the top string and with two hands twist to make two loops.


Take the next string down and pull it through the two loops you made in the first string.


Now take the string you just pulled through and make two loops again.  Pull the third string through these two loops.


You will continue this pattern until you reach the last string at the bottom of the shirt.

It should look something like this.  Don’t worry if it doesn’t, that’s what makes this a unique item.  It can vary depending on the shirt and person doing it.  🙂


Now it’s a good idea to pin closed the last loops at the bottom.  If you don’t your work will come undone as you continue.  I used a cloths pin to keep them from undoing themselves.

Take the bottom string (not the loops, but the string between the loops) and place it over the next string up.  Take that second string and pull it through the first.

This is essentially what you’ve just done except you aren’t making loops with the string.  You are just pulling the straight strings through each other.

Take the second string and place it over the third string up.  Pull the third string though, and continue this pattern until you reach the top of your shirt.

100_4978  100_4983 100_4981 100_4982

Once you reach the top it should look something like this.


Now with that top string you are going to place it over and around the neck of the shirt.

100_4985 100_4986

Take that top string and begin weaving back down the shirt following the same steps you just did.


Once you reach the bottom you should have three loops left.


It’s best to be careful with this part, as one wrong pull and you can begin to unweave what you’ve done.  Have a pin, clip or whatever ready to keep it still while you work.

Take a loop and your scissors and cut it in the middle.


With the cut ends tie them to the string they are pulled through.


Do this with the other two loops as well, and you should have something resembling this…


Guess what?  You’re done!  Now go out and flaunt that new fashion all over the place!




About the author

I’m a Goth/Hippie who loves to try new things and dabbles in anything and everything that I find enjoyment in. That can include but is not limited to, cooking, art, digital design, jewellery making, photography, gardening, nature, animals and whatever else strikes my fancy. I’m an optimistic (occasionally) perfectionist (constantly), who can be very sarcastic (incessantly), but all in good humour. :)

Do It Yourself (DIY): Preserving Herbs

No Comments

DIY: All Around Home Cleaner

No Comments

DIY: Wax Pressed Autumn Leaves

No Comments

DIY: Milk Bottle Luminaries

No Comments

DIY: Pine Cone Bird Feeder


DIY: Crayon Melts

No Comments

Leave a Reply