FROM RAGS TO FAB: HOW TO DIY AN OLD WHITE SHIRT

A white shirt is a timeless article of clothing. People started wearing it decades ago and to this day it is a staple for every man. The beauty of the color white is that there is no colorfastness which keeps it looking fresh and new for a more extended time. There are an endless number of ways to style a shirt. We all have owned a basic white shirt at some point in our lives. You will surely come across a pair of white shirts if you go full Mary Condo and organize your wardrobe.  

A plain white shirt for men is just like a plain white canvas. If you are bored of wearing it like a plain shirt, there are a few ways to personalize it. 

OMBRE DYE

An ombre dyeing technique is something that has become more prominent in the last few years. This is a technique where you can give a gradient effect to your fabric. To achieve this effect, pick up a few packets of fabric dye from a fabric store near you. You have to mix that dye with water depending on the ratio recommended by the brand that you are using. Take your shirt and soak the bottom half in the solution for around 10 to 15 minutes. Keep the lower half of the shirt in the solution for another 10 minutes for a darker effect.  This will give a white to dark effect to your shirt. The Ombre effect looks good with any color combination, be it blue or pink. You can also choose two contrasting colors for this technique. Few color combinations that look good in ombre dye are pink-orange, blue-green, and purple-yellow. 

TIE AND DYE

This is another dyeing technique yet different from the previous one. Unlike the previous one, the fabric is not kept loosely in this one. To achieve this effect, you have to tie the shirt. Pick the centermost part of the shirt and start twisting it. You will be left with a circular shape that needs to be tied with a rubber band. Take your dye and put it on the crumbled-up shirt. This effect emphasizes abstract art. You can choose as many colors as you like and customize them in the most creative way possible. You can then wash and dry it to get the complete look. 

HAND EMBROIDERY 

Embroidery is a classic way to add colors and textures to any garment. There are a whole bunch of design ideas that come with this technique. You will need a few embroidery threads and a wooden frame to do this technique. If you want to keep the shirt simple while adding an element of creativity then make a simple motif using basic stitches like running and satin. If you are going for a more ethnic touch then opt for a motif from any traditional Embroidery method like Kantha or Phulkari. 

PATCHWORK 

Patchwork is a technique where a piece of fabric is sewn upon a garment. These patches could be of two types; an embroidered patch or a fabric patch. An embroidered patch is a kind of patch that is usually machine-made, it has a pattern embroidered on a piece of fabric that you can easily sew to your shirt. In the case of a fabric patch, you can pick a piece of scrap fabric that has been lying around the house and sew it on the shirt. You can sew the patch on the pocket, collar, or cuffs of the white shirt. 

HAND PAINTING 

If you are running out of white drawing sheets then use an old white shirt and channel your inner Picasso. You can paint a shirt in several ways. Start by choosing a specific part to paint like the back of the shirt or pocket. You can also use the whole shirt and leave very little negative space. This method of reusing an old white shirt is time-consuming but the result is worth the hassle. You can either outline a more precise pattern or go for a random abstract effect. 

DOODLES 

If painting is not your forte, try a free-hand doodle on your shirt. You might have come across this form of art on random lanes in metropolitan cities. This is an effortless yet quirky way to embellish any background. A doodle is a form of art in which you can draw random images or lines. This is an easy way to personalize your shirt. You can use a black fabric marker to do doodling on the shirt. A black marker on a white base will highlight the doodle and help make it more prominent. Other than that you can also use different colors of markers for your art. Instead of a drawing, you can write a quote on the shirt as well. From your favorite quote to your favorite cartoon character, everything can fit on your shirt.  

You can pick any of these techniques to DIY your old white shirt depending on your preference. These methods would not take much time and still give a completely new look to the boring shirt. If you do not have an old shirt lying around then pick one from Rare Rabbit. You can either pick a half sleeve or full sleeves and plain or textured shirt depending on the artwork that you are planning to do on it.  

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