Easy T-Shirt Alterations

DIY, Style

Sometimes I just need a change. I don’t want to spend money but I want to treat myself to something new. I have so many old t-shirts that I can’t seem to get rid of. Although I often donate or repurpose these items, sometimes I find that a few simple alterations can revitalize an old piece and get me excited about my old tees again. Below I’ve outlined some quick and easy ways to ramp up your existing wardrobe. The great thing is you can combine elements from each shirt and customize your look as you please.

What You Need:
  • Old T-shirt(s)
  • Scissors (the sharper the better)
  • Pencil/ pen/ tape – something to mark where you want to cut (optional)
  • ruler (optional)

Shirt #1 – high/lo waist + cut out neck (bonus rolled sleeves for final touch

High/Lo Waist

Step 1 – Try on the shirt and mark with a pencil 1-2 inches below where you want the front of your hi/lo top to sit. Just one small dot on the front will do.

Step 2 – Lay the shirt on a flat surface and smooth out the wrinkles.

Step 3 – Draw 2 lines: line 1 across the front of the tee (where you drew your initial dot) and line 2; a curve along the bottom hem leading up to line 1.

Step 4 – Cut along the curve line so both the front and back of the shirt are curved. *If you want a front and back scoop you can stop here.

Step 5 – Finally, cutting only the front of the shirt, cut along the remaining drawn line.

Cut Out Neck

Step 1 – Cut Along outside seam of existing collar.

Bonus: Roll up sleeves. 

Shirt #2 – Sleeveless + Peek-a-boo Back

Sleeveless

Step 1 -Lay the shirt on a flat surface and smooth out the wrinkles.

Step 2 – Cut the sleeve(s) off using the seam as a guide. I cut 1 cm inside of the seam all around. (You can of course cut further inside the seam. You may wish to draw a pencil line if so. Remember, a little goes a long way.)

Tip: You can ensure symmetry by flipping the removed 1st sleeve over and using it as a template for the 2nd cut.

 

Peek-a-boo Back

Step 1 – On the back of your shirt, draw a scoop. It can be helpful to try the shirt on before cutting and making a rough mark where you want the dip to end.

Step 2 – keeping the collar of the tee intact, cut along the base of the collar and along the scoop line you’ve drawn.

Shirt #3 – Cropped + Sleeveless

Cropped

Step 1 – Try on your T-shirt and mark where you want to crop it.

Step 2 – Cut a straight line across where you marked you’re crop line.

Sleeveless – See Shirt #2

 

Tip: When cutting a t-shirt, remember that the fabric with roll after it’s cut. Some weights of tee will roll more than others. It’s best to leave a 1-2 inch allowance. *Unless you don’t mind showing more skin. 

Coconut Oil Chocolate

Food & Drink

I don’t think I’m alone when I say I love chocolate. I don’t always have in in the house as it often seems like a luxury when there are more important groceries on the list. I like this recipe because it’s quick, easy and made of few ingredients that I tend to have on hand when the craving strikes. Compared to store bought sweets, these dense dark chocolates are relatively guilt free. Made with only 5 ingredients they are simple to make they are perfect for satisfying a sweet tooth while eating healthfully.

What you need:

  • 1/2 coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1/4 honey or maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • silicone ice cube molds (could also use cup cake liners or a cookie tray lined with parchment paper)

Instructions:

Step 1 – Melt coconut oil in a saucepan over low-medium heat.

Step 2 – Mix in remaining ingredients and heat until combined.

Step 3 –  Pour mixture into mold stirring as you go.

Step 4 – Cool in fridge for 2-4 hours or until set.

Step 5 – Store in fridge, pop out of mold when ready to eat. Enjoy!

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Homemade Bath Bombs

Beauty

Sometimes there’s nothing better than a nice hot soak in the tub after a long day. To create an illusion of luxury I often use essential oils or bath salts. but while I’ve been curious about DIY bath bombs, I thought they looked too complicated to make. I was wrong. I came across this basic recipe that’s very simple and customizable. I love that there is room to experiment with different salts, oils, colours and scents!

What you need:

  • 4 oz baking soda
  • 2 oz corn starch
  • 2 oz salt (I used epsom salts)
  • 2 oz citric acid
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon water
  • 1 teaspoon essential oil ( I used a combination of lavender, mint and eucalyptus)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon oil ( I used liquid coconut oil)
  • food colouring (optional) (I didn’t use any)
  • Bath bomb molds (can by from amazon/craft store but I just used a measuring cup)

Instructions:

Step 1 – In a medium bowl, mix dry ingredients and whisk to get all the clumps out.

Step 2 – In a small bowl, mix wet ingredients.

Step 3 – Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ones whisking as you go. It’s important to whisk right away and only add a small amount at a time to avoid too much bubbling.

Step 4 –  Pack the mixture into your mold very firmly.

Step 5 – Carefully remove from mold.

Step 6 – Let dry for up to 24 hours. Enjoy!

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Vanilla Simple Syrup

Food & Drink

I may not have the money to splurge on fancy coffee everyday but that doesn’t mean I have to settle for a boring plain old cup of Joe (not that there’s anything wrong with that). This vanilla simple syrup makes your home brew taste like something special. It’s so easy to make and pairs perfectly with my favourite, equally simple Cold Brew Coffee!

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What you need:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar (I used 1/4 cup brown sugar and 3/4 cup white sugar. You can use one or any combo of sugar)
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract (or omit for unflavoured simple syrup)

Instructions:

Step 1 – Combine water and sugar(s) into a saucepan.

Step 2 – Stir while bringing to a gentle boil over medium heat.

Step 3 – Maintain boil for about 10 minutes.

Step 4 – Remove syrup from heat and let cool.

Step 5 – Once cool add vanilla extract, mix and transfer to an air tight container.

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Macrame Hanging Planter

DIY

Go figure, macrame is cool again. I’ve seen macrame wall hangings and plant hangers at hip, trendy retailers and online vendors for a while now and really wanted to hop on the band wagon. But personally, I couldn’t justify the expense. That’s why I decided to give this craft a try for myself. It took a bit of trial and error but I’m happy with the result. This is a simple, basic macrame hanging planter design that is great for a beginner and works as a wonderful gateway into a new medium.

planter_1

What you need:

  • 4 x 15′ lengths of rope
  • 2 pieces of string, thinner than the rope you are using.
  • Hook (to hang planter from ceiling)
  • Potted plant
  • (optional) 1 carabiner

Instructions:

Step 1 – Gather the 4 lengths of rope together and thread through the carabiner. Pull through halfway so there are 8 even pieces of rope hanging from the carabiner. If you are not using a carabiner just fold the 4 pieces in half to get 8 equal lengths.

Step 2 – Use string to tie the pieces of rope together. If you are not using a carabiner make sure to leave enough of a loop to hang your planter from a ceiling hook. To add a band of colour – tie with a long piece of colourful string. Coil the string around the rope until short and tie off.

Step 3 – Now to make the first set of knots. Pair the rope so there are 4 sets of 2. Tie each pair together about 3 feet down from the carabiner/loop. This is where the top of the plant pot will sit.

Step 4 –  To figure out how far down the second set of knots will be, measure the height of your pot and divide by 2. My pot is 5″ high so I tied my second knots 2.5″ down from the first ones.

Step 5 – For the second set of knots, take one rope from each pair and couple it with one of the ropes from the neighbouring pair. Use the photos above as a guide. Start with the centre pieces and then finish by tying the end pieces together.

Step 6 – To figure out how far down to tie off the strings, use the measurement for the second knot (mine was 2.5″) and add about half the diameter of the pot. Using the same method as in Step 2 tie all 8 pieces of rope together.

Step 7 – Trim ends if necessary.

Step 8 – Hang from ceiling using a hook and place your potted plant in the planter. Enjoy!

DIY Customizable Body Butter

Beauty

I have been playing around with making my own moisturizer for a while. I’m always amazed at how you can take a few simple ingredients and transform them into such a nourishing treat for your skin. This body butter is incredibly moisturizing, absorbs into the skin quickly and doesn’t feel as greasy as others I’ve tried. By using a 3:1 ratio of butter to oil you can experiment with different ingredients to create a finished product that is totally tailored to your wants, needs and price point.

What you Need:

  • 3 parts Butter – shea, cocoa, mango, coconut (solid). Any one or a combination of these will work well. I used mostly shea and a bit of cocoa butter.
  • 1 part Carrier oil – sweet almond, avocado, jojoba, grapeseed, coconut (liquid), olive. Again, there are many to choose from and you can combine oils. I used sweet almond oil.
  • (optional) Arrowroot powder, tapioca or corn starch. I used Arrowroot powder. You’ll need approximately 1 tsp per cup of butter/oil concoction. This helps cut the greasy feeling and makes the butter absorb more quickly into the skin.
  • (optional) essential oil. About 36 drops per 1 cup of butter. I used grapefruit essential oil.

Instructions:

Step 1 – Melt butter in a double boiler over medium heat.

Step 2 – Mix carrier oil with arrowroot powder and set aside.

Step 3 – Once butter is melted, remove from heat add carrier oil/powder mixture. Mix well to combine.

Step 4 – Put mixture in fridge until opaque; firm but not rock hard. For me this took about an hour. I mixed the butter after 45 minutes and refrigerated for another 15 minutes.

Step 5 – Remove butter from fridge, add essential oil if using and whip with a fork for 1-2 minutes until you reach your desired consistency.

Step 6 – Transfer to an air tight container. Enjoy!

Cold Brew Coffee

Food & Drink

I love iced coffee. I drink it all year round and have it just about everyday. And while the old fashioned method of brewing in a french press or espresso machine is great for a quick fix, once I discovered how easy it is to make your own cold brew I don’t think I’ll ever look back. Letting the coffee steep at room temperature for a longer period of time gives it a truly unique flavour. It is less acidic, more caffeinated and super strong. Perfect for adding ice without over diluting. Great paired with my Vanilla Simple Syrup recipe.

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What you need:

  • 1 cup coarsely ground coffee
  • 4 cups filtered water
  • Fine mesh sieve
  • Large mason jar or bowl
  • optional: coffee filter or cheese cloth

Instructions:

Step 1 – Mix coffee and water in a large mason jar or bowl.

Step 2 – Cover and let sit for 14 to 24 hours.

Step 3 – Strain with a sieve. (Option to fit sieve with coffee filter or cheese cloth for even less grinds).

Step 4 – Drink with ice. Can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. Enjoy!

 

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Recycled T Shirt Necklace

Style

I’ve been looking for a statement necklace for a while but haven’t been able to find one I like in my price range. I saw some tutorials on repurposing old T shirts for wearable accessories so I thought I’d give it a try. I used stained tees and 99 cent bin finds to create this unique piece. It’s simple to make, very customizable and requires no sewing! I love that this necklace can be easily modified to fit any style or skill level.

 

What you need:

  • T shirt(s) – One or more depending on how many colours you want to use.
  • Scissors

Instructions:

Step 1 – Cut T shirt(s) into 1 inch strips starting at the bottom seam. The number of strips you need will depend on what you want you necklace to look like. I used 7strips (3 white, 2 black and 2 yellow) to complete the necklace in the photos shown.

Step 2 – Once cut you’ll end up with loops of fabric. Stretch these loops as much as possible without tearing. This will curl the fabric and give you a string-like look.

Step 3 – Take 3 loops of one colour (white) and tie the ends together with a fourth loop (yellow). Tie the yellow loop around so that there is a long tail. You will use this to cover the seam and finish off the necklace.

Step 4 – Take 3 more loops of a different colour (2 black and 1 yellow) and make them into a braid.

Step 5 – Tie the ends of the braid to the first cluster of loops to make one cluster of loops.

Step 6 – Using the yellow “tail” that is hanging out, wrap the loose ends of the necklace. When covered, tuck the end of the tail under itself to finish.

Note:

For a more basic piece you can stop at Step 2. You could also simply create a braid and tie the ends together. There are many colour and style modifications that can be made if you choose to use this as inspiration and do your own thing. Enjoy!

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Mint Chocolate Chip Popsicles

Food & Drink

One of my favourite flavour combinations of all time is chocolate and mint. So naturally when I found a recipe for making these choc-mint popsicles I just had to give it a try. I also love that this recipe using fresh mint so I could use of some of my garden herbs! Although this was ultimately a self proclaimed “Pinterest fail” (my pops got trapped in my dollar store moulds so I had to scoop them out) I was very happy with the taste and will definitely try again once I invest in some better ice pop making gear.

 

What you need:

  • 1 x 400 ml can coconut milk
  • 1 x large handful fresh mint
  • Mini or chopped Chocolate chips (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • popsicle moulds (I also made a few using a silicone ice cube tray)

Instructions:

Step 1 – Heat coconut milk, salt and sugar in saucepan until you start to see some steam.

Step 2 – Remove mixture from heat and mix in fresh mint. Let stand for 30-60 minutes.

Step 3 – Strain mixture over bowl or measuring cup to remove mint leaves. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible.

Step 4 – Pour mixture into moulds and add chocolate chips, dividing evenly.

Step 5 – Freeze for at least 4 hours. Un-mould and Enjoy!

 

mint_choc_pops_3

SUGAR SCRUB TWO WAYS

Beauty

I started experimenting making my own beauty products about a year ago. I love being able to customize recipes to my own purposes and experiment with scents and ingredients. These basic sugar scrubs are super easy to make. They’re great for exfoliating and moisturizing. The best part is they are all natural and you know exactly what you are putting on your skin!

 

Vanilla Sugar Scrub

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (I used golden)
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract

Coffee Sugar Scrub

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup ground coffee
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 Tsp cinnamon

Instructions:

Step 1 – Mix all ingredients in a bowl. I mixed the dry and wet ingredients separately before mixing all together but this isn’t necessary.

Step 2 – Store in a closed container such as a mason jar. I purchased cheap plastic containers at the dollar store. They are good to keep in the shower since they are not breakable. Enjoy!