T-Shirt Distressing

After sharing my Witchy Vibes outfit post I had a lot of people asking questions about my shirt. I had mentioned that I distressed it myself and my friends were very interested in how I got it to look that way. I even had some requests to dedicate a post to share how I achieved it, and that is exactly what I am going to do today!

Things you will need:
- New or Old t-shirt
- Fabric scissors
- Spray bottle and/or empty water bottle
- Bleach
When distressing a shirt I like them to fit me oversized so I always go a size up. This is the shirt I will be distressing today, my brand new Disney Villains t-shirt that I got from Target.

*Keep in mind there is no right or wrong way on how to go about doing any of this. You can't mess up.
I like to start by cutting up my shirt. I do random cuts where I want them to be. Personally, I like to have a few larger cuts near the neckline. Grab the shirt and hold it together with your fingers like I'm doing on the photo above then cut.
Once the hole is cut I tug and pull on it from all angles and don't be scared by doing this in fear you may end up ripping it and making the hole larger. It's perfectly fine if that happens and that has happened to me which made the holes look even better and natural.
For larger holes, you want to cut more into the shirt and for smaller ripped holes I like to use the very tip of the scissors by slightly grabbing the shirt and quickly pulling them off. So you're basically pinching the shirt with the tip of the scissors and ripping them off, thereby creating tiny holes.
The key is to cut your holes followed by always tugging and pulling on them and stretching out the holes. That will give it that distressed look.
Another way I like to create holes which is a lot easier than cutting individual holes is by opening the scissors and using it as a blade. With the tip of the scissors I start pulling downwards on the shirt you're basically 'slicing' it. Once I start to see the holes coming together I like to do this in different directions such as downwards and sideways. Don't forget to stretch the holes you just created.
This is how my shirt ended up looking. The shirt is kind of dark so you might not be able to see the holes too well, I'm sorry about that. On my Happy Halloween Witches tee, I added larger holes and I also cut off the ends of the sleeves I choose to skip that for this shirt but if you want to do that on yours go right ahead. If you like you can also cut the back of your shirt and I also did some holes on the sleeves.

Once you're all done cutting up the shirt its time for the bleaching. I like to use a spray bottle and an empty water bottle that I poked holes on the cap. Once again there is no right or wrong way on how to go about this. Just bleach areas you want to and what you think will look best. Once I start bleaching my creativity juices usually start flowing and I go from there.
I don't like to focus too much of the bleaching on the center of the shirt just because there is usually a design and I rather not cover that up. I focus on the corners and will randomly bleach smaller parts in the center of the shirt but this always varies. Using a spray bottle you will get more of a mist of bleach stains, (as you can see above) that is why I also like to use a water bottle since the holes are larger I can actually get more bleached spots. Be careful when using the water bottle a lot more bleach may come out than you expected.
You will see the bleaching process begin almost immediately once its on the shirt. I don't really have a time to how long I leave the bleach on the shirt I just go off by the color. The longer you leave the bleach on the shirt the lighter in color it will be. I like mine a burnt orange color and some lighter spots.
In this photo you can see the different in bleach spots. The larger spots are from the water bottle. I also don't worry too much about bleaching the back of the shirt since most of the time the bleach will go through the back anyway bleaching it slightly on its own. Once the color of the bleach looks how you want it now time to rinse the shirt in cold water and then put it to dry.
This is the end result of my shirt! I love how distressing a t-shirt looks. There is no other shirt that will have the same style and it gives off such an edgy vibe. Let me know if this post was helpful and if you end up trying it yourself.


  1. This was so helpful! I can't wait to try it now.

  2. I love this so much Juliana! I can not wait to try it!

    1. Yay!!! Thank you so much make sure to share it with me so I can see!

  3. Love, love, love this! It takes an already cute but basic T to something so unique and more for just you. I did stuff like this about 10 years ago in highschool fashion class but have never even thought about doing it again. Maybe I'll have to try as yours turned out so well!

    Danielle xo

    1. Yes you have to give it a try I absolutely love the way it looks. Feel free to share your outcome with me :)


Post a Comment

back to top