How-to-Tuesday: DIY Clothing

We’ve all had that feeling of wanting to do a major closet overhaul without breaking the bank. That’s why it’s a good thing the concept of DIY exists. While not exactly a new idea, taking your old pieces and transforming them into something new will always be one of the best ways to keep from draining a hole in your wallet. DIY also helps you find seemingly boring or outdated clothes and accessories in your possession that could benefit from an update. Here are some current trend pieces that could be recreated with items in one’s wardrobe:

Fun Bedazzled Tights

Materials: Brightly colored tights (preferably opaque), a pack of studs, jewels or rhinestones, glue


  1. Lay the tights out face up and completely flat on a smooth surface.
  2. Without glue, map out designs by placing the studs or jewels in whatever patterns you like all around the tights.
  3. Begin to glue down each stud or jewel individually using just a small hint of glue.
  4. Only after the studs or jewels have been given some time to dry, flip the tights over and repeat Step 2 and Step 3 on the other side as well as on the sides of the legs.
  5. Once all of the studs or jewels have been glued, leave the tights out to dry. It’s best to wait at least 24 hours before wearing them.

Edgy Spike Cuff

Materials: Cuff Bracelet, studs, glue


  1. Apply a dab of glue to the back of only one stud.
  2. Place the stud in the middle of the cuff.
  3. Apply glue to two more studs. Place these two studs on both sides of the stud in the center. Give them time to dry.
  4. Repeat the step above by gluing studs next to the previous two studs, and give them time to dry. Do this until the cuff is decorated with the number of studs you prefer.
  5. Clean off any excess glue once the cuff is completely dry.

Simple Pocket T-shirt

Materials: T-shirt, fabric glue, a piece of fabric approximately 6″x6″, iron, scissors, pencil, paper, cardboard (to draw a pocket pattern if you don’t have one), book


  1. With the pencil, draw a pocket pattern on the piece of cardboard and cut it out.
  2. Find out where you want to place the pocket.
  3. After placing the pattern on your fabric, trace it and cut it out.
  4. Place the pocket onto the 6″x6″ piece of fabric.
  5. Pull up each fabric side around the pattern guide and iron it down.
  6. Carefully apply fabric glue along one edge and press down firmly. Repeat this until all the edges are trimmed. Put the book on top of the pocket and let it dry for 30 minutes.
  7. Once the pocket is fully dry, place a piece of paper inside the shirt and slowly apply fabric glue along the sides in an even fashion. Finally, place the pocket onto the t-shirt, pressing down firmly.
  8. Let it dry for about 30 minutes.

“Wear Your Heart On Your Sleeves”

Materials: Shirt or sweater, felt, glue, scissors


  1. Draw heart shaped outlines on the felt in whatever size you want the patches to be.
  2. Cut out the heart patches with scissors.
  3. Add glue to the back of each heart patch.
  4. Place the heart to the area of the shirt sleeve that you want, pressing firmly. It’s recommended that the hearts be placed on the elbow area.
  5. Wait 24 hours for the end result to dry before wearing the shirt.

Whimsical Book Clutch

Materials: Book of any size (preferably 8.5” x 5” with a spine of around 1-1.5”), fabric, glue, glue brush, heat’n Bond, metal zipper of about 20-24”, X-acto knife, ruler, iron


  1. Remove the inside cover of the book where the cover and the pages intersect. Break off the page block with an x-acto knife.
  2. Carve out sections of fabric and heat’n bond in shapes of rectangles of around 1-1.5″ wide and longer than the front of the book that will be veiled with fabric.
  3. Iron the heat’n bond to the fabric, and make a square out of one of the long pieces after.
  4. Glue that piece of fabric to the front of book, then turn it around and trim off its excess corners. However, leave a small amount that’s longer than 1/8″ on the corner.
  5. Flip over the flaps on the top and side, and repeat this on the other side. Give them time to dry.
  6. Now it’s time to make the zipper insert while the book is drying. To start off, create four squares of fabric that are around 2″ by 2″ give or take and cut them off.
  7. Layer the zipper between these two stacked fabric pieces with the end of the zipper visible. Then sew along this line.
  8. Turn the two flaps over and press down firmly, creating a crease. Proceed to repeat this folding method on other side. Trim the result to the exact same width of the zipper.
  9. Create four strips the same length as zipper, including the fabric ends, that are also 2″ wide. Afterward, sew these onto the zipper. Repeat this step for the side you haven’t done yet.
  10. Glue on the zipper. Turn it over 1/2″, fold it over and glue underneath the crease. Bend the fabric and start gluing a single side of the fabric to the book. When everything before the corners has been glued, turn over the fabric and press down so it’ll fit.
  11. Give it time to dry for a while before unzipping the zipper and repeating the previous step on the side that hasn’t been worked on yet.
  12. Overlay the spine’s inside entirely with fabric. Fold in the raw edges hanging off and glue them down so that they aren’t showing.
  13. Now cut two pastedowns out of fabric supported by heat’n bond that are 1/2″ smaller than the inside of the cover. Glue them down and press firmly.
  14. Let the bag dry completely before putting it to use.

If you’re considering revamping your wardrobe, these creative DIY tutorials are easy, cheap and will help your style go a long way.

Sherah Ndjongo is a staff writer. Email her at




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