DIY :: Distressed Open Back Tee

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Hey, guys!

You may or not be able to tell by now by my DIY High waisted shorts, DIY distressed Denim, or my DIY wearable tie-dye; but I love distressing and altering my clothes. It’s a great way to recycle “meh” clothes, and it’s a great way to stay trendy without spending a ton of cash! Right now, a lot of the shirts that are trendy right now are distressed, ripped, torn, or grungy.

 If you’re anything like me, you have a bunch of Tee-shirts that are dying to be worn, and updated! Keep reading for a step-by-step tutorial for distesing old Tee-shirts, and turning an old Tee into am open back top!

  2. Before you start anything, Find inspiration! Find a shirt at your favorite store that you want to re-create. This is the shirt I used as my inpiration!
  3. After you’ve found your inspiration, Try your shirt on. You probably think you already know exactly how the shirt fits you (especially if you’re recycling an old shirt), but trying it on again is important for seeing lines or seams and knowing their exact relation to your body. If you’re cutting an open back, you might think you have to cut a much smaller or much bigger cut than you actually need to (it almost happened to me, but I decided to try my shirt on first for good measure, and I’m so glad I did). Measuring is super important. Once you’ve tried you shirt on, decide how deep you will be cutting the open back, and either mark it with a pen or a pin.
  4. Step 1- I put my shirt on the hanger, and then put the shirt on a poster board so I could pin the shirt down into place, and I also used my pin as a mark to know where I will stop cutting (see pink pin below).  Once the shirt is neatly placed down, you can start cutting!

Step 2- I cut along the top of the shirt first so that I knew exactly how wide my open back would be. Cutting the top first also makes it easier to cut each side as evenly as possible. I would recommend giving yourself about an inch-inch1/2 from the shoulder seams to where you will start cutting the open back.

Step 3- Cut all the way down to the pin mark. **I suggest cutting a smaller hole than you think you need because I thought mine looked small and it was actually super wide open!**

Step 4- Now that the cutting is all done, try your shirt on and make any final adjustments (line cleanup, deeper cut, etc.)


  • 1. Now that you’ve cut your open back, it’s time to distress! This is my favorite part because I feel like it adds such a persnal touch! All you need for ths part is a pair of tweezers.
  • 2. Find areas that you think would look cool with some distressing (around the neckline, sleeves, back, bottom of the shirt), and take your tweezers to them! I literally just plucked at my shirt with tweezers, and it makes a perfectly messy-looking hole on the shirt! I like to do a bunch of little plucks in one area for a nice grungy effect! Do as few or as many plucks as you want!
  • 3. You’re all done! Now you have yourself a super #trendy shirt that you made all by yourself!
  •   I hope you enjoyed this tutorial!!


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  1. Reply

    This is so so cute! I love DIYs and I’ve literally seen similar shirts being sold for a lot more in shops lately x


    1. Reply

      Thank you! This DIY was inspired by those shirts because they are WAY too expensive!!

  2. Reply

    Oh i love this, such a cool DIY! who knew that using tweezers would be a good DIY tool! xx

    1. Reply

      Thanks Beth! I know, right? They work so well!

  3. Reply

    I love that open back detail to it! When it comes to styling simple tops, even the smallest details count!

    Jessica |

    1. Reply

      Thank you! Small details are everything!

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