DIY: Distressed Concert Tees

Create your own vintage-look distressed tee

A popular fashion trend is the graphic tee and, more recently, distressed everything. I came across a shop that offers a lot of great country music concert tees and they distress them for you. I also see graphics tees of hard rock bands on clothing websites I shop. These tees and tanks look great on their own, or under a long sleeved plaid shirt, jean jacket or even a blazer. It adds a touch of cool or edginess to the typical mom outfit. Maybe that’s why I like it. 

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 Lay out tee and pin

Lay out tee and pin

I was all ready to “add to cart” and pay the $68 for one when I decided to exit out of the website and save some money.  I looked on eBay for a band I actually listen to (sorry Waylon Jennings and Pink Floyd). I found authentic concert T-shirt’s for any band I’ve ever heard of on eBay – and for less than $20 and usually free shipping. So I bought two (about $38, so I saved money, right?). I bought mine from TShirtGods and I was very happy with the quality and how fast they shipped. The shirts are concert quality, soft and thick.

And now for the fun part. Here’s how I distressed my own and made something unique and personal, all in one. I wanted to make my tees into tanks because I find I wear tanks more in the summer and, in the winter, they fit under shirts, sweaters and jackets better. If you want to keep your sleeves, then just skip the first step.

  1. Lay out your tee, making sure it’s flat. Take a piece of chalk and a ruler and make some marks on each side, making sure each side is even. Connect the dots and draw the cut lines.
  2. With a sharp scissors, cut.  (If you want, you can also fold the shirt in half, pin it so it doesn’t slip, and cut both sides at once.) Don’t worry if it’s not perfect.
  3. With a sharp scissors, make some cuts in the neckline and the hem. It’s up to you how distressed you want it in terms of holes,  so start small and keep adding until it’s perfect for you. Some of the distressed T-shirt’s I’ve seen have a cut right along the necklace on one side – right by the collar bone. Consider that an area for a larger cut or tear.  Also, don’t cut out actual holes, just make little snips and the holes will form themselves.
  4. Wash and dry after this step to help soften the scissor distressing.
 With sharp scissors, cut

With sharp scissors, cut

If you want to take the distressing to another level, I give you two options. Paint splatter or bleach spatter.  With both, make sure you do it in an area that is protected from overshoots and be careful of what you’re wearing, otherwise you’ll have a few more items that are distressed.

  • Paint splatter I’ve seen more recently and you can control the color of the splatter based on the paint color you choose. And plain old white paint is perfectly fine, you don’t need to go buy a bunch of colors (and chances are, if you’re a mom, you have a bunch of acrylic paints sitting around so use them!)
  • Bleach splatter is easy, and you can either toss or spray it on. The spray will give a more speckled look while the toss will have larger color discolorations. With bleach you don’t get to pick what color it becomes. It’s a surprise. But whatever it does, don’t worry. It will be cool.
  • After the paint or bleach splatter is dry, toss your shirt into the washer (by itself) and air dry.
 With small sharp scissors. start making small cuts

With small sharp scissors. start making small cuts

 Splatter with paint. I used blue Anne Sloan Chalk Paint (because that's what I had)

Splatter with paint. I used blue Anne Sloan Chalk Paint (because that's what I had)

What do you think? Will you buy your distressed concert tee or try doing it yourself? 

(Now, if only I could find that Bedazzler my daughter had me buy 5 years ago … just kidding.)

XO,

V