DIY Tee shirt by Quiet Lion

Part biker gang, part Top Gun, this look is all about grunge glam. The obligatory wing pic just couldn’t be passed up, no matter how basic (sorry guys)….. but anyway, this Triumph shirt was scored at a thrift store, making it perfect for upcycling. Clearly, I had to layer mine over a long sleeve top, considering the negative-degree windchill in Chicago’s winter. Howeverrrrrr, these tees are perfect for upcoming spring and Coachella season (who else is already thinking about music festivals?!) It’s not like I go to any festivals, or really listen to music – but the trends from the season are always ones to watch.

I started out by dip-dyeing it by submerging the bottom half in a bowl with half bleach, half water. It helps to fully wet the shirt before dip-dyeing, so that the bleach gently seeps up the fabric for a more muted and softer color transition. Check the color frequently, each shirt will dye differently depending on the fabric- when it’s reached the desired lightness, rinse the entire shirt and wash/dry.

Use an Xacto knife and metal file to distress the shirt- cut small <SMALL> holes with the Xacto knife and file them to roughen up the fabric- you can always cut the hole a bit bigger, but can’t go back if you’ve entirely sliced the whole shirt. This may have happened to me once…or twice…

I usually like to add a bit of distressing to the collar too, it gives the shirts a cool vibe. Be gentle on the collar- a few small slices will do. Well, unless you are going for a more intense worn-out look. Then slice away.

Finally, the last but my most favorite step, adding the crystals……simply use glass crystal hot fix flatbacks (there’s no surprise my favorites are Swarovski —you can grab these hot fix stones on Amazon–) and iron on for a permanent hold. Depending on the logo of your shirt, you might want to totally fill it or add selective sparkle. Get creative with this part!

I’d suggest you always hand wash these shirts – and hang dry.

Fly on, you little wings!

<photos by Mom>

DIY Tee shirt by Quiet Lion

DIY Tee shirt by Quiet Lion

All photos copyright Quiet Lion Creations. Email me at for permission to use or re-post.
Don’t steal them, it’s bad karma ☺.