Tutorial || Summer Shirt Refurb Series #2

Well, my last DIY t-shirt post got a great reaction, and I am way into this whole repurposing idea. Go green! I’ll just pretend that being good on the evironment is my motivation here. Joking aside, this series is hopefully a way to inspire your creative juices and to show you ways to get new, hip clothes on a teeny tiny budget!

Now, on to phase two!

I’m sure everyone has seen the craze that has come around within the last couple of years of… galaxy prints! It all started with designer Christopher Kane:


I believe it was his Spring/Summer 2011 line that first featured this now-crazed print. His designs/ideas trickled down and now the masses can find their very own galaxy print from a multitude of retailers. Today, I’m going to teach you how to make your very own galaxy print tee!

I searched the web for inspiration before I embarked on this little adventure and the design I ended up picking was basically a combination of all of these:

image image image imageNow, as with all of these posts, I want to start by encouraging those of you who do this for themselves to mix it up. I’m showing you my method and attempt at this design, and this is exactly the type of project every person can make to their own specifications. So, let’s get started!



  • Old t-shirt or tank top (I recommend black, grey, or a dark blue)
  • Scissors (If you decide to modify the shirt before adding the galaxy print)
  • Chalk pencil (for modifications)
  • Bleach
  • Plastic spray bottle
  • Painter’s tape (optional per your design choice)
  • Fabric paints (All or some of: blue, pink, red, yellow, white)
  • Paint or makeup sponge
  • Small tipped paint brush
  • Tray to mix paint



Find and (optionally) alter your chosen tee. I chose a large men’s tank top for this project and because of the size I decided to cut the bottom off to make a high/low tank.

First, try the shirt on and choose where the front hem is going to be (since it will be higher) and make a mark with your chalk pencil.

IMG_3115The easiest way to create a high/low hemline is to fold the tank sideways by lining up the side hems. When folded this way, the front center of the shirt will be creased on the left and the back center will be creased on the right. After you’ve done this just use a ruler/yardstick to mark from the front hem (where you previously marked) diagonally to the back.


And, cut!



Design (optionally) and bleach your shirt

Per the several inspiration tees I used, I decided to add some stripes through the shirt to create a design. Using painter’s tape, mark out a design on the front and/or back that will remain black after you’ve finished creating the galaxy design. My design turned like a huge diamond, coincidentally.



You may also choose to add a design to the back as well, I did two simple stripes, which you will see at the end.

Now, you can bleach your shirt to help create the base of your galaxy print!

I suggest having a couple of galaxy photos handy to help inspire you. Here are two that I worked off of for my design:



I love the colors in these and the vast amount of stars.

So, fill your spray bottle with bleach and water, half and half. Then, take your shirt out to a WELL-VENTILATED area (note the emphasis) and start spraying!

If you’ve chosen to use painter’s tape to mark out a design, take it easy and do your bleach layer by layer, allowing it to dry for a bit after each few sprays. If you spray a little to heavily, it can leak underneath the tape and ruin your design.

For mine, as you’ll see, I did a few larger spots to indicate galaxies, and also sprayed a light layer across the whole shirt to help give the illusion of stars.

This photo shows the bleached shirt after, but also includes a bit of the next step.



Add color!

I recommend using a dampened make up sponge for this portion, as that is what worked best for me.

Take whatever colors you’ve chosen of fabric paint and start sponging more galaxies! The great part about this step is that you can use almost any colors. I mainly used blue and reds, but yellows, pinks, purples, and even greens would look great depending on the look you’re going for.

A damp sponge helps to give the fading or transitional effect, which is why I recommend it. Just play around and sponge some small or large areas. Be creative!




My colors show up a bit brighter than they actually are on the shirt.


Add more stars.

Now, you can take a white paint and a small tipped paintbrush and blot on some stars all over your shirt. You can also add some comets, starbursts, etc., if you want!






Then, just take your tape off, and you’re finished!!!!!

As you can see, my bleach did leak a bit through the tape, which is why I caution you to be careful. However, I don’t mind that much because I think it adds some character to the shirt!

If this happens to you, though, you can fix it quickly with some black fabric paint!



I really hope you guys like this idea. Please let me know what you think! I have a lot more planned for the Summer Shirt Refurb Series, but would also love any suggestions or requests!

Leave a comment or tweet/Instagram me if you try them! You can follow me @PatternsOnWalls.

๐Ÿ™‚ Good luck! โค


Posted on June 5, 2013, in DIY, Fashion, Inspiration, Styling, Trends, Tutorials, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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