How to Braid Your T-shirt Collar

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 Braided Neckline T Shirt Transformation

Do you want to revamp a plain old shirt you don't wear anymore? Well, today I’m going to show you how to make a braided neckline to add some excitement to that boring old thing. Let's get crafting!


Choose a shirt that fits you well. A lot of my tutorials use tops that are too large but for this one, you'll want a shirt that fits. Make sure to select one with a nice scoop neck that's not too low or too high. This one is a little bit high so our next step will be to cut it just a little bit lower. Let's head over to the craft table.

  • 1. The first step is to cut out the neck. I'm going to cut along the seam in the back. To cut the front, I’m going to fold it in half to make sure that I do it evenly. Now you're just going to cut along the neckline. I’m going to make it a little bit lower, but still round it into a nice scoop.
  • 2. Now we need to make a string to make our braid with. If your shirt is long you can cut the bottom off and use that for your string. I don't want to lose any length on this shirt because it's not that long on me. So, I’m just going to use a scrap. Always save your scraps every time you cut up a shirt. I have a whole box of these because they always come in handy. I like to braid them into headbands or scarfs or use them for projects like this. I pulled these two scraps out of my scrap box and I’m going to use them to make strings for the braid.
  • 3. To make this string you want to cut a one-inch strip. I lined it up on my table here at the one-inch mark, but you can also use your two fingers. The width of my two fingers is almost exactly one inch and don't cut to the end because we're going to need a long string. You want your string to be at least double the width of your neck. To measure that I’m going to look at my string. Right now it's one width of the neck, so this needs to be at least double the length. To make a string that's longer all I’m going to do is cut this again back in the other direction. so we leave the string-like here. We can cut it just a little bit further and then we're going to cut all the way back in the other direction this is a really good way to use up your scraps and make them into ropes that you can braid with. Even if they're smaller scraps they will still work for this now when you stretch it will curl it and make it into a rope. To get rid of this part you just cut it off so that it's the same width, that is the reason why you start with a strip that's one inch because once you pull it into the rope it gets a lot thinner this is way less than half an inch. Now that we've stretched it, that makes a nice rope!

  • 4. Next, we're going to use this rope to weave along our neckline. This is a dark gray shirt but I wanted to use a black piece of fabric because I think that it will contrast nicely with the gray. So, I will have some black in my braid. And just to double-check... we want to make sure our rope is at least double the width of our neck. You also want quite a few extra inches so that you can tie it off at the end. You don't want to worry about running out of rope, I think this one will be just long enough.

  • 5. I’m going to start one inch below the neckline measured with my fingers and make tiny little cuts about two inches apart from each other around the neck. You want these cuts to be very small, just enough so that you can put the rope through them. They will stretch a little bit too, so keep in mind. To do make the cut, I just pinch the fabric a little bit right where I want it and do a snip. So there we go, a little hole, and then we measure two inches apart and make the next hole.

  • 6. We're just going to do this halfway around and then I’m going to start the braid just see how it looks. Then we'll finish the other half. Make sure that you are only cutting through the top layer of fabric. We do not want to cut through to our backside on this project okay.

  • 7. To start the weaving you want to fold your string into a loop. Make sure that you have a little bit of extra for when we tie it off at the end. I would say this is probably about three inches. You're going to push your loop through the hole from the backside to the front side, then you're going to take your string and make another loop that's the same size as your previous loop. Then, push that through from the backside to the front side, then you're going to take your loop and put it through the previous loop and pull it down. This is how you start your braid. So we'll just continue to repeat this step all the way around. Measure a loop that's the same size put it through the backside and then loop it through the previous loop. It's starting to look pretty nice... Just flatten it out as you go. I’m going to do one more.

  • 8. Now, I want to try on this shirt just so I can see how it's going to look. I might need to make my neckline lower, or I might need to differently space my holes. I just want to double-check how it's all looking. Okay, I think we're ready for the try on. Our halfway point try-on is looking great so far! I know it's hard for you to see because it's black on gray, but I'm gonna get a little bit closer and you can see the braid. I think for my second braid I'm gonna do a little bit more of contrasting color. Since we're about halfway and it's looking good, I'm going to keep going with it. Now, we're just going to continue going the rest of the way around.

  • 9. I'm gonna make more holes here. Remember they're two inches apart and about one inch down. Two fingers width from the neck, do a tiny pinch and a tiny cut. Make sure we're not pinching the backside in there as well. Then, one more hole right at the top here and now let's finish our braid. Through the hole, about the same length, and through the previous one. I'm just gonna stretch my rope a little bit more because I'm getting close to the end of it here. Even though I left some extra it's looking like I might run out. But, that's okay because I do have a way to fix that. So, we did run out... what I'm going to do is take another piece of string and tie them together. When we braid it, you won't even be able to see the knot. Then we're just gonna tie these two together and pull the knot nice and tight. Then you can cut off the excess.

  • 10. Now, we can just keep going! For my next loop, I'm going to make sure this little knot is on the underside. Again, I am just making sure to flatten and pull this out so we don't get too much puckering here. To finish it off at the end, all you're going to do is take your extra piece, stick it through the loop and then tie it around in a little knot. Always make sure to double knot. Then we're gonna do the same thing on this end too. Double knot of course. Stretch it so I get enough to tie with and then cut off the excess. 
  • 11. Now, I'm going to do a second braid in a more contrasting color. We'll repeat making another long string for the second braid out of an extra sleeve. First, cut off the seam. Then, cut along the bottom seam of it. Remember, we are making them about an inch wide. Don't cut to the end because now we're going to cut the second part to make this double the length.
  • 12. We're going to start with one end making sure to leave extra and we're just going to put it through those same holes that we already cut this one I'm going to put right on top of the other one. First loop here look for that second hole put your next loop through it and then pull that loop through your first loop just like that. Just like before make sure to flatten it as you work sometimes it takes a minute to find the hole because they're not very big. It looks like our little knot is on the outside so I'm just going to move him a little so he goes back on the backside. We don't see him so I'm just adjusting my loop sizes a little bit for that but still looking good. I'm digging this contrast color braid this looks cool. Oh and oh no we did a runout but I think there's enough extra on this end I'm just going to kind of shift this along and I'm I've got these two tails so I'm just going to tie them together and do the same for the other side.

  • 13. Now we're all done with our braid. To finish it up we're going to cut off the tails on our knots. Another thing we should do is cut off the little bit of the shirt's neck that's still showing above. That will give it a finished edge along the braid that looks nice. Be very careful to not cut your braid. Oh yeah, that's much better. Now for my favorite part... let's try it on!

I love the way this turned out the little bit of off the shoulder neck combined with the two braids adds some fun to this top I'm going to get a little bit closer so that you can see. Because there is a black layer of braid and then a blue layer of braid on this dark gray shirt now you can see it a little bit better. I hope you enjoyed today's video. 

For more cool projects, download my free DIY T-Shirt Hacks Ebook

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