5 Easy DIY Tailgate Tees Under $10

Unfortunately, the phrase “DIY” (Do It Yourself) tends to scare away most of us because we’re either not very crafty or don’t have the time. As a college student, I definitely understand that the struggle is real. Luckily, there are some DIY ideas out there that take no artistic skill, and hardly any time at all! Here are 5 great DIY’s for any collegiette to try without spending more than $10!

Before we get started, the first thing you need to know is that Goodwill is a GOLD MINE! Shopping at a thrift store near your college is guaranteed to result in a few hidden gems. Before starting any of these crafts, you’ll need a t-shirt. Why spend $25 at your bookstore on a shirt you’re about to cut, tie, or bleach when you can pick up a vintage tee at your local thrift shop for no more than $3? With that said, let’s begin…

1. When in Doubt, Bleach it Out!

Courtesy: Pinterest and LoopeyLaces.com

What you’ll need:

  • Bleach: $3 at a department store
  • Small bucket or spray bottle (optional): $1 at the dollar store

The best way to start is with the easiest DIY there is: bleach. The first thing to keep in mind with this craft is that bleach should ideally never come in contact with your skin, so it would be in your best interest to wear gloves. It will also ruin whatever outfit you have on if you’re not careful, so wear something you don’t really care about too much. This DIY is the easiest of the bunch because it’s pretty impossible to mess up. You can be as crazy or careful as you want with this craft. The three most common routes are dip-dye, splatter, and spray (pictured in order above).

To achieve the dip-dye look, simply fill a small bucket with half warm water and half bleach as high as you want it to rise up on your shirt. Leave the bottom of the tee soaking in the solution for 15-20 minutes. When the time is up, wash the shirt by itself in the washing machine before wearing it, and you’re good to go!

For the splatter approach, all you need is a small cup of half bleach and half warm water. Lay the shirt flat on the ground (preferably outside, so you don’t make a mess on your floor) and begin to splash the bleach on your shirt in the same way you would splash a drink in your ex’s face! You can either do this gently for light splatters, wildly for big splatters, or a combination of the two. Finally, wash the shirt by itself in the washing machine before wearing it, just as you would for the dip-dye effect.

Lastly, all you need for the spray bleach craft is a spray bottle filled halfway with bleach and halfway with warm water. Lay the shirt flat on the ground outside and spray it however much you’d like. There is no wrong way to approach this style! Of course, finish it off by washing the shirt by itself before wearing it, and you’re all set!

2. BFF Zip-Ups!


What you’ll need:

  • (4) Zippers: $2 each at a craft store
  • Fabric glue: $2 at a craft store

The best part of tailgating is doing it with your BFF, so why not get crafty with her too? To do this BFF zip-up look, you’ll first need to find 2 t-shirts in the same size. If you want to achieve the cropped look (as seen above), you’ll next need to cut the exact same length off the bottom of each shirt. Next, cut a straight line up the middle on the front and back of each shirt. Finally, lay half of the first shirt next to the other half of the second shirt and use your fabric glue to glue each side of the zipper on the cuts made down the middle of the shirt. Press down firmly so that the zipper doesn’t come loose. Repeat this step on the front and back of each shirt, let the glue dry overnight, and rock your shirts on game day!

3. Go Bananas for Bandanas!

Courtesy: ValleyMagazinePSU.com

What you’ll need:

  • A Bandana: $1 at a craft store
  • Fabric glue: $2 at a craft store

If you’re anything like me, you love to keep it simple. If you’re not thrilled about the idea of cutting up your shirt and risking any mistakes, give your cute college tee a little make over with this simple DIY! Go to the craft store and pick up a simple $1 bandana in one of your college’s spirit colors. This works best if you choose a color that matches the letters or the logo on the shirt rather than the base of the shirt.

Next, take a ruler and measure the ideal length of the cuff of your sleeve. You can either follow the line of the hem on your shirt, or go for a thicker cuff to make the pattern pop. Measure the circumference of your sleeve by laying the shirt flat, measuring the width of the sleeve, and doubling it. Then, cut two strips from your bandana that are of the measured length and width. Finally, use fabric glue to secure the bandana strips, and let the cuffs dry overnight to prevent them from coming loose.

4. Just a Trim!

Courtesy: Pinterest

What you’ll need:

  • Trim: $2-$8 at a craft store
  • Fabric glue: $2 at a craft store

Similar to the bandana cuffs, adding cute trim is another easy way to give your cute college tee a little makeover! All you need to do is go to the craft store and pick up your favorite trim, which usually ranges from $2-$8. Trim is typically sold by the yard, so be sure to get a little more than you think you’ll need because you definitely don’t want to fall short! Any extra trim can always be used to accessorize your hair ties or favorite jean shorts. As with the last craft, go for a color that doesn’t match the base of the shirt (because obviously white lace won’t pop on a white shirt).

Next, lay your shirt flat and use a ruler to measure the width of the bottom of it. Double this number and cut that length in trim. Glue the trim on with fabric glue. Rather than doing this all in one shot, your best bet would be to slowly glue the trim on and continue pressing it down as you go. For best results, you should allow the glue to dry overnight. Once it’s dry, use the extra trim you have to accessorize!

5. A Spin on the Classic V-Cutout!

Courtesy: Pinterest

What you’ll need:

  • Trim or Fabric: $2-$8 at a craft store
  • Fabric glue: $2 at a craft store

If you’ve ever been to a college football game or even walked around a college campus, chances are you’ve seen the classic v-cutout look. This look definitely rocks on its own, especially when paired with a cute lace bralette (as seen above in the first picture). But if you want to try and get a little crafty with your cutout, try a little fabric!

One way to up your cutout game us to border the “v” with some trim. You can even add a ladder design (as seen above in the second picture) with any leftover fabric. You can do this by adding dabs of fabric glue to the ends of each strip and gluing them to the inside of the tee. Another method would be to simply layer a piece of mesh, lace, net, or any other cute fabric under the “v” with fabric glue.

6. Bonus Tip:

It’s also a great idea to mix and match your favorite DIYs. If you’re crazy about the bleach splatter look, go ahead and pair it with a cute cutout. Remember that DIY crafts are totally up to you, so don’t hesitate to express yourself this tailgate season. Have fun, and craft on, collegiettes!