Introduction: Buit-in T-Shirt Belt

Picture of Buit-in T-Shirt Belt

In this "Instructable," I will show you how to make an awesome little "hack" for your t-shirt. It is a "belt" that runs along the bottom of your shirt. You can also use this method on sleeves. Aside from looking totally awesome, I have discovered that it also serves as a good conversation piece.

P.S. Thanks randofo for the feature!

Step 1: Gather Materials

Picture of Gather Materials

For this project, you will need:

-10-20 minutes (depending on how good of a job you want to do)
-Shirt you want to hack

-Flat shoelaces (You could use round, but it I think it would look dumb, but I encourage you to try it if you want to.


-Scissors. My scissors are made by "Fiskars," which sounds like a cat food name to me.

Step 2: Match Your Colors

Picture of Match Your Colors

Here is where your personal preference comes into play. I am using brown shoelaces, and a gray shirt. I really like earthy tones, but if you want brighter colors or darker, or more or less contrast, then you have to decide.

Just round up the flat laces you have around the house, and the shirt you want to mod, and just hold them up to each other, and see what you like. You could take the shirt to a shoe store, compare them, then buy the one you like, too.

You have a lot of room to be creative, I know that they make all kinds of patterns on flat laces, including, Checkers, Spongebob, Stripes, Zigzags, and tons of colors.

Step 3: Measure and Cut

Picture of Measure and Cut

One of the reasons I like this project is that there are so many options to customize this project the way YOU like.

Here, you choose the spacing you want. I chose increments of two inches. You may choose whatever spacing pleases your eye. You could even do random, or not even equally spaced.

Use the ruler to find where you need to cut. Start from the side. I did 2, so I would measure 2, cut, 2, cut etc. etc.

Remember to make vertical slits, because you will be stringing flat laces through them, and you want the laces to be flat against you. Fold it a tiny bit, and cut the fold, on your increment mark. Remember the slit will be doubled if you fold and cut.

Do this until you get the whole way around the shirt.

Step 4: Lace and Tie

Picture of Lace and Tie

-Lace your shoe strings through the holes, in an in-out-in-out fashion.
-Meet the laces on your left or right side, on the INSIDE off your shirt, to hide the knot. Unless of course you like the look of the knot.
-Pull the strings to equall length, and tie a simple square knot.

Once again, you have room for options. You can cut the extra slack of shoelace off, or let them dangle, like I did. You can cut the plastic things off, or leave them. You can do this method with the sleeves and collor, or not. I encourage creativity in this project.


olivierdemontpellier (author)2009-03-06

hey !! this guy own an atari jaguar, i'm sure, it's a really cool guy ...

StoryAddict (author)2009-02-13

Honestly didn't read through the whole thing, but my first thought about the suggestion to do it to the neckhole is that's a great way to invite someone to choke you to death. Just sayin'. Ironically, the flipside of it being on a sleeve would be that if you happen to be wearing that shirt when you're grievously injured, you've got a built-in tourniquet!

Phoghat (author)2008-03-28

I volunteer at an adult home and had some people make a bunch for men, women, kids, from your ideas. The local public library had a tag sale and we sold them there and the money went for a pizza party for the whole home. Thanks for the ideas. Pay it forward.

jlkinetics (author)Phoghat2009-01-12
Wow.. Amazing! That makes me feel really good. I'm glad I could indirectly help the home you volunteer for.
nellydoux (author)2008-11-13

Actually, I really like this idea. I have some old flat shoe laces of Spongebob and Invader Zim from high school. I don't put them on my shoes anymore and I didn't have the heart to throw them away. This is the perfect idea to put on a basic tee! Maybe even for a little girls t-shirt you can use the same idea around the collar or sleeves and tie a bow on the sides? Just a suggestion. Overall, fun idea ~ A+ :-).

kthekiss (author)2008-11-10

i like this one

carpe_noctem (author)2008-07-23

i personally see no need for this, although if it becomes "trendy" you should sell the idea to a major clothing company. talk about money jk lol

utahskibum (author)2008-07-23

whhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa???????? why would you ever do this? it's really lame.

coolz (author)2008-06-19

belts are for pants! really they are!

jlkinetics (author)coolz2008-06-20

partypooper, plz.

ilikedginger (author)2008-06-06

I hate it when people ask "why would I do this?" or "how is this functional?". This looks good and I want to do it with some of my shirts and some ribbon frin the 99 Cent Store.

dianaw (author)2008-03-23

Great! lots of ideas going round and round. Ribbons or trims would be fun for girly girls... at the waist or just above. or cut the neckband plus a bit more and lace through the opening to make blouse look. sleeves too of course. People were mentioning the holes and what other things could be done. Well, a machine with a buttonhole stitch is one thing, but also you can get little grommet kits at any sewing -craft store and they are easy to punch in. Or you could stitch on little D-rings or O -rings, or even make a kind of belt loop with sections of another shoe lace or ribbon. You could stitch them or get some fusible stuff. Can you tell I'm jazzed? LOL Thanks, This is great. I have to go play with this in the morning.

msdrpepper (author)dianaw2008-04-10

Yea, you go girl! I am so wanting to do Stinkymum's tiedye shirts and now I want to embellish it more with this shoelace trick. That's what I can use my Hello Kitty shoelaces I bought on sale for $1.00 at a sale... they are too long to fit inside my Crocs ... I also have a set of like animal prints, leopard or tiger, I forget what animal. So this would be really cool. heh. And if the shirt is waaay too long, you can do this shoelace trick and then tighten it up, gather it closer and have the tshirt "ruffle" up at the bottom sort of like a little blouson top ... More girly... I'm sure the guys will hurl at that idea but oh well. One good idea begats another!

GorillazMiko (author)2008-03-22

I like it! So many awesome T-Shirt hacks are being posted... I need to post one, some, and one or some for the Pocket-Sized contest too! Unfortunately all my stuff was tooken away for bad grades and stuff. :(

haha I understand why they were "tooken away" lmao

Hahaha, boosh!

SteamKit (author)2008-03-23

Random factoid. The lil plastic things are aglets. Great instructable!

Even if they are brass they are aglets.

jlkinetics (author)SteamKit2008-03-23

Thanks, i knew it ended with "lets" but i couldn't quite remember the name. i thought it was like leaflets or something :P

Sunbanks (author)2008-03-23

You think Fiskars sounds like a brand of cat food too?

I smell bacon (author)Sunbanks2008-03-25

friskies is a brand, and so is whiskas, my cats eat it

J_SCAP (author)2008-03-24

nice but for some reason im minding that junk :)

ChancreScolex (author)2008-03-22

Wait... Does the shoelace go through the belt loops on your pants? You probably said it, but Im too lazy to read every word. If it does, then your pants are stuck to your shirt. If it doesnt then I have to question how well it works.

jlkinetics (author)ChancreScolex2008-03-23

no, but great idea! also, it doesn't "work" really as a belt, just for show.

ChancreScolex (author)jlkinetics2008-03-23

The cut holes in the shirt are sort of cheap looking and could probably tear more. Maybe they have a cloth equivalent of those metal rings you find on tarps that keep it from ripping. That could give it some more decoration and stability.

brettbarth (author)ChancreScolex2008-03-23

You could stitch them like a button hole, but that would take longer and be more painstaking, especially if you don't own a sewing machine and want to make it look neat.

DrCoolSanta (author)2008-03-23

Have to say, the idea is so simple and yet to awesome, I would have loved to have seen here a way to keep the holes from tearing, but have to say, it is something I would have been looking in the stores. It's cool for a video game look, you know, you sometimes find video games with characters with the belts.

NorCalNomad (author)2008-03-23

Just a thought...have you tired doing it on the hem so that it would look even cleaner(just the engineer in me talking)...I love this idea just don't know if I'd be able to rock it

Dim-1 (author)2008-03-22

if you have no idea why you would need a "t-shirt" belt, then come hang out with me and my friends for a long while. We are always losing stuff. One time in particular I lost my belt. I used a short extension cord and plugged it into itself to secure it. Now IF I had a handy t-shirt belt I could have kept my lamp plugged in and not had to dress in the dark!

crucible (author)2008-03-22

Other than for decorative purposes, why would you want to do this?

jlkinetics (author)crucible2008-03-22

It serves no other purpose,

Instructi-Guy (author)jlkinetics2008-03-22

Other than being totally awesome!!!!!!!

grimfig (author)2008-03-22

thats pretty cool.

fynflood (author)2008-03-22

I have no idea why on earth anyone would want a 'shirt belt', but I would like give you kudos for having a Jaguar ; )

Erik Lindemann (author)2008-03-22

I could see this as a potential fashion statement.

lorrwill (author)2008-03-22

Well this is really cool and I love the color scheme! I am going to have to try this doing the neck, sleeve and bottom.

lorrwill (author)2008-03-22

Fiskars cat food!!! LOL!

bowmaster (author)2008-03-22

A Jet-black shirt with Blood red shoelaces would look awesome.

Seppuko (author)2008-03-22

No this is really cool if you have a baggy shirt that makes you look heavier than you really are. Pull the belt to tight it around your waist so people can check out your sexy waistline ... or something. Are waist lines even sexy? Either way, cool instructable. I have a few shirts I might do this to.

gmjhowe (author)2008-03-22

nice and simple! well done!

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