How to Upcycle an Old Flannel and Style it 3 Different Ways

Hello, my fellow fashion friends that have closets full of clothes they do not wear. I have such a bad habit of holding onto clothes I don’t like and haven’t worn in years. Some call it “hoarding”, I call it “saving things I might need someday”. No matter how you spin it, I am guessing you have some clothing items lying around that aren’t living up to their full potential.


I saw a pin on Pinterest for this flannel DIY I am showing you today that I had wanted to try out. I had this post scheduled to be published next week, but I got incredibly inspired to write it after watching a recent video from one of my favorite fashion YouTubers, Ashley Brooke. In this video, she announced that she will be altering her content and style videos to reflect more sustainable shopping practices. To summarize, this lead to her sharing her view on the troublesome “influencer” trends in consumerism.


I love viewing content from popular YouTubers, Instagrammers, and bloggers but a trend that really bothers me is the romanticization of mass/overconsumption of material items such as clothing. The promotion of frequent hauls that cost $500+ is 1. Not sustainable for the environment for several reasons and 2. Is not financially realistic or feasible for most viewers.


In my opinion, it encourages a materialistic society and often misses the mark on the importance of the quality of the person instead of the quantity of their things. There is a lot to be said on this subject. Don’t get me wrong, I love buying new clothes and I am guilty of supporting the quick fashion industry. By all means, shop the way you enjoy. However, in an effort of realness and what It’s Mich is about, I challenge you all to be more aware of your consumerism and make some changes to improve the sustainability of your fashion habits. There is a lot of clothing floating around in your closet and in second-hand stores that can be reused, restyled, and upcycled. An easy place to start? Take an old shirt and make it into something you love. Simple directions for how to upcycle an old flannel and style it three different ways below. Hope you enjoy!

How to Upcycle an Old Flannel (or Button-Down) Shirt:


What you will need

  • An old flannel or button-down shirt
  • A pair of scissors

1. Crop the Flannel

  • Try on the shirt and determine the length of crop you desire. For me, I decided I wanted the crop to be right below my belly button line.
  • Then, measure about an inch lower than the desired crop length. This is the line you will cut across. You want to cut it longer to allow room for the frayed edges.
  • Cut only the front layer of the shirt if you want the front to be cropped and the back of the shirt to remain long. As pictured to the left, start by cutting up the side seam of the shirt until you reach the correct height. Then continue to cut across the front.

Tips to remember:

  • Start longer than you think, you can always cut more off but you can't add fabric back on!
  • Cut as straight as you can, but don't worry about making it perfect since you are intentionally fraying the ends later.
diy flannel

2. Cut Off the Back Hem

  • If you want the back side of the shirt to have a rough hem as well, cut along the sewed hem to remove it.

Tips to Remember:

  • Cut as close to the hem as possible if you wish to have the back end of the shirt remain long.

For reference, this is what both of my hems (front and back) looked like after I finished cropping the shirt and removing the back hem.


3. Cut Off the Sleeves

  • Cut about 1/3 to 1/2 of the sleeve off.

Tips to Remember:

  • It's best to keep the sleeve longer so that you can cuff it to your desired sleeve length later.

4. Fray the Shirt

  • Pick a few of the strands out of the shirt to encourage fraying. This is more difficult to do on a relatively unworn shirt like the one I used. So a much more effective second step method is...
  • Wash the shirt in warm water and then machine dry. This will speed up the fraying process.

Tips to Remember:

  • Make sure the washing machine is NOT set to delicate or casual. The goal is to roughly wash the shirt to get it to fray.
  • Check the fabric of your shirt to make sure you can wash it in warm water without shrinking it.
cuffing diy flannel

5. Cuff the Sleeves

  • Roll your sleeves 2-3 times to achieve the desired length and look
diy flannel

6. You are done! Time to Style.

That's it! Such a quick and easy way to transform an old shirt. I was really happy with how mine turned out. I hope you enjoy this tutorial. For styling tips check out the right hand column. To take a look at the original post I found this DIY from click here.


To sign up for notifications for more content like this, enter your name and email in the subscription box below. If you end up trying this upcycle out for yourself, send me a picture of how it turns out by contacting me or tagging me on instagram 🙂


Thanks for reading, talk to you in a future post soon!

xx Michaela 

How to Style Your New Shirt (3 Different Ways):



Style #1 Bell-bottoms + Booties

  • Bell-bottoms | Free People
  • Green Suede Booties | Urban Outfitters

Cute yet casual is the epitome of my favorite summer style.  This outfit is comfortable yet has stylish/dressier elements. Upcycled Top + Bell-bottoms + Booties makes for the perfect outfit for a casual dinner or happy hour with friends.



Style #2  Jean Skirt + Mules

  • Denim Skirt | Urban Outfitters
  • Brown Leather Mules | Forever 21

Did someone say daaate night? This outfit is simple yet styled. The top is conservative enough that you can get away with showing off and accentuating your legs with the mini skirt + heeled mule combo. It would be great for a restaurant with an outdoor patio or an event such as a graduation party.


Style Tip: tuck in just the front of the shirt for a less fitted look.

DIY Flannel Brunette Modeling
DIY Flannel Brunette Modeling

Style #3 Open Front + Denim Shorts

  • White Tube Top | Express
  • Black Denim Shorts | Thrifted (Tommy Hilfiger)
  • Black Rain Boots | Target

I won't lie this look might be my favorite! I am such a fan of mixing girly pieces like my white tube top with a little bit edgier items such as the black denim shorts and black boots (instead of a girlier, cute pair of sandals). The frayed edges of the upcycled top pair so well with frayed denim. This is such a great casual, yet cute outfit to wear in the summer.


The versatility of this flannel is seriously endless. I hope the looks I put together gave you some inspiration for designing your own outfits! Comment down below which outfit was your favorite. And while you're at it, comment some ways in which you incorporate a higher degree of sustainability into your life! Happy upcycling my friends.