DIY Workout Tank with Step-By-Step Picture Tutorial

by Emilie on January 29, 2013

DIY Workout Tank Tutorial  - This Beautiful Frugal Life

I have been seeing this DIY workout tank on Pinterest and it seemed easy enough that even I could tackle it.  I’m happy to report, it’s true, it’s easy! It took me about 25 minutes to make the first one because I was being very cautious. Unfortunately my pictures didn’t turn out and I frantically made a second one in ten minutes.  What an easy way to make an awesome tank top out of a t-shirt I’d never wear otherwise!

photo 1

  • Start with any old jersey knit t-shirt. This one was so stained from all the mud in the race, I figured it couldn’t hurt to cut it apart.  On a side note, you should run in the Hell Run. So fun! I pretty much died laughing the whole time thinking about Tone Loc serenading us through the finish line.  

photo 2

  • Cut off the arms, crew neck and bottom seam.  You can see in this picture where I cut.  I think it is helpful when cutting the straps to start at the top and cut down, then start curving around to make the arm hole.  If that sounds confusing, just look at the picture.
  • At this point, I cleaned up the cuts.  I had a few jagged edges so I trimmed them up until they looked pretty straight.


  • Turn the t-shirt over and cut a deep v in the back.  It doesn’t matter how deep it is but the farther down you go, the longer your racerback will be.  (If you are wondering why there is a yellow wash cloth in between the two layers of the t-shirt, it serves no purpose.  I just needed something in a contrasting color so you could see where I made the cuts.)


  • Take the piece you cut from the bottom, make a cut so it is one long piece. Stretch it out until it’s as long as it will go. I cut off the seam (and threw it away) so it was just a small piece of fabric with no stitching as shown above.  It made it easier to stretch.


  • Take the long piece and tie a knot at the top of your racerback, as shown in the picture.  Wrap it around as far down as you would like.


  • After wrapping it all the way down, you can knot the end and tuck the extra pieces underneath so you can’t see them. Voila!

DIY Workout Tank Tutorial from This Beautiful Frugal Life

A few tips:

  • Use sharp scissors! I made one with my fabric scissors and it was easy.  The other I did with some kitchen shears and it was really hard to get the edges nice.  These Gingher shears and scissors come highly recommended and are currently on sale over at Amazon.
  • Don’t worry about making it even.  Just trim and trim until it looks right! Both times the neck was a little tight when I tried it on so I just took it off and  cut until it fit more comfortably.
  • The bigger the shirt, the better (in my opinion).  The black t-shirt was a size bigger than I normally wear and the white one was my normal size.  The black one felt really comfortable once it was done while the white one was a little tight. Time to steal some of your man’s old tees.

Let it be known that I’m TERRIBLE at this type of stuff and I couldn’t even mess it up. You can do it!

Check out where Melody will wear her tank and the 374 reasons she loves CrossFit these days.  She’s a tad obsessed.

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