Before you get started
You don't require many tools to get started. Think about investing in a good pair of fabric scissors, fabric paint and some stamps or stencils. If you're hoping to add buttons or patches to your item, make sure you have good quality needles and thread for sewing with.
Before attempting to personalise your favourite item of clothing, practice on some old scraps of fabric or second hand T-shirts from a local charity shop. You don't want to end up destroying what was meant to be your ultimate outfit.
The cutting approach
Using scissors to customise a piece of clothing sounds drastic but can bare great results. Scissors can be used to obtain frayed edges, deeper necklines, funky cut outs or shorter lengths. For example, if your old jeans are really worn out where they've been dragging along the pavement, transform them into a pair of shorts. Denim cut offs are a trend featured in many magazines, and one the high street is popularising too. Get rid of the stain on the front of your T-shirt by cutting it out to make way for a plunging V-neckline. The same goes if the best shirt you can find on the high street comes with a round neckline but you really fancy a V-neckline.
Plain clothes can be updated with a touch of paint. If you're bored with the array of block-coloured T-shirts in your wardrobe, look into updating them with colourful fresh patterns or text. Stencils and stamps are readily available or can be designed by creative individuals. Perhaps you have a friend who studies art or graphic design and can help you out. An even easier approach is to literally just splash your clothing with paint. The resulting effect can really make you stand out and is a particularly great look for club nights.
Creative activities are often more fun when undertaken in a group. Use customising your clothes as a great reason to get your friends together for an evening of fun and games resulting in long term benefits. Have a competition to see who comes up with the best design, or work around a set theme.
Customising clothes takes time and effort that not all of us are willing to sacrifice. It also requires a high degree of creativity and precision that we're not all born with. Thankfully the fashion industry has responded to society's cries for original DIY-inspired clothing and now offers vast collections of graphic T-shirts and customised pieces to choose from. Some companies will even let you design your own shirt online.