It’s nearly springtime and like many people you might be engaging in some heavy cleaning that rarely gets tackled like washing windows, emptying the junk drawer and going through your closet to discard clothing that is too worn or never worn. You probably have a good supply of t-shirts that are going to either get thrown out or donated to the thrift store. But what if there were crafty projects you could do fairly easily to upcycle those tees into quirky and useful items for your lifestyle? Here are some ideas on how to reuse, repurpose, and recycle those tees in fun and interesting ways!
Tote-ablly amazing storage is never in short demand and old t-shirts can easily be repurposed into tote bags that can be used to avoid using plastic bags at the grocery store, organizing kid’s toys, or consolidating small items that might clutter up cupboards in your bathroom or laundry room. You can even use them as a casual purse if you have a printed t-shirt design you love and aren’t ready to part with just yet. Check out the tutorial below that requires no sewing skills! If you’re planning on using the tote for heavier items, a thicker weight t-shirt will provide the strength needed. Additional decoration can applied with a hot glue gun like ribbon edging or faux gems if you’re feeling very crafty.
Make fashionable headway with DIY t-shirt headbands. Headbands are still very chic in 2018 and what better way to exhibit your own style than with upcycled headbands. Not only are they a head turner, but it makes for a great conversational piece when you can say, “I made this myself.” If you have a tee with an interesting pattern or focal point, a simple headband could do it justice. Just cut the section out twice the width you want to wear it at and measure a comfortable length around your head and sew the two ends together. You can scrunch up the width to create the look you’re going for. And if you haven’t heard, geometric design is still going very strong so a crisscrossed headband with a few simple stiches will be on trend. Check out this tutorial for self-styled t-shirt derived hair accessories.
Memorabilia quilts are hot! You’ve probably seen a few social media posts featuring quilts lovingly made to memorialize a youth spent going to concerts from the collection of concerts t-shirts or even super sweet heirloom quilts pieced together from a deceased loved ones clothing. Other themes are sporting events or teams, old school shirts, or shirts based upon characters we worshipped during our childhood like Hello Kitty or Transformers. Quilts made from old t-shirts give those memories a second life and are actually a beautiful way to continue display blasts from the past. Check out the tutorial below showing how to make your own t-shirt quilt.
T-shirt pillows are a great option if you only have a few t-shirts you can’t part with. Assuming the original tee had its day in the sun, these tend to be very soft as well perfect for cuddling on the couch. This no sew t-shirt pillow option is great for the added effect of fringe!
Cinch it up for 2018 because belts are still being featured on the runway. Double belts are even more in demand allowing you to recycle even more old t-shirts using t-shirt yarn. See the video below on how to make your own! You can make two single belts or sew extra lengths of t-shirt yarn together to make a continuous double wrap t-shirt belt. Check out this tutorial.
Scarves can instantly dress up any outfit so it’s no wonder their popularity has not waned in recent years. And this fashion item isn’t just for winter. Think of a t-shirt scarf as the ultimate neckline accessory. The different types of t-shirt scarves that can be created are quite amazing like the infinity t-shirt scarf and the fringe t-shirt scarf. Anyway you wrap these examples will result eye-catching fashion statements.
Probably one of the oldest ways to recycle old t-shirt yarn can literally be found underneath your feet. Throw rugs made from t-shirt yarn are soft to the touch and can make a beautiful addition to your home’s décor plus it’s basically guaranteed to be a one-of-a-kind feature. That’s something you can’t say about just anything. Even if you’re not a huge fan of rugs, your pets will be so that’s an additional motivator to try out this great recycling project. Be prepared with between 15 and 30 old tees depending on the size of rug you’re looking to create. Check out the tutorial below which requires scissors and a sewing machine or this one for riotous rag rug look.
How about a dreamcatcher made of t-shirt yarn? This is a new take on the dreamcatchers you used to make at summer camp. Accentuate with pony beads and feathers! Not a fan of the traditional dreamcatcher motif? How about a tree of life theme instead using old strips of lace for a gorgeous shabby chic feel? Check this tutorial from a couple of DIY fans that love to upcycle old items.