If you’re anything like us, you have a closet (or two, or three) full of old t-shirts that you never wear. Maybe they’re too small, or too ratty, or you just don’t like the design anymore. But before you toss them out, consider upcycling them into something new and amazing! With a little bit of time and effort, you can turn an old t-shirt into a brand-new piece of clothing or home decor.
To get started, you’ll need a few supplies. First, gather up all of the t-shirts you want to use. Next, you’ll need a pair of sharp scissors and a sewing machine (or you can hand-sew everything, if you prefer). If you’re planning on making a garment, you’ll also need a pattern. And finally, you’ll need some sort of interfacing material to stabilize the fabric (this is especially important if you’re working with stretchy t-shirts).
Once you have your supplies, it’s time to start crafting! We’ve rounded up some of our favorite DIY t-shirt projects to get you inspired.
One of the simplest ways to upcycle an old t-shirt is to turn it into a new pair of shorts. This is a great project for t-shirts that are too small or have hole in them. Just cut off the bottom of the shirt and then sew or serge the raw edge to finish it off. If you want to get a bit more creative, you can also add some embellishments like lace or fringe.
If shorts aren’t your style, consider upcycling an old t-shirt into a cute new skirt. This is a great way to use up those really large t-shirts that you can never seem to wear. Just cut the bottom off of the shirt and then sew the raw edge to create a tube. If the shirt is too wide, you can always gather it up a bit to create a more fitted look.
Another great option for repurposing old t-shirts is to make a brand-new top. There are lots of different ways to do this, but one of our favorites is the t-shirt refashion. Just cut off the bottom of the shirt and then sew the raw edge to create a tube. Next, cut a slit up the center of the back of the shirt and then insert some elastic. This will create a gathered look that’s perfect for a summer top.
If you’re feeling really ambitious, you can even make a dress out of an old t-shirt! Just follow the same steps as above, but sew the raw edge of the shirt all the way around to create a sleeveless dress. You can then add some straps if you like, or just leave it as-is.
Looking for a way to add some pizazz to an old t-shirt? Consider making a t-shirt scarf! Just cut the shirt into strips and then knot them together. This is a great way to use up those small scraps of fabric that you have left over from other projects.
T-shirt yarn is another great option for repurposing old t-shirts. Just cut the shirt into strips and then stretch them out. This yarn can be used for all sorts of different projects, from knitting and crocheting to weaving.
One final option for repurposing old t-shirts is to use them as cleaning cloths. Just cut the shirts into squares and then use them in place of paper towels. They’re perfect for cleaning up spills and wiping down surfaces. Plus, they’re reusable so you’ll save money in the long run.
We hope these ideas have inspired you to start upcycling your old t-shirts!