What to do with Old T-Shirts

What to do with Old T-Shirts

Did you know that there is more than one way to reuse the clothing in your closet? For example, what if you could accessorize with a belt made out of what used to be an old shirt? Or what about spending $20 on equipment and supplies to make ten new dresses from 10 t-shirts? It’s not such a farfetched idea. In fact, it’s highly practical and economical.

               The first thing you need to do is cut off the bottom hem of your tee. Take this thread and tie each end into a knot, then pull tightly until it forms a circle. Make sure that the top and bottom pieces are even so that they’ll fit together when sewn back later.

If you want to make a short dress, cut your hemmed tee into half and sew the bottom back together to make what looks like a skirt. If you want to make it longer, go ahead and tie two knots instead of one (to avoid frayed edges) and leave the top open; then loop around three times for an arm hole.

               You can even recycle those old t-shirts that have been sitting in the corner collecting dust as pajamas or robes. Simply cut along the seams of your shirt(s) and drape them over a hanger. Once they’re all laid out, grab some embroidery floss or yarn and crochet right over where your arms would be so that it forms loose sleeves. Make sure that what you’re crocheting wraps around the hanger and hold it all together. The tighter your stitches, the warmer your sleeves will be.

               Now what to do with old t shirts with short sleeve? Cut them up and make a micro mini skirt! It’s as simple as cutting along the hemmed edge of the tee, then knotting it into a circle – just like what you did before with your other clothing items. While this may seem like an easy project, keep in mind that this type of skirt tends to ride low on the hips so prepare accordingly if you’re planning to go out somewhere nice.

               Another practical use of old t-shirts is what’s called a pajama top. This is what you make when you don’t want to run the risk of ruining what used to be your favorite tee (in case you get paint or glue on it, etc.) Cut off the bottom hem of your shirt and sew along each side of the newly created arm hole. A pajama top can also double up as a swimsuit cover up – just attach two pieces of string on the back for straps! So what do you think? Will these ideas inspire you to clean out your closet? If your old clothes are looking drab, why not consider recycling them into something new and exciting? It’s guaranteed that they’ll look better than what you threw out and it’ll free up space in the closet for more clothes that you can actually wear too. 

               If you’re not in the mood for DIY projects that require equipment and supplies, there are other ways to reuse what you already have. You can try my favorite technique – what they call Garment Deconstruction . With this method, all you need is your hands and some patience! Just carefully cut open one side of your shirt (down the arm hole) then rip the seams apart so that it forms a huge square. Cut off any leftover threads or strings before folding in half making sure that it’s even on all sides.

               Why stop at clothes? Old socks also come in handy when trying to upcycle what’s left of your old t-shirts. One way is by turning them into what looks like a scarf. Cut off what used to be the heel and roll up what’s left until it forms a donut shape. Knot this into place and you’ve got yourself a new winter accessory!

               An alternative use for old socks is what we call Oyster Stocking . Simply cut your sock(s) along its mid-section and pull open. Now, what do you see? That’s right: folds that resemble an oyster shell complete with pearls inside! This overused cliché actually serves as a pretty nifty hack when folding those not so flat items such as sweaters or pants. Of course, if you plan on recycling many of your old t shirts, then stocking up your closet with bottles of laundry starch will definitely come in handy.

               Another good idea for what to do with old t-shirts is what I like to call Rag Rugs. Lay down your tee(s) then cut away what’s left over into strips (about four inches wide). Knot them together until you’re satisfied with what you’ve created and dump right on the floor! This is a good way of adding some color to what might otherwise be an unexciting, neutral carpet or rug and there’s no need for you to purchase anything else. Instead, make it a DIY project and enjoy the added satisfaction of knowing that you recycled something old and made it new again!

Here are five more ideas on “what to do with old t-shirts”

1.   Make a fancy tote bag or even a sling out of an old t-shirt. To begin, dye the shirt and use various craft techniques such as tying or waxing to create unique patterns on the fabric. Then, you may cut up the tee and stitch it into a fun sling bag for folks who are constantly on the go. Here is a great video on turning a t-shirt into a sling bag. https://fb.watch/8B_ivgYogG/

2.   Tie-dye techniques can also be used to produce patterns on fabric that can be framed as a work of art. This is a great way to start a conversation. However, ensure to carefully clean the tee before dyeing it. Because dyeing makes the fibers more delicate, you shouldn’t use the procedure on a completely worn-out fabric.

3.   A worn-out tee can serve as an excellent diaper for your child. They are quite gentle on the baby’s skin and do not irritate it in any way. They’re also great for use as baby wipes. After each use, you should clean and disinfect the fabric. Before using the fabric for this purpose, be sure it has been essentially sterilized. This is because some of the t-shirts may still contain bleach or chemical dyes that are damaging to delicate skin.

4.   You might try making fascinating headbands out of old t-shirts. To create unique overall accessories for your outfit, add beads, buttons, gems, rhinestones, or even dried flowers. You can also make your own hair scrunches. Because the cloth does not snag hair, it prevents hair loss caused by tight scrunches.

5.   T-shirt fabric can also be used as the principal base for creating unique throw and pillow covers. Patching or stitching different shirts together to make one masterpiece can be used to make the throw coverings. You may take it a step further with cushion covers by creating popular slogans or motifs and custom printing them on the cloth before stitching.

              As we all know, recycling isn’t just about turning bottles into cups; it’s also about reusing what we already have to make what we need! After all, what to do with old t-shirts is only limited by your imagination. So if you find yourself throwing out a lot of what used to be your favorite pieces, well, it might be time for a change! Consider what to do with old t-shirts as an opportunity for creative expression and enjoy the sense of satisfaction that comes from giving new life to what would otherwise have been thrown away. If you plan on doing any of these projects, why not post a picture in our comments section so others will know what they can do as well? Happy DIYing & as always, don’t forget to recycle responsibly!