Old t-shirts can be worn more ways than one. Your raggedy old t-shirt that once fit can be transformed into yarn, a wash rag, quilt or purse with little more than scissors and a needle and thread. Reusing t-shirts will help you save money and reduce your household waste, while giving your high school tees a second life. Here are 20 things you can do with old t-shirts:
From skirts, bathing suits, dresses to more shirts, you’d be amazed at how many clothing items you can make from an old t-shirt. Browse the Internet for inspiration and instructions on how to make your very own wardrobe from your old t-shirts.
Old t-shirts make excellent rags that can be used to clean, dust and polish just about everything. Whether you use the t-shirt as-is or cut into smaller pieces, t-shirt rags can be used on all surfaces, furniture, shoes, jewelry, appliances and will outlast any disposable paper towel. You can also use t-shirt rags for washing and drying the car for a streak-free clean.
You can make t-shirt pillows from old t-shirts in multiple ways. One way is to cut the t-shirt into a block that can be sewn together, and add a pillow insert or stuffing in between the fabric. Then, add an invisible zipper or button closure to keep everything intact. You can find several how-to guides and instructions to make t-shirt pillows online.
Turn your old t-shirts into yarn that can be used for knit or crochet projects. To start, cut your t-shirt into strips as wide or narrow as you want, making one continuous piece in the end. Then, hold 1 to 2 feet of the continuous strip in both hands and tug it to form a curl. Once the fabric is curled, roll it into a ball of yarn and you’re ready to go.
T-Shirt Tote Bag
Turn your old-shirt into a reusable tote bag, by cutting out two large squares and sewing the bottom and sides together, leaving the top open. To create handles, cut smaller strips of fabric from the discarded sleeves or another material and sew them onto the top of the bag. You can leave the bag open or secure it with a zipper, button or magnet.
You can make a memory quilt from your old t-shirts by cutting blocks that are the same size or various sizes, arranged in a grid pattern and sewn together with sashing between the blocks and a border for the perimeter of the quilt. You can also make a smaller quilt for children or pets, using the same process but smaller blocks.
Toy and Pillow Stuffing
An old t-shirt can be cut into small pieces or shredded to be used as stuffing for toys, pillows and other crafts.
If you or someone you know likes to play bean bag games, you can make homemade bean bags using old t-shirts. You’ll start by cutting even squares of the fabric and sewing the bottom half and sides with a very sturdy stitch. Then, you can fill the bean bags with an even amount of sand or beans and sew the top closed. To personalize the bean bags, you can use college, holiday or event t-shirts that have a matching theme.
Lay down old t-shirts on the floor or table when you’re working on projects that may get a little messy. T-shirts will protect your furniture and floors from paint, glue, glitter and other potentially damaging products.
Make homemade baby wipes by cutting squares from old t-shirts and wetting them with a mixture of water, baby wash or shampoo and baby oil. These wipes will save you money and give you the satisfaction of knowing that your wipes don’t have harsh chemicals or drying chemicals found in many store-bought baby wipes.
You can make headbands, pins, bracelets, necklaces and other accessories from old t-shirts. You can cut from the arm holes for easy construction of head bands, bracelets, necklaces and other loop accessories. Secure the accessory by sewing, gluing or tying a knot to secure the accessory and wear it proudly.
Save money on tissues by making your own handkerchief from an old t-shirt. It can be as simple as a white square or more decorative with sewn edges or designs. T-shirt handkerchiefs can be disinfected in hot water and bleach and washed on a delicate cycle.
Skip the disposable dryer sheets, by cutting an old t-shirt into small squares, placing a small amount of fabric softener to the sheet and throwing it into the dryer to freshen your clothes.
Use old t-shirts as decorative patches, by cutting a cool design, logo or color block from an old t-shirt. You can cut it into a square, circle, diamond or any other shape, and iron it onto a fabric stiffener and cut out to thicken the material and make it more durable. Then, sew the edges to keep it from fraying and sew the patch onto jeans, jackets, purses or pin it to a corkboard.
Make a shoe bag to protect your kicks when traveling or to keep them clean in your closet. In order to make a shoe bag, you’ll need to sew the arm openings and neck hole closed, and then you can insert your shoes and tie the bag closed with a ribbon or keep it open for easy access.
Make some wall art using an old t-shirt with a unique design or message. You can simply tack t-shirts to the wall in a collage-like way, or place a t-shirt inside a frame and hang the picture or whatever clever display comes to mind.
Old t-shirts are the perfect packing material because they are soft, cushioning and reusable. Too often are newspapers, plastic bags, packing peanuts thrown away after one use, but t-shirts can be reused again and again for packing dishes, pictures, trinkets and other breakables.
Old-t-shirts are the best thing to wear when you’re painting because you won’t mind if you get paint on it, and you can use the sleeves to wipe up dripping paint or correct small mistakes.
Old t-shirts can be made into an apron using a how-to guide, or serve as a cooking-only t-shirt that you can spill on and you won’t care.
Freshen up your sock drawer or closet with a homemade scented sachet made from old t-shirts. After you make and cure a potpourri mix, you can cut squares from a t-shirt and fill the fabric with potpourri and secure it with a ribbon.