Crafts Using Recycled T-Shirts

Recycling old clothing into new items is not only green, but also, great fun. Making rugs and other craft items from recycled t-shirts is a popular activity. This is a page about crafts using recycled t-shirts.

Craft Ideas Using Recycled T-shirts

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Take an old child's shirt, preferably with spaghetti straps. Turn it inside out and sew the bottom of the shirt. Turn it right way and you're done. Great for small games and books. We also use them in the summer for each child's swimsuit and towel.

Convert Tank Tops Into Bags

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A great way to use T-shirts that are no longer wearable is to make a pet blanket or throw. Just cut the center out of the T-shirt and sew each square together. Fold the outside edges under to hem.

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I made my daughter (age 5) a jumpsuit from my dad's old shirt. I didn't have a pattern, but I think it turned out OK. She loves it anyway.

A child's jumpsuit made out of an old men's shirt.

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I just came across an amazing website called SuperNaturale with instructions on making your own underwear out of t-shirts! It has detailed instructions and a pattern you can print out. I can't wait to make use of some of the cute t-shirts I have *cough* grown out of.

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June 22, 2010

I know that most stores sell cloth bags to reuse for groceries, etc., but you can make your own with a bit of cutting and sewing. Take an old T shirt and lay it out flat on a table. Cut off the sleeves at the armhole seam and scoop out the neckline.

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I somehow got a hole in a decorative t-shirt I only wore once, right in the front. There was no way of fixing it so that I could wear it again so I decided to cut just above the hole and make a pillow out of it.

Front of completed pillow.

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I wanted a new nightgown, and figured there must be something in my wardrobe that I could fashion into one rather than buying one. A touristy tee shirt that someone had given me was just the thing.

T-shirt Nightgown

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My daughter had a stain on one of her shirts that I was unable to get out, and she had another shirt that she had outgrown. I decided to use the outgrown shirt to create something to decorate the shirt that had the stain. This is the result!

Recycled T-Shirt Step 4

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September 1, 2019

Whether you're redesigning a t-shirt or cutting it up to make something else out of it, it's fun and saves the world a little bit! I love cutting old t-shirts into strips about 2" wide +/- and braiding into 3, 4, or 5 strand braids. These can be colorful or monochrome. I've even tried macrame to make t-shirt necklaces, scarves, a garland, headbands, etc.

Upcycled T-shirt Crafts - several finished projects

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September 2, 2011

Use an old favorite tee, by making a pillow out of it. Just buy or use a pillow form and make a cover by just sewing the t-shirt and matching material on 3 sides and inset pillow. Then handstitch the remaining seam.

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I take old T-shirts and cut off the binding around the neck. There is no need to cut deeper as this will stretch far enough making a scoop neckline. Then comes the fun part. Use a decorative stitch on your sewing machine to sew around the neckline.

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Here is a video that shows how to turn a T-shirt into a no sew pillow. This is one of the projects I really enjoy.

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March 15, 2012

This video shows a simple innovative idea to re-purpose a t-shirts into a cute halter top.

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Craft Ideas Using Recycled T-shirts

Ask a QuestionHere are the Craft Ideas Using Recycled T-shirts asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

I'm looking for some information. I recently learned to crochet and am practicing making rag rugs (all shapes) and tote bags with recycled t-shirts that I cut up into strips. Does anyone have any more ideas please?

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January 4, 2014

Okay, so I'm an extremely sentimental soul. I have this shirt that's no longer wearable, but the image on the front, which I adore, is still entirely intact.

Front of thin shirt with Bambi screen print.

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March 13, 2020

This project is even more timely as plastic shopping bags begin to disappear from our lives. Recycle your old t-shirts into reusable bags.


Try one or more for the methods described on this page.

Making a Bag from a T-shirt - finished bag

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April 18, 2018

This is a page about making a handcrafted rag made from old shirts. Grab two old cotton t-shirts and a pair of scissors to make this nifty recycled cleaning rag. This is an excellent way to reuse old clothing.

Handcrafted Rag Made From Old Shirts - insert a piece into the hole and tie to another strip

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July 12, 2017

Rework your child's favorite t-shirt into a fun cape. This is a page about make capes from favorite t-shirts.

Make Capes from Favorite T-Shirts

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