Thursday, February 4, 2016

Used T-Shirt DIY Ideas

Multiple Uses for T-shirts

I look into my closet and realize I have a large number of t-shirts. Ones from races, ones from work, ones from rugby, and a long list of others. T-shirts have become inexpensive and I seem to always be collecting new ones. I know I can’t wear all of them so I periodically go through my closet to thin out the ones I don’t wear. I could just donate them to a charity, but some of them I don’t wear, yet they have meaning to me or they have holes and probably won’t be worn by anyone. Overtime I have started to re-purpose t-shirts in various ways.


I have a quilt that my godmother made when I was in high school. Twenty-five years later I still have that quilt. I have a lot of t-shirts that I don’t wear, but they hold memories. Whether it be the years I spent mentoring youth in 4-H, all the races I have been a part of, or the years of playing rugby, they all are part of a story. What better way to remember the story then creating a quilt to be used for years to come! A throw quilt to keep you warm on the couch on a cold winter night or to take along on a rugby trip, keeping the light out in the car in order to catch a couple of zzzz’s!


T-shirt Lap Quilt


We have a lot of hardwood floors so it is nice to have a couple of throw rugs by the doors to help trap all of the dirt and debris that can be dragged into the house. After having to replace a couple of rugs I needed to find rugs I could easily throw in the washing machine if needed. I used the scraps left after making my t-shirt quilt to make crotchet a rag rug. I cut the scrapes into long stripes, similar to a thick yarn, and was able to use this t-shirt yarn to crotchet a rug. I had tried to use the traditional toothbrush technique, but decided to crotchet it instead, since I am for efficient at crocheting. 
T-shirt Rag Rug

I also had a large number of smaller scraps of t-shirt fabric that I hadn’t found a purpose for yet. I had been in the process of making a latch hook rug from scrapes of yarn left over from crocheting and knitting projects. I had seen pictures of latch hook rugs from ribbons and t-shirts and decided to try it out! It will be a little harder to wash, but since it is made of durable t-shirt fabric (that I seem to have a never ending supply of) it should be easier to clean compared to a traditional rag rug.
T-shirt Latch Hook Rug in Progress


One of the many t-shirts I had obtained over the year was an M&M from one of my sister’s themed baby shower. She has collected M&M items for years. After the shower I held on to the t-shirt for a while but never wore it. When her son came and the nursery was M&M themed, I had a wonderful idea of turning the t-shirt into a large pillow, perfect for a little boy’s bedroom! Thankfully I had some stuffing left over from a previous project, so a little bit of sewing, and a lot of stuffing, resulted in a pillow, perfect for an M&M themed room!
M&M Pillow

Cat Bed

I do workshops with youth periodically. One of the workshops I had done was showing how to weave a rag rug using a hula hoop. The youth had a fun time cutting up old t-shirts and weaving them into a rug. After we took the rugs off of the hoops, one of the rugs ended up being more of a basket. When they took the rug/basket home, their cat quickly adopted it for their new bed! Perfect, especially since they could easily wash the cat be if they needed to!
Rug turned Cat Bed

New Shirt

My sister gave me a volunteer t-shirt for the local county fair. I volunteer to help her when I can and she asks that I wear one of the fair shirts. Normally I would be on board, but sometimes it can be very hot and humid, so a t-shirt is not the first thing I want to wear. So instead of just wearing a regular t-shirt, I made a few adjustments and made it into more of a tank top! She loved what I did and asked me to alter some of her shirts so she could wear them during the fair also, especially when it is really hot in the middle of July!

Tank Top

These are just a few of the many ways you can re-purpose t-shirts. What are some of your favorites?

Thank you to Kjrsten from Demeter's Charisma for sharing her wonderful examples of how how we can re-purpose our old t-shirts.

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