True beauty lies within our hearts, our health and our passions. My passions include knitting, promoting wellness and being amidst the company of beautifully authentic people.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

DIY T-Shirt Repurposing Project

As I embellished my neck with my creatively funky scarf made from a $2.50 t-shirt this morning, I warmly reflect of the great time I had making it with my friend Lyse's 3 children.

Old T-shirts undoubtedly make the best rags for cleaning your home or car, but can also be repurposed a number of ways by means of fun DIY projects which can be found via the Internet. They can made into cool accessories such as bracelets, headbands, bags or scarves. Repurposed Tees can also be used to make floor rugs, pillows and my personal favorite, YARN for knit or crochet projects! Surprisingly, many of these projects do not require a sewing machine, rather a lil' dab of glue or tacking with a needle and thread here and there.

For our t-shirt scarves, we used the following:

Old T-Shirts* (I found new ones at a 2 for $5 sale)
A sharp pair of scissors
Glue Gun & Glue Sticks
Needle & Thread
A long ruler
A pencil or white fabric chalk
Embellishments: costume jewelry pieces (e.g., earrings/pendants), buttons, beads, gems, stitch markers, scrap fabric or leather

*It is important to note that some t-shirts have seams that run down the sides.  It is best not to use these types.  The only seams should be those found at the neck, arms and bottom hem.  Also keep in mind that the larger the t-shirt, the longer the scarf.  We used size Large for the scarves the children made, and size XL for mine.

We first begin by laying the t-shirt flat and cutting the t-shirt at just under the armpit straight across (from one armpit to the other).  This forms a tube.

Next, we cut the bottom hem off of the tube we've just created and smooth out the t-shirt tube flat with your hand. 

Using a pencil or fabric chalk, mark 1" stripes across the width of the tube. 

Once these 1" lines have been made, carefully and slowly cut on the lines you have made to form 1" strips.  Be sure both layers of the t-shirt remain together and flat so as to have uniform strips.  This part can be a bit tricky.
You should have a bunch of strips that resemble loops like these:

To make these loopy strips curl into tubes, gently tug on them (as if stretching a rubber band) and the strips will curl up into tube-like strands.  Once you have stretched all of your loops, you can gather them up together and begin embellishing them.  If you'd like to make a multi-colored scarf from different colored loops, now's the time to do it.

We chose to use the graphics found on one of the t-shirts to decorate two of the others.  Cut out a square, measure the circumference of the loops you wish to wrap around and tack it close with your glue gun, or sew it, which ever is easiest for you.  Next, with a needle and thread, you can sew on buttons, jewelry pieces, beads, etc.

Now ROCK OUT and jazz up your wardrobe with your funky new accessory!

To store your scarf, it is best to twist it similar to that of a hank of yarn. 

So before throwing away that old may want to think again.  Happy crafting & Enjoy!


  1. Beautiful!!!! The gorgeous kids and the ingenious project. Love it!