Shopping Bag: The popular reusable bag is getting yet another new source: your old T-shirts. Not a job for the weaker of the bunch, a strong cotton blend may be the best foundation for this fresh, fun and useful accessory. Good news is this project is great for beginners and only takes a few steps.
Pillowcase: This reuse idea is one of our favorites since it allows the DIY’er to opt for sewing. To make it as simple as can be, slide a T-shirt over a pillow and voila!
If you’re looking for a more polished look or have a little skill to throw around, a T-shirt can be the perfect creative jumpstart you need to really finish a look with a throw pillow, seat cushion or good ol’ fashion head-rester!
Quilts: The beauty and pure comfort of a quilt is something that almost everyone enjoys. The joy with a T-shirt quilt lies in the memories that can be added by including shirts from events, concerts, vacations and more. This reuse project lends itself perfectly to the gift category, especially for those friends who “have everything.”
The basics of quilting apply for this project as they would to any other quilting, though the material leads to a more causal outcome than that of a more “classic” quilt. It may seem intimidating at first, but make it a summer project that you, your friends and your family can all contribute to.
Rag Rug: This approach to reuse is great for T-shirts or material that has been through the ringer. It is also useful for all the scraps, strips and leftovers that may start to pile up. Surging in popularity in the late 1800s, rag rugs have been a part of many cultures across the world for some time. Not only rich in culture and history, this project is great for people of all age and skill level.
Wedding Dress (for real!!): Getting out of the mindset that reuse is only good for some things will allow you to use it more often as well as get better results. Use this tip as a guide to expand your ideas a bit and really get the most bang for
Though not the most common of reuse projects, this tip is based more on the concept than the actual result. Reusing doesn’t always have to have such a, well, reused look. You can make some quality products out of your leftovers and that’s the point this project makes.
Scarf: Though the summer months don’t usually evoke the urge to create winter wear, this little take on a T-shirt is timeless and can easily be stored for the few months when it doesn’t apply.
Another great gift idea and one of those accessories you can never seem to have enough of, T-shirt scarfs have the great quality of versatility. Create a thin, light weigh scarf for fall with your worn-in classics while using your more structured shirts to create a heavier item that’s perfect for the upcoming holidays.
Bags: If you’re anything like us here at Earth911.com, you might have multiple bags for multiple things. There are travel bags, make-up bags, change purses, MP3 player cases, snack holders…the list goes on. After a while the number of containers can add up, both in volume and cost. That makes this project one to get excited about. There is lots of info out there about taking your old shirts and turning them into the perfect tote, purse or bobble holder. We only listed a few, but you can pretty much slap a zipper or button on any square of piece of material and off you go!
This topic is so vast that we have barely grazed the surface. If you think about it, T-shirts are just material, so anything you can make from material, you can make from a T-shirt. The best part is the idea behind it and the variations that are possible, no matter what your level of skill. Since we only have the opportunity to bring you a few ideas, we wanted to make sure you had what you needed if you wanted more. So, here they are.
Not enough…how about 100 more?
- Generation T: 108 Ways to Transform a T-Shirt – Megan Nicolay
- 99 Ways to Cut, Sew, Trim, and Tie Your T-Shirt - Justina Blakeney, Anka Livakovic, Ellen Schultz and Faith Blakeney
- Tease: Inspired T-shirt Transformations by Superstars of Art, Craft, & Design – Sarah Sockit
- T-Shirt Makeovers: 20 Transformations for Fabulous Fashions – Sistahs of Harlem (Carmen Webber and Carmia Marshall)