Turn Old T-Shirts Into Something New

Save money by recycling, reusing old and worn-out T-shirts.

I am always looking for ways to repurpose the things in our house that we no longer want or need. For example, I have several stud earrings that I no longer wear—so I use them as pushpins.

But one item that everyone in the house seems to have in excess are T-shirts. I have no idea how many we have, but I know we have more than we could ever need or use.

We all have our favorites, so I wouldn’t suggest repurposing anything you wear regularly. If you have some that are in great shape, you may want to consider donating those.

Sometimes it's tough to part with some of the oldies but goodies—but do you really still want the T-shirt your grandparents brought you from Florida, where the "O" is an orange? What about the T-shirts you have accumulated from all of the concerts you have gone to?

Here are two ideas you can use to repurpose them and put your T-shirts to good use:

  • Check out this YouTube video of Jodi Khan, author of Simply Sublime Bags. She uses a T-shirt, duct tape and staples to create a cute no-sew bag. My daughter and I made one together out of a T-shirt that I no longer wear.
  • This article from Martha Stewart Whole Living shows how easy it is to make a necklace out of your plain T-shirts. You can make several with any color T-shirts you have.

If you have a bunch of old T-shirts that are too stained to donate or use in a project, consider using them as rags for cleaning. You can wash and use them over and over.

Barbra Horowitz June 17, 2011 at 09:21 PM
Hey Tori: I La La Love the t-shirt necklace. I make one as well, not nearly as cool. Probably because I would rather wing it than use a ruler. I am sharing a video featured on my You Tube channel from my book Closet Control-Sterling Press. How to cut your oversized tee into a hip fitted tee..Over 400,000 people have loved or not loved this style from my now defunct 10 year ago t-shirt line called Rigged Tee Shirt Couture. check it out http://www.youtube.com/user/ClosetControl?feature=mhsn#p/u/42/kUTd3cjLkBs Cutting a simple looking balanced top like the one in the video is much harder than cutting a one arm or halter. There is another video I shot for this year's Super Bowl with my boyfriend's Pittsburgh Steeler's t-shirt I H-A-T-E-D. Since I purge people professionally I don't have any oversized tees in my or my man's collection but perhaps you would donate one to me...for the t-necklace! Cheers Barbra
Tori MacLennan June 18, 2011 at 09:16 PM
Hi Barbra, Cute t-shirt! Really creative, fast and fun. Now to dig through my stash. :) I too would like to make the necklace, but I don't seem to have any solid color shirts, just printed. But here is my bright idea...I may take 2 or 3 different colored (printed) shirts and just use the bottoms to make a 2 or 3 color necklace. But I may give your design a shot first. :) Thanks, T


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