T-shirts are one of those things that you just seem to accumulate more and more of over the years. But you don’t have to get rid of them! Why not try to upcycle them instead into something new? After all, old t-shirts are basically free fabric, right? Check out our 5 ideas to transform and upcycle t-shirts below.
Hats From Old T-shirts
Here’s a new fresh accessory to try out. These hats made from old t-shirts are perfect for yourself or as a gift. The stretchy comfortable material can fit any sized melon – including kids. Use different colors and patterns to create a personalized, funky accessory that uses recycled materials. In this tutorial, Jessica Giardino shows you step-by-step how to use a serger to sew this fun project.
Find the project here: Serger Project: Make a Hat from Old T-Shirts
This is a nice simple project for beginners. Turn your t-shirt into a display piece! In this tutorial, Tara Rex shows you how to transform your old favorite t-shirt into a decorative pillow. This project is quick and easy, only requiring some stitching and stuffing. Now that trip you took to the Black Hills or that concert you saw can be immortalized on a pillow, and not tucked away in a box.
Find the project here: Sew a Quick and Easy T-Shirt Pillow
A reverse applique can be a great addition to decorative pillows or blankets, but it doesn’t have to end there. This technique can also be used on t-shirts to create a unique twist. Nicole LaFoille shows you in this tutorial how to create fun detail on a basic or plain top. This is a quick and easy way to add some custom touches to your clothes that will leave others wondering, “Where did you get that shirt?”
Find the project here: Reverse Applique and T-Shirt Applique Ideas
Mastering Men’s Dress Shirts
Creating the parts of a men’s dress shirt is a great way to get started with garment making. These details can be added to customize any shirt and create a professional look. In this article, Ashley Hough teaches you how to master collars, cuffs, and pockets. These components are a great way to tailor a dress shirt to the style of the man in your life.
Find the project here: Collars, Cuffs, and Pockets: Mastering the Shirt Essentials
Taking In a Shirt
Have a shirt that is too big? Altering a shirt can be quick and easy, and you won’t find a better dress form than yourself. In this tutorial Aurora Sisneros shows you a method of taking in that requires no dress form and is as simple as try it on, pin, stitch, and fit. This technique can be used on more than just shirts. Try it out on dresses to fix the size or to create a more slimming fit to a boxy dress.
Find the project here: Taking in a Shirt
Quite possibly the most popular upcycle project for a t-shirt is the infamous “t-shirt quilt”. It’s a great way to immortalize those memory pieces you can’t bear to get rid of. Making an entire quilt can be a bit of an undertaking, but the outcome of this project is so worth it!
Find the project here: Quick and Easy T-Shirt Quilt Tutorial
Next time you feel like your t-shirt drawer is getting too full, take out your sewing machine and start recycling! You might just make something beautiful. If you’re inspired by these tutorials, or have some more ideas to upcycle t-shirts, leave us a comment below!