5 Ways to Repurpose Old T-shirts

T-shirts are designed to reflect your personality, which makes it easy to fall into the habit of collecting them as your interests change. Before you know it, your drawers are overflowing and your closet is bulging with tees you don’t wear anymore. If you’re the sort who doesn’t want to simply toss out the shirts you’ve accumulated over time, even if you’re certain you won’t wear them again, you can put them to good use with these projects.

Rest your head

Decorating your couch, chair or bed with decorative throw pillows can be a design budget buster. Why not save money and use what you already have and love? HGTV’s Shannon Petrie suggests transforming your hardly worn, yet beloved, T-shirts into throw pillows you can see and use every day.

Soften your step

Cold mornings equal cold floors, which can be unpleasant on your feet when you get up and moving in the morning. Treat your feet to a soft landing by constructing a rug out of your old T-shirts. According to Petrie, this craft requires a plain doormat, a glue gun and a bunch of knots made from your most brightly colored tees. The end results include less cluttered drawers and a clever conversation piece to show off the next time you have guests over.


T-shirts are not usually equated with stylish accessories, but according to Brit.Co’s Misty Spinney, your coziest T-shirts can be easily made into statement necklaces and sentimental bracelets. By braiding strips from three T-shirts, weaving them through brass rings and attaching the ends to jewelry clasps found at craft stores, you’ll be sporting an eye-catching necklace in no time.

For a modern twist on the iconic friendship bracelet, Spinney recommends taking five skinny strands cut from one of your T-shirts — or from multiple shirts of different colors for a rainbow effect — as well as one braided piece. Line up the braided piece and skinny strands next to each other and attach a jewelry clasp to each end. Make more than one and share the additional bracelets with your friends.

Cuddle up

If you’ve got a sizable collection of T-shirts that represent your athletic glory days or show love for your favorite team, consider transforming them into a quilt. If you’re an experienced quilter or feel somewhat confident with a needle and thread or sewing machine, feel free to tackle the project on your own. If you’d prefer to leave the heavy sewing to an expert, reach out to a professional quilter to have the job done to exceptional effect. These quilts also make great gift ideas for friends and family.

Be kind to Mother Nature

Plastic bags are not particularly eco-friendly, and minimizing your use of them is crucial to the environment. By creating produce bags out of your T-shirts, you’ll save the world from more plastic and look stylish while shopping at the farmers market. It’s a win-win for you and Mother Nature.

According to HGTV’s Ruth Meharg, you’ll need a T-shirt, a pair of scissors and a ruler to construct your bag. Lay the T-shirt flat on a surface and cut an arch shape into the top of the shirt by removing the sleeves and neck. Remove the shirt’s hem, reverse the material and sew the bottom closed. Finish by making rows of one-inch cuts as well as a large mark in the center to create a space for your hand or arm to go through.

T-shirts are great fashion statements, but too much of a good or great thing is still too much, particularly when storage space is at a premium. Take control of your T-shirt collection by repurposing them into something new and useful and make the most out of your collection.


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