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Ten Ways to Recycle Old T-Shirts to Create Something New

tshirt recycling
Repurposing items is a great way to help decrease the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. Going green is a lot easier than most people think. Nearly every item in a household can be reused as a way to extend their life. T-shirts are one item that people tend to throw in the trash once they become old, tattered or unwanted. However, t-shirts can be used to create many things. Here are ten uses for old t-shirts.

1. Rugs

Flokati rugs are a popular type of rug. These rugs are featured in design magazines and can cost a lot of money. T-shirts can be used to create rugs with a similar look at a fraction of the price. Simply cut the shirts into strips and use a latch hook technique to sew the pieces together. To match a particular room’s décor, dye the fabric strips before sewing them.

2. Clothing

Recycled t-shirts can be used to make fun and comfortable skirts. Transforming a shirt into another piece of clothing is easy. Remove the neck from the shirt and flip in the arms to create pockets. Add a tie to the skirt’s waist will help it stay on. For a fancier skirt, add buttons and other decorative embellishments. Skirts are not the only clothing item that can be made from t-shirts. Shirts can be used to make cardigans, dresses and even other types of shirts.

3. Pillows

Pillows are another way to repurpose a t-shirt. With a little need and thread a shirt can be stuffed to become a unique pillow. For those people who are not fans of sewing, the pillows can be created using a no sew method. Use pillow stuffing to achieve the desired level of firmness. They are great for sleeping or for using as decorative throw pillows.

4. Dog Toys

Chew toys for dogs are not cheap. Anyone who loves their dogs probably goes through a few of them. T-shirts are good for repurposing into toys. Cut the t-shirts into long strips. Braid the strips and know them at the ends. Keeping a collection of old shirts around means having a constant supply of toys.

5. Quilts

Comfort may be one reason people buy t-shirts, unique logos and phrasing are another. An expansive, but raggedy collection can be reborn as a quilt. The quilts can be made using a variety of patterns to create original designs. Quilts not only create ways to reuse materials, they preserve really cool t-shirt designs. There are kits available to help with the process. If the task seems too daunting, there are also companies that will make quilts from shirts. These quilts are not only good for personal use, they are excellent gifts for friends and family.

6. Laptop Cases

Anyone with a laptop needs a laptop case. They protect the laptop from dust and spills. Use an old t-shirt to make a minimalist laptop case. These cases have three compartments and a pocket to place the power brick. Making these light laptop cases does involve a little bit of sewing. Velcro can be added to create a secure closure. If the thinness of the case is an issue, padding can be added to give the case more girth.

7. Art Projects

Art projects often involve messy crafts, especially if the projects are done by kids. Instead of throwing away those old t-shirts, use them as art smocks. They are good for protecting clothing from paint spills that may destroy good clothing. Elementary schools and preschools are constantly using smocks. The shirts can also be used to make art projects. Pot holders, tissue paper holders and bean bags are a few of the projects that kids can make. Paint markers, fabric paint and other decorations can add fun touches to the crafts. Call a local elementary school to see if the art teacher has any use for the shirts.

8. Rags

There are multiple uses for old t-shirts around the house. Save the money and cut up no longer used shirts to use as cleaning rags. This will not only save money on buying cleaning rags, but it will limit the reliance on materials that are synthetic or contain harmful chemicals. The rags can be used to dust, clean electrical equipment and even make good floor cleaners. Because the shirts are soft, there is no risk of the fabric scratching surfaces. The best part, the rags can be cleaned in the washing machine and reused later.

9. Fashion Accessories

T-shirts can be repurposed in many ways including fashion accessories. Scarves are a fashion accessory that is never going away. Give t-shirts another life by turning them into beautiful scarves. Anyone that is fashionable and creative will enjoy making their own scarves. Scarf making is a project that is able to be completed in a weekend. Several styles can be made from t-shirts. Some of these scarf styles include spaghetti knit, fringe and braided types of scarves. T-shirts can also be used to update outdated bracelets. Cut the shirts into 1 inch strips. Tie an end of the strip to the bracelet. Wrap the fabric around the bracelet until it reaches the original knot. Tie the end to the original knot and cut the excess fabric.

10. Handbags

Handbags are another accessory that can be made using a recycled shirt. There are companies that can concert the shirts into bags. Again, this is also something that anyone can make themselves. Some of the bags involve minimal amounts of sewing, while others do not require a lot of sewing. T-shirt bags can be used as diaper bags, shopping bags or the everyday bag.

Instead of throwing out those old t-shirts, reuse or recycle them. T-shirts are very versatile in there used. They are good for making clothing, cleaning rages, fashion accessories and even home goods. Finding ways to reuse products does not only save money, it prevents usable items from ending up in landfills. So, before throwing out those raggedy shirts, consider on of the many ways to recycle it.

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