So this week I’ve been looking at ways that you can repurpose an old T-shirt, easy-peasy style. And I’ve found two super easy things to make that don’t require anything except your time, and a pair of scissors… seriously! Before we start, while I was researching different things to make from old T-shirts I found a lot of posts from people who had gone out to charity shops specifically to buy old T’s to cut up into whatever. Guys, please don’t do this.
Repurposing is great if you’ve got something old that isn’t worth anything as it’s original self, but those T-shirts in charity shops could help to clothe someone who can’t afford to buy from other shops. Use your own – or your friends – old T’s if you want to experiment.
Knotted T-Shirt Scarf
So, the first thing I learnt how to make was a really cool knotted scarf, that looks like this…
To make your scarf you need an old T-shirt that no one wants to wear anymore. I used an old one of my dads.
So, to start, cut underneath the sleeves from one side to the other so that you’re left with the neck and two sleeves as one piece, and the bottom of the T as the another piece. Discard the top part, you don’t need that for this scarf. Now, you’ve just got the bottom half of the T-shirt and the hem should be closest to you. Turn the whole T around so that the cut edge is closest to you and the hem is furthest away. Now, cut a fringe into the bottom of the T-shirt, making each strip approximately 20cm long.
When you’ve cut your fringe all the way along the bottom of the T-shirt take each individual fringe piece and pull it so that it stretches and curls around itself. When you’ve finished it should look like this.
Now we get to the fiddly bit. Once you’ve stretched all your fringe pieces out you can begin to knot them together. Start with two pieces that are next to each other and tie those together, then move on to the next two, and so on, and so on, until you’ve gone all the way around the bottom of the T and each piece is tied to it’s neighbour.
Now you need pull apart the tied together fringes and tie each separated fringe to it’s neighbour in order to make a nice triangle pattern. (See the picture below as I don’t think I explained that very well!)
And that’s it. Once you’ve gone all the way around and tied each of the fringes to it’s neighbour you have a finished scarf which you can wear whenever and however you want to.
T-Shirt Tote Bag The second thing I learnt to make this week that I wanted to share with you is a really nice, functional tote bag. It’s made completely out of an old t-shirt, and, just like the scarf, can be made with nothing more than your time, and a pair of scissors.
So, to make this funky tote grab another T-shirt and this time cut each of the sleeves off individually, following the seam. Then cut out the neck, this will be the top of the bag so make sure you cut it big enough that you can get things in!
Once you’ve cut the sleeves and neck off, turn the T around so that the bottom of it is closest to you, and cut the hem off the bottom.
Then, when you’ve removed the hem, it’s time to cut another fringe. Just like you did for the scarf, except this time you can make the fringes shorter or longer depending on how much room you want in your bag. The top of the fringe will be the base of your bag, so make sure you don’t make them too long!
When you’ve cut your fringe do exactly the same as the scarf and pull each fringe piece so that it stretches out and curls in on itself.
Now you can tie your fringe pieces together, two by two. This time though, don’t tie to the piece next door but to the piece opposite, so that you are tying the two sides of the bottom of your bag together, therefore closing the hole. When you’ve finished tying them all together you’ll have a fully functional repurposed T-shirt tote bag!
So, next time you’ve got an old T that you’re not sure what to do with, have a go at turning it into something useful. And don’t throw away the bits of T-shirt that you’ve got left after making these, just go online and there are loads more great ideas for using up all the pieces of your old T so that none of them go to waste. Enjoy!