Three Ideas for Reusing Old T-Shirts

Ideas for Reusing Old T-Shirts

There’s nothing like an old T-shirt; it’s cozy, comfortable and familiar. But what can you do with T-shirts that are becoming a little worn out or kind of stained? Here are three ideas that can transform your old T-shirt into something new.

If you’re not willing to sacrifice one of your own, head to your local Goodwill® store where you can find hundreds of sizes and colors. With more than 79 million annual donors in the United States and Canada, you’re bound to find something. Plus, Goodwill’s employment programs promote independence and dignity for people who need support to provide for themselves and their families, so your hard-earned cash will be going to a good cause!


T-Shirt Shrug

This project is a great way to turn your old, casual T-shirt into something a little more stylish. With a little sewing and some ribbon, you’ll turn a T-shirt into something you could wear to the office.

Bird graphic t-shirtI found this great T-shirt at my local Goodwill, and I immediately loved the bird graphic, and the color scheme. Since the bird was on the front of the shirt, and I didn’t want to lose this detail, I decided to flip the T-shirt over, so the bird would be on the back of my shrug.

Shirt with slit cut up the middle Pinning the t-shirt

To make the shrug, cut a slit up the center of the shirt, and remove the collar. Turn the shirt inside out and pin the cut areas (up the center and around the collar).

Sew the t-shirt seam Thread the ribbon through the t-shirt

Sew the pinned areas being careful not to close up the seam because a ribbon will have to run through the entire seam. Cut a length of ribbon that is long enough to run the entire seam (plus a little extra for tying), attach a safety pin to the end, and thread it through.

T-shirt shrugPull the ribbon to gather the T-shirt fabric which will form the shrug. I’m so happy I was able to save the bird graphic on the back!

T-shirt shrug back


T-Shirt as Art

It’s so easy to find T-shirts at Goodwill with great graphics, but they don’t always fit. No need to pass that shirt by; just turn it into art.

Pink T-Shirt

This T-shirt has a really interesting design, and thought it would be perfect for a little girl’s room.

When purchasing a frame, make sure you measure the design area so you buy the right size. Also, make sure the frame is thick enough to accommodate the mounted fabric.

Once you know the size of the frame, cut a piece of 3/16″ thick foam core to fit. I’m using acid free foam core because it’s what I had on hand. However, the acid free stuff can be significantly more expensive than regular foam core which is totally acceptable to use.

Trace foam core Pin fabric to foam core

Place the foam core over the T-shirt graphic, and trace about an inch away using a permanent marker. Cut out the traced area. Using small sewing pins, pin the fabric to the side of the foam core. It’s best to pin the center of each side first, stretching the fabric a little tight, and alternating sides as you go. This will eliminate wrinkles, and keep the fabric nice and straight.

Framed T-Shirt

Insert the pinned fabric and foam core into the frame, and hang or display anywhere.


T-Shirt Pillow

This project is so easy. Simply, cut the area of the T-shirt you want to keep in a square or rectangle. Cut the same size square or rectangle from the back of the shirt. Sew the squares inside out, leaving space for your hand to fit through. Turn the pillow back, so the outside is on the outside. Stuff with poly-fill, and hand sew the open end.

T-shirt pillow

Who knew your old t-shirt could be home décor?