{crafty} Repurpose T-Shirts – 10+ Ideas to Recycle Your Tees

reuse old tshirts, diy craft ideas

As someone who has been to my fair share of conferences over the past few years, I have a growing collection of swag t-shirts. Most of them are for one tech start-up or another. I work remotely (aka from home) most days, so my work attire generally does involve yoga pants and t-shirts. But, even considering that, I do think I’d like to find an alternate use for several of the shirts that either don’t fit great, represent a company/brand I don’t use or is a duplicate.

During my weekend couchbum adventures I stumbledupon a very fun upcycle for t-shirts, which then turned into an hour of searching pinterest, using stumbleupon and any other number of geekery research tactics I found SOOO many fun things to do with t-shirts. So, I thought I’d share my favorites.

1. Recycle an Old T-Shirt into a Pocket Apron

In the event I ever find myself in the kitchen, this might come in handy. Or perhaps I could just make one for the bf who does most of the cooking.

DIY Instructions: Ruffle and Stuff; via: lifehacker

2. T-Shirt Memory Scarf

This is my favorite of all the options for two reasons… a) I heart scarves and b) I have a variety of shirts I’d like to create into one something I’d still use.

DIY Instructions: Craftzine; via: pinterest

3. Recycled T-Shirt Bag

This would be a great use for one or a few of your favorites. I love that the handles are also made from recycled tshirts.

DIY Instructions: chichidee handmade

4. Appliqued T-Shirt Skirt

I love this idea for t-shirts that you still love but may not fit correctly!

DIY Instructions: Domestic in the City

5. Upcycled T-Shirt Pillow

I think this would be fun if you have a game room or an eclectic decoration style. I am too OCD about color schemes and matching to be able to handle tshirt pillows in my one bedroom apartment but I’m not opposed to the idea later in life. In fact, when I have a house where my office doesn’t share space with the living room I might like Gowalla & Foursquare pillows on a funky couch!

DIY Instructions: Maiden Jane; via: crafting a green world

6. T-Shirts as Wall Art

I love this idea. Yes I make no sense, pillows scare me as decoration but I’d hang t-shirts on the wall. Go figure. I think this would be fun in my teenage brother’s room as well – I bet he has football, baseball t-shirts from many years back.

DIY Instructions: FavCrafts; via: crafting a green world

7. T-Shirt as Laptop Cover

The geek girl in me LOVES this one! The biggest problem is, if I <3 the shirt enough for it to be chosen as the laptop cover then changes are I won’t be quite ready to cut it up. Such a dilemma.

DIY Instructions: Makezine

8. Reuseable Grocery Bag from Old T-shirts

Usually the reusable grocery bags that I think are cute cost twice as much as the boring ones. And for some reason it bothers me that not all my bags match each other. This may very well be my answer. Fabulous way to have your reusable shopping bags have your own personal touch. Loves.

DIY Instructions: Martha Stewart or Honestly WTF

9. T-Shirt Necktie

This would be an awesome gift for the geeky guy in your life. The hardest part would be deciding what tshirt to use. I have a feeling you might want to go thrift store shopping for this one!

DIY Instructions: Generation T

10. Stitch This: T-Shirt Quilt

All I have to say about this is… if I were to do this I’d certainly use any number of places that will do this for you. BUT if you’re crafty enough to sew a quilt it’s an option. Also, might I add I live in Texas we are currently in record breaking streak of 100+ degree days so the idea of a quilt terrifies me.

DIY Instructions: Domestic in the City or Craft Stylish; Pay someone to do this for you: T-Shirt Quilts.

10+. Pinterest Board: T-Shirts Upcycled

Since StumbleUpon and Pinterest were the initial cause of this t-shirt upcycle adventure I decided to make a board on Pinterest where I can continue to add ideas I find for upcycling, recycling or other general crafting ideas for my growing t-shirt collection. Maybe that’ll give me motivation to actually do one of these! So far on here I have holiday wreath, a book, yoga pants, and a fun traveling shoe bag.

This might be a fun board to turn into a community board, if you are on Pinterest and want to be added as a contributor of this board let me know and I can add you (I’ll need the email address you use for Pinterest).

Have any of you done anything fun with your t-shirts?

Pinterest: T-shirts Upcycled

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These are fantastic! I'm not a big t-shirt wearer, but I seem to have plenty of them around. Now I can put them to good use!


An old T-shirt fits pretty well as a pillow case, no sewing required.


I have a t-shirt quilt! All of my old high school shirts. My grandmother and mother gave it to me as a present... they went the paid route. Our housekeeper did mine and it turned out great!


those yoga pants looks pretty fun ehh!


I agree. what do you think foursquare apron?