Whether or not you’re ready to admit it, summer break is fast approaching – the kids are home and you’re going to have to think of a million ways to entertain them over those long, drawn-out weeks! But don’t fret! There are tons of fun and, wait for it, (almost) free ways of keeping your little ones out of trouble throughout the summer. And, dare I say it; you might even find yourself enjoying the chaos too! Upcycling is a great way to have fun and give something new life. Looking for tutorials for upcycling clothes with no sew required? We have you covered. Here are 3 fun no sew ways to upcycle an old t-shirt. You are going to love these T Shirt Crafts, no sew needed.
How To Upcycle Old T-Shirts
One fun and cheap activity you can do with your kids this summer is restyle old tshirts, which not only keeps your kids occupied, but it also makes a dent in those useless stacks of old tshirts hanging around. And before you throw your hands up in despair, I hereby promise that there will be no sewing involved in the ideas to come. You don’t need to be a needle and thread ninja to upcycle tshirts or have fun with your kids.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll have plenty of old t-shirts folded in a forgotten drawer somewhere, and the only thing wrong with them will be that they’ve been outgrown. Well, dig them out, because they’re going to turn into something a bit special… Each of these upcycled t-shirt craft ideas has a link to the blog that shows full details and photos if you want to try it yourself! If you would prefer to upcycle an old sweater, there are projects for that too!
3 Cool Crafts With Old T Shirts:
1. How To Make A No Sew Braided Headband From Old T Shirts
This one is geared a little more towards the daughters, but would also make a really cute gift for any little Jacks or Jasons to give to their moms/sisters/grandmas!
You will need:
- Some bare headbands
- A few old t-shirts (a favorite graphic t-shirt works well)
- Hot glue
- A pair of scissors
1. Cut your old tees into strips a little longer than the headband itself and braid them, tying them at the ends.
2. Using the craft glue, wrap the headband with a strip of the same fabric.
3. Glue the fabric braid to the top of the covered headband.
Easy and effective! You can use lots of different types of fabric, and even combine materials if you choose. To make this even cheaper, you could sew both ends of your fabric braid together (but then I did promise no sewing!).
2. Recycled T-shirt Tote Bags
This quick tutorial suits just about anyone. These reusable bags are a perfect way to do your bit for environment by cutting down on the amount of plastic shopping bags you use. Don’t worry there is no sewing machine needed for this t-shirt bag!
You will need:
A heavyweight cotton t-shirt
1. Lay your t-shirt on a flat surface and cut the sleeves off. Make sure you do this on the outside (sleeve side) of the seam to keep your tote handles strong.
2. Cut the neck out of your t-shirt. You can draw around a dinner plate if you want a perfectly-rounded look.
3. Cut 2″ slits along the bottom of the t-shirt (through both layers) about 1″ apart. Keep the slits lined up and, starting with the end, tie the front and back slits together with double knots all the way along the bottom of the t-shirt.
4. Voila! Multi-purpose t-shirt tote.
You could also turn the t-shirt inside out before you tie it if you want the knots to go on the inside, but this is down to personal choice. The bottom seam could be sewn, too!
3. No-Sew Fabric Flowers From Old Tshirts
These fabric flowers look gorgeous attached to scarves, hats and t-shirts, or worn individually as pins.
Craft Supplies Needed:
- Old shirt
- A pen
- Something circular to draw around
- Hot glue
- Some buttons or gems
Jersey fabric from t-shirts will yield softer flowers, while woven fabric from other old garments will yield stiffer flowers.
1. Draw a circle on the back of your t-shirt fabric and cut it out.
2. Fold the circle into quarters and mark the center with a pen (so it shows like a small circle when you open it up).
3. Put a small amount of glue on the circle you just drew and fold up the edges.
4. Add more glue to the center of your fabric square, then fold in the pointed corners one at a time.
5. Add a little more glue, a pretty button, and you’re done!
There are tons of other ways to make fabric flowers online (some no-sew, some a little more complex!), but this is one of the simplest and great for doing with kids.
T Shirt Upcycle Ideas Conclusion
And that’s it, three simple ways to keep the kids entertained while doing a little recycling. Bring on the summer!
Not only are you encouraging your children to be eco-friendly, you are stimulating their creativity by helping them to think about their clothes in a different way. Whilst donating clothes that no longer fit to charity shops is a great way to be environmentally conscious and donate to a good cause, upcycling is a brilliant way to get more wear out of an item of clothing. See what designs everyone comes up with, and soon enough the whole family will be wearing unique items of clothing – and will no doubt look the best dressed on the street!
I hope you enjoy these crafts to upcycle t-shirts. What’s your favorite? Do you have other upcycled tshirt craft ideas that you’d like to share?
Guest post by Leann Farmer who is a social media and customer experience manager at BlueCotton, a custom t-shirt design company. When not thinking up memorable and witty sayings to print on apparel, you can find her pinning away on Pinterest and thinking about creative uses for all the old t-shirts she’s accumulated.
Someone recently shared another fun way to upcycle old tshirts with me via pinterest- t-shirt wall art. Very clever and cute! Do you have any ideas on ways to upcycle old t-shirts?
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Small Footprints says
Wow … what great ideas. I especially liked the braided headband and could see using the same technique to do belts and decorative trim on other clothing. AND, I especially like that what to do with old t-shirts no sew is offered … really great for those of us who don’t sew! 🙂
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Extremely useful information specially the last phase 🙂 I will try some of they ways to restyle old t shirts. Thank you and good luck.
Excellent post. I love reuse projects and I like these ideas for reusing old t-shirts in crafty ways. I’m really impressed by your site. I’ll certainly digg it and individually suggest to my friends.
Ally Maw says
Great old clothes ideas! I too am not the best behind a sewing machine, so these ideas are cute & something that I can do! Thanks for the easy tutorial! I think I will use my favorite t-shirt where I spilled on the bottom of the shirt to make to make a no sew tote bag.
I love these t-shirt crafts no sew ideas. With a couple of kids rapidly growing out of their clothes, I have a multitude of t-shirts.
Anne Krietlow says
Pinned it! I’ve never seen the no sew version of the tee bags. My teens are going to love making these with me. Thank you for posting these upcycling clothes ideas no-sew.