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. Here are 3 fun no sew ways to upcycle an old t-shirt.
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 T Shirt Upcycle Ideas:
1. How To Make Braided Headbands 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
1. Cut your t-shirt 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 Bag
This one suits just about anyone, and is also a great way to do your bit for environment by cutting down on the amount of plastic shopping bags you use.
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.
You will need:
Something circular to draw around
Some buttons or gems
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.
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?