8 Ways to Upcycle Your Old Tees

Happy Earth Day!

Although we would love for you to buy as many shirts as your heart desires (that’s kind of our business model), we also understand that at some point those shirts may no longer be of use to you. Whether you’ve outgrown them, worn holes in them or they just aren’t your style anymore, there’s going to be time when you want to get rid of your t-shirts. Of course, you can throw them away or donate them somewhere, but why not upcycle them into something you’ll actually use?

We chatted with Tara Allen of Greener Goods in Mahomet about different ways to reuse old t-shirts. Here are some of our favorites. Bonus: they are all no sew!

  1. T-Shirt Bag: With a few simple cuts and some knots you can turn any old t-shirt into a reusable bag. Check out our Facebook and Instagram pages for a quick tutorial on how to do this project or find the full instructions here.

  2. Braided Bracelets: Cutting old t-shirts into small strips can create colorful, unique bracelets. This tutorial shows you how to do just that.

  3. Rags or “Unpaper” Towels: Old t-shirts make GREAT rags for the garage or anywhere that spills happen. Simply cut the shirts into squares or rectangles and use as you would any other towel or rag.

  4. Headbands: Some simple cutting and twisting of the fabric leads to a fashionable new headband. Check out the super easy tutorial here.

  5. Dog Toys: If your dog is like most, they immediately destroy every toy you buy them. So, why waste your money? This blog has 5 ways to make old t-shirts into dog toys.
    IMPORTANT: if making dog toys, we highly recommend using 100% cotton t-shirts if possible. Synthetic materials can be harmful if they ingest them.

  6. Hair Wrap: Microfiber or blended fabric tees make fantastic hair wraps. Instead of using a towel to dry your hair, try a t-shirt next time. The fabric of t-shirts can help reduce frizz and are much easier on your hair. 

  7. Rug: That’s right, you can use old t-shirt scraps to make a rug. We promise this one is way easier than it sounds.

  8. Plant Hanger: House plants are having a moment right now. Why not make your little plant babies a chic hanger out of those old shirts? All you need is some scissors and a crochet hook. Learn more here.

Alright, we just gave you 8 ways to upcycle old tees so you have no excuse for throwing those t-shirts away and adding to the landfills.

In all serious, we understand that reusing or recycling products isn’t always easy or convenient. However, on this Earth Day, we hope that you will consider making one small change towards the better. Next time you start to throw out an old t-shirt think about what it could become instead. Just because it’s at the end of it’s life cycle in terms of wearing it, doesn’t mean it has to go to the grave (landfill). Be creative and see what you can turn that shirt into.


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