Saturday, April 5, 2014

Upcycle your t-shirts into a neat summer scarf.

     Do you have t-shirts you enjoy, but are getting too worn out to wear? Upcycle your t-shirt to make a one-of-a-kind scarf. It's easy and requires unlimited creativity and some basic sewing knowledge with a needle and thread. With this tutorial, you can unleash your creativity and make a unique scarf using different colors, patterns, old jewelry, etc.
    When we upcycle our old t-shirts, we will reduce the number of pounds that will either end up in the landfills or in an underdeveloped country where it actually harms instead of helps. According to the USA Today article, Clothes recycling goes curbside as demand rises, 11.1 million pounds of textiles end up in the landfills each year. It only takes one person to be a leader and to inspire others to make a change. Upcycle your t-shirts and show your personal style. 

Materials you need: 
    • 2 to 3 cotton t-shirts (The larger size, the more fabric to work with) preferably worn out in different      colors 
    • Sewing scissors if you have any
    • Ruler or measuring tape
    • Needle and Thread
    • Anything you want to add whether it be beads or sequins. The opportunities are endless. 
    • Flat surface


1) Select your t-shirts you would like to use and lay them on a flat surface. 

2) Take your sewing scissors and cut each t-shirt into strips that are about 1 1/2 inches wide and as long as possible. You can start at the bottom of the front and cut all the way to the bottom of the back if possible. If you want to vary in lengths or widths, you can cut some wider, as then you will have a thicker foundation.

4) Separate your strips by size and color and give them a pull. The fibers used to make the t-shirts blend have some stretch, so they will roll up on itself a little. You can pull each one separately or pull them all together at once.

5) UNLEASH YOUR CREATIVITY! You are going to put the strips together any way you want by weaving, twisting, knotting, braiding, or mixing colors and sizes. You can add bead strands or sequins. When you have it the way you want it, tie them together with some t-shirt scraps. To make sure they are secured, tie a knot, and trim the ends. Don't worry about them showing, as they will be covered up. 

6) After you have tied all of the sections together, you will take the t-shirt sleeves and cut them down the seam. You will wrap the fabric tightly around the sections you tied to secure them. Take your needle and thread and tack the wrapping. You may have to wrap in a few different places if your strips weren't all the same size. 

7) Try it on and wait for the compliments to pour in. These make great gifts and have unlimited design options. 


  1. Cute! I've seen these at craft fairs before :)

  2. I have a friend who tried to explain this craft to me once at a mom's meeting as a simple craft! I will have to set aside clothing and make one for my younger girls. They'd love it! :)

    1. I hope this is easy to understand. This scarf didn't turn out the way I had wanted it because I didn't cut long enough strips or use a large enough shirt. This would be a great project for the young girls to help with. :) I remember being fascinated with doing project like this with my mom or even getting new clothes...wait I still do. :)

  3. Very neat way to use an old t-shirt!

    1. Thank you, Renae! Have you completed any projects using old t-shirts? I am always looking for new ideas. :) There is a neat book series called Generation T:108 ways to transform a t-shirt by Megan Nicolay. Some of the ideas are like "Wow, why didn't I think of that?" Others are a little off the wall, but she has a few books out.