Have you ever considered the environmental costs of a t-shirt throughout its life? It’s astounding, really, to see the amount of cotton, water, and pesticides that go into making these t-shirts. We won’t even go into the additional energy and water we use when washing our shirts throughout their lifetimes. And then what happens when our shirts get a little holey? We throw them away!
It’s time to put a stop to that. There are a lot of ways we can help to lessen the damage we are doing to the planet. During the lifetime of your shirt, consider line drying instead of machine drying – it is cheaper, lowers your energy bill, and extends the life of your shirts! And once you’re through with the shirt, consider donating it. And better yet, flex your creative muscles and upcycle those old t-shirts!
We found 15 wonderfully creative ways people have upcycled their own shirts. Check them out below!
1. DIY Braided Basket (via Corner Blog)
This project is great for groups; everyone can contribute one t-shirt. The more t-shirts, the bigger the basket!
2. DIY Braided Coasters (via Carolyn’s Homework)
If you continue braiding this circle, you could make yourself an entire rug!
3. DIY T-Shirt Fabric Rosette (via Instructables)
This project makes use of leftover fabric pieces from your other t-shirt crafts. These rosettes take advantage of the natural roll of cut t-shirt fabric to make their own petal poofs.
4. DIY T-Shirt Scarf (via Ninth & Bird)
You don’t have to wear your shirt the same way all the time – just a few snips and braids, and you’ve got an entire new look with your t-shirt scarf.
5. Upcycled T-Shirt Yarn (via Operation Overhaul)
This project sets the stage for so many other t-shirt projects you can work on.
6. DIY T-Shirt Quilt (via Totally Stitchin’)
These t-shirt quilts are extremely popular, and we see why!
7. DIY T-Shirt Tote Bag (via Instructables)
Stores have been selling reusable bags to replace the wasteful plastic bags, but this DIY project takes advantage of two things: it removes your need for plastic shopping bags and makes a new use for your old t-shirt!
8. Macrame Style Plant Holder (via ThoughtfullyUnique)
Who knew t-shirts were durable enough to old something up to 10 pounds? $5
9. Wine Bottle Cozy (via DistrictUpCycle)
Because every wine bottle needs to get a bit cozy before we pop the cork open. $20
10. Braided Rainbow Rug (via Sew Liberated)
A much more advance project, but the finished product is beautiful.
11. DIY Jersey Knit Bracelet (via V and Co.)
The braided look of these jersey knit bracelets make for great accessories for the budget fashionista.
12. DIY Knit Produce Bag (via Delia Creates)
A more advance version of the t-shirt tote bag. We’d be proud to carry these produce bags around the farmer’s market!
13. Upcycled T-Shirt Rug (via buyoldschool)
This beautiful rug is plushy goodness. Enough said. $169
14. Mini Tie-Dye Lampshade (via SingOn)
It’s a small lampshade, but it adds a splash of color wherever you place it. $12
15. DIY T-Shirt Wall Art (via Crafts ‘n Coffee)
A super easy and quick way to decorate your wall.
Check out our Upcycle This! archive for other cool upcycle projects.