How to Upcycle Your Worn-Out Shirts
Let’s set the scene for a second. You’ve decided to finally go through your closet and sort through all of your clothes, picking through t-shirts for bands you no longer listen to and t-shirts that haven’t fit for months or maybe even years.
This leaves you with a potentially staggering pile of t-shirts you need to figure out what to do with. Donating them or selling them online are often the immediate go-tos. But there are other options!
Recycling and repurposing old t-shirts are great moves for when you’ve done the full closet clean-out. According to the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association, almost 95% of all used clothing and textiles are able to be reused or recycled in some way. As a brand that believes in sustainability, Fresh Clean Tees is all for giving t-shirts new life.
So, once you have a t-shirt subscription set up with Fresh Clean Tees (to refill your closet with extremely fresh threads), you can get to work on new ways to reuse all those old t-shirts that’ve had a good life. Here’s a few to get you started!
Get to cutting up.
One super easy way to repurpose old t-shirts is to turn them into reusable rags. Cut those faded, torn, or thrashed t-shirts into any size you like with scissors or a box cutter. Cut diagonally or horizontally as needed and you’ll have a number of reusable rags that you can use for just about anything.
Not sure how to use ‘em?
- House cleaning
- Car maintenance
- Pet cleanup
- Any kind of work that creates a mess, such as cooking, dining, crafting, etc.
Upcycle to accessorize.
You can totally upcycle old t-shirts into a different kind of clothing entirely by repurposing them into wearable accessories. These kinds of accessories can range from bracelets to infinity scarves. This can be a fun way to give new life to your old fave t-shirts (that no longer fit you), even as you upgrade to your new fave super-soft tees.
I think a great option is an easy-breezy headband. This can be great for everyday wear, working out, or when you’re focused on a DIY project and want to keep your hair out of your face. Don’t worry, if you’re like me (with no sewing ability at all), there are tons of no-sew tutorials out there!
Embrace your crafty side.
The last idea I have for you is to get a little bit crafty. [Technically, repurposing your old shirts into wearable items is also crafty, but bear with me.] Old t-shirts can make for great items that you can reuse all around your home, even as decor.
Those old t-shirts can become things like:
- Tote bags
- Pot holders
- Dog toys
Many of these projects can be made simply by cutting up your old t-shirts into strips and weaving or braiding them together.
Another crafty standout for reusing your old t-shirts is to create some plant holders that can hang in your home or backyard. You can go all in with one old t-shirt for a cohesive look or mix and match t-shirts to develop colorful patterns. Plant holders offer a great way to rearrange some of your plants and keep your favorite t-shirts around in a totally new way. A warning for making plant holders, though, is you’re going to be tying lots of knots, so maybe break out some fancy ones if you're feeling it!
— Paige Lyman
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