I hate waste. Not the waste that you see in the garbage bag, but the act of throwing something away that is still perfectly usable. If I have something that rarely gets used but still in OK condition, I give it away or sell it online. I remember giving my personalized T-shirt of our high school band to one of the kids in our neighborhood. But what if giving or selling are not an option? How can one still repurpose something headed to the trash bin?
Easy, recycle! And in the case of used shirts, here are the top 10 ideas on how you can recycle them.Most of these will work best with a bit of sewing action.
Rags & Potholders - Clothes with heavy fabric are perfect for these. You can cut out the fabric and re-sew the pieces or simply cut a few portions a bit then use as is.
Pillow case - Cut off the arms including the ridge in the middle Sew them shut and voila, you have your very own, homemade pillow case.
Doggie Mat - If you have a dog, turning your once-favorite personalized T-shirt into a doggie mat is a great idea. Similar to making the pillow case, cut out the arms and sew all holes. Best if you can slip in a thin foam before sewing it all up for some added softness.
Tote Bag - Yup, you’re old Nike T-shirt can still “do it”. Tote bags are rather easy to make, make a cut-out as a guide, sew and make fringes at the bottom (for best effect).
Headbands - Didn’t thought of that one, did you? Simply cut off the sleeves (option 1) or cut the whole shirt into small strips of cloth then sew them together to make a headband.
Wall Art - I saw this one once in a friends room. She took her old T-shirt then stretched it out to staple into a wooden frame. She painted on the thing directly (she’s an art major) with an image of an oak tree. Cool.
Book Cover - Aside from covering them in plastic, there’s a cooler way to protect your beloved books. Cloth covers! The great thing is that the process is very much like how you would do it with a plastic cover, so only minimal sewing is required.
Placemats - Pretty straightforward to do. Better if the old T-shirt is made up of a thick fiber like Polyester or Rayon for better durability and water absorption.
Scarf - If your scissor game is strong, you don’t even have to do any sewing to turn an old (preferably printed) shirt into a scarf. The more elaborate prints, the better.
Pet Toys - Sew up a bunch of fabric from your old T-shirt into a quick doggy bone or fluffy ball for your cat.