I think everyone of us has stored somewhere in the house some old t-shirts that keep inside lots of memories. T-shirts have the tendency to become very personal, because they carry moments of our life and then they’re no longer wearable. It’s very hard to get rid of them for sentimental reasons sometimes. But we have a solution for you.
Instead of simply throwing them away and be sorry, here are 10 ways to get your old t-shirt out of the box and recondition it. I’ve also included some links to tutorials that I found on the Internet in case you want to try any of these methods.
1. T-SHIRT QUILTS. This is the most sentimental and practical of all strategies. Although making a quilt out of your t-shirts might take a long time and it can be expensive, the result is amazing. Quilts can be great presents and surprises for someone you care for (or for you) and a way to preserve all their events without an overabundance of t-shirts. Usually, mothers do a quilt for their son/daughter when they go to college. If you love craft stuff, you have to try this. For a big quilt you will need about 30 old t-shirts, but for a smaller one, 15 – 20 are enough. There are also many specialized centers for creating custom quilts, but that depends of course on your budget. See this tutorial if you want to make one: http://www.craftstylish.com/item/7394/how-to-make-a-t-shirt-quilt
2. T-SHIRT PILLOWS. That is a great way to re-use your old favorite t-shirt, and the best part is that you will use it for years to come. You can use only the big part from the t-shirt to create a square pillow or you can use the entire t-shirt. Here is a great tutorial on how to make your own t-shirt pillow: http://www.allfreecrafts.com/sewing/tshirt-pillow.shtml
3. T-SHIRT PET TOYS. Old t-shirts can also be turned into fun pet toys, items for pets to chase and chew. That is very practical and the entire process can be funnier if you add a squeaker inside the toy. That will make them crazy about the new toy. Also, you can use t-shirts to make their sleeping place cozier, or to dry them after a bath or rain. You can use this strategy not only for t-shirts, but also for any other clothes (sweaters) that you are not wearing any more. Check out this tutorial if you want to make your doggy a squeaker: http://www.craftstylish.com/item/40916/how-to-make-sweater-dog-toys
4. T-SHIRT BAG – This recycling method is very practical for those who want to have a nice sentimental t-shirt bag. The bag that results from an old t-shirt might not be as good looking as a new one, bought from the store, but it can make you feel better and “green”. The t-shirt bag can be used for many purposes: grocery, library, travelling or whatever you like. The best t-shirt bags come out of cotton knit t-shirts, because you don’t have to worry about finishing the edges. Here is a nice tutorial on how to make your own t-shirt bag: http://www.vanillajoy.com/tutorials/t-shirt-bag-tutorial
5. T-SHIRT SCARF. If you are a scarf lover, you must transform one of your old t-shirt into a scarf to keep you warm or just for fun. Check out these tutorials for different ways to make a scarf:
6. T-SHIRT UNDERWEAR. This method is for girls especially. It’s unique, personal and you can’t buy them from anywhere. If you have an old t-shirt that holds a printed design that you just don’t want to give or throw away, that’s the great solution to make the design new again! Turn the printed part from your t-shirt into underwear. I hope you have the patience to try this, because the result looks great: http://belleandburger.blogspot.com/2009/06/panty-tutorial-how-to-make-your-own.html. If you are not so good at sewing, there are actually specialized people to do this for you: http://solojones.com/salvaged.aspx
7. T-SHIRT WALL ART. This is a great way to expose the t-shirts that you own and have a cute and attractive design. You can actually frame the t-shirt or decorate some small furniture with it. The result is more effective than you may think. This method is perfect for decorating a child’s room with small t-shirts printed with his childhood heroes. But anybody can do this, it’s unusual, so easy and so inexpensive. Here is a short explanation on how to make t-shirt wall art http://craft.dow.com/proj/11259.htm
8. T-SHIRT RAG-RUG. Now, this is a more difficult method for those of you who are not so skilled at making a rag-rug. If you are interested, the Internet offers lots of tutorials and you will learn very quickly if you really want to. Here are 2 tutorials for this: http://vintagechica.typepad.com/the_life_and_times_of_thi/2006/10/rag_rug_tutoria.html
9. T-SHIRT NAPKINS. This is an eco-friendly method to re-use the t-shirt that you are not wearing any more. For this project, all you need is a clean t-shirt to cut into rectangles and then sew. It’s easy and ecological.
10. T-SHIRT RAGS. One of the final decisions for a t-shirt. I don’t suggest transforming a favorite t-shirt into a rag (you can choose from the above options), but if they don’t apply to your t-shirt quality, that’s just it.
In short, pictures are cheapest, quilts are more sentimental, donations or rag-bags are the most practical. Anyway, if any of these options doesn’t fit you, or you are just not in the craft area yourself, and you’ve finally decided to throw them away or donate them, please try each of them one more time and take a picture of each. I think that will keep the memory alive without the t-shirt itself. I hope you found some interesting ideas to modify your t-shirt, and gave up on the idea of throwing them away. You can also check a very big resource for transforming your t-shirt offered by Generation T.