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Upcycle That Old Tee Shirt

We all have tee shirts floating around because you can get them everywhere. School, sporting events, festivals, band shirts, witty saying shirts, giveaways… the list goes on. But what to do with all of these shirts? Here are a few fun ideas to upcycle that collection of tee shirts that are piling up in your closet to make then fun, new, and unique!

Bag It!

Upcycle tee shirt - handbag

A few snips and a quick run through the sewing machine (or hand sewn if that’s your thing) and you’ve got a fun little tote bag that will be one of a kind.

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Fringe It!

Upcycle tee shirt - fringe

Just cut strips in your shirt and pull on the strips to stretch them out and you’ve got a fringy fun shirt for your next backyard BBQ! Cut in a fun triangle design, or cut evenly across depending on the style you’re going for and the graphics you might be trying to highlight.

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Braid It

Upcycle tee shirt - braid

Cutting off the sleeves on your shirt might seem like a great idea, but depending on the fit, it might turn into a floppy mess. Why not customize the fit AND turn the back into an eye catching look with a braided back. Just snip off the sleeves, cut the back off of the neck, and slit down into three strips, then braid and stitch back onto the neck.

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Slice It!

Upcycle tee shirt - slice

Ok so you cut off the sleeves and it still fits great… but booooring! Just add a few slits to the back for a unique addition that’s a piece of cake.

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Gather It!
Upcycle tee shirt - gathered

An alternative to braiding the back by using a piece from the sleeves you just cut off, you can gather the back and simply tie off the extra fabric. A great new-sew option that takes minutes.

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Scarf It!

Upcycle tee shirt - scarf

But cutting the bottom half of a shirt and using the bottom seam as the top of the scarf, just fringe it and add a few evenly spaced knots and you’re ready to go! Not only is it easy to make, but its ridiculously cute and surprisingly high end looking!

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Quilt It!

Upcycle tee shirt - quilt

This is a great way to display all of those fun college, band, or even your child’s baby shirts. Just cut into equal squares or rectangles and sew along the edges. This is a great way to make some fun curtains too!

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Shoulder It!

Upcycle tee shirt - knot shoulders

Does your Tee shirt looks great, but you want to make it look a little more edgy? Cut out the neck, slice up the shoulder (but not all the way through), and gather where the new neckline meets the shoulder cut with some scrap fabric or a safety pin. Cute!

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Tie Dye It!

Upcycle tee shirt - tie dye

There a a million tie dye tutorials out there that can help you get all sorts of fun patterns and shapes within the dying process. This is the perfect way to cover up some minor stains and get more life out of your favorite tee. Then, if you want, you can fringe the bottom just like these fun examples.

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Suspend It!

Upcycle tee shirt - plant hanger

A few strips of tee shirt fabric combined with some simple knots, and you have an adorable and colorful plant holder that can help bring more green into any pace.

Frame It!

Upcycle tee shirt - embroider

Does your shirt have a fun design or print that is just to cool or pretty to cup up? Why not frame it in an embroidery loop or picture frame to enjoy long after the life of the shirt would’ve been over.

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Pillow It!

Upcycle tee shirt - pillows

A fun pillow case might be all you need to do to revamp that fun shirt. A cheap throw pillow is all you’ll need in addition to your shirt of choice. Just measure the pillow, cut the shirt and sew up the sides, then put over the pillow!

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Headband It!

Upcycle tee shirt - headbands

Lastly, by taking some strips of the shirt and braiding it, you’ll be able to put those flowing locks back in style. Use a single braid or add a few like this example. It’s super cute and great for the gym, beach, or just for putting back your hair while you take a soak in the tub.

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So the next time you dig through that old pile of t shirts, don’t get sad when you’re not sure what to do with them, why not try some of these fun crafty ideas to turn that shirt from old and lame to fun and modern!

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