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#Renew

What you can do to upcycle

How to upcycle T-Shirts: three cool DIY ideas

Before you say goodbye to your old T-shirt, why not turn it into a simple skirt? Or a tote bag? Or a pillow cover? Upcycling your T-shirt is not only fun, but also a great way to counteract fashion pollution.

DIY idea 1: no-sew simple skirt

A tutorial showing how to repurpose your old T-shirt into a skirt

How’s this for a creative DIY idea? In just ten minutes, you can upcycle any old T-shirt into a simple skirt for hot summer days. And the best thing about this project is its simplicity.

 

What you need:

  • old T-shirt
  • pair of scissors
  • safety pin

What to do:

Step 1:
Fold your old T-shirt in half and, using the scissors, cut a straight line from armpit to armpit. Set the bottom half of the T-shirt aside.

 

Step 2:
Cut a 2.5cm strip at the base of the top half of the T-shirt, to make a drawstring for the skirt. Attach one end to the safety pin.

 

Step 3:
Snip a small opening on the inside of the bottom hem of the T-shirt and, using the safety pin, feed the drawstring through the hem.

 

You’re done! Enjoy your new skirt!

DIY idea 2: no-sew tote bag

A DIY T-shirt upcycle tutorial showing how to turn an old T-shirt into a bag

This colourful, yet practical, tote bag is perfect for carrying your shopping. And it’s a huge step up from using nasty plastic bags from the supermarket, so you’ll be doing the environment a big favour, too. As before, this T-shirt upcycling tutorial is super easy to do.

 

What you need:

  • old T-shirt (the thicker the fabric, the stronger the bag)
  • pair of scissors
  • safety pin

What to do:

Step 1:
Cut off the sleeves (put them aside) and cut out the neck of the T-shirt. Tip: As this will be the opening of the bag, if you plan to shop for anything bigger than a watermelon make sure to make the hole deep.

 

Step 2:
Remember those sleeves? The next step is to cut a strip of fabric two centimetres off the sleeve. This is going to be the drawstring that you’ll use to close the hole at the bottom of the t-shirt.

 

Step 3:
Cut a single opening in the hem and use the safety pin to thread your drawstring strip through.

 

Hey, presto! Your T-shirt bag is ready.

DIY idea 3: souvenir pillowcase

A tutorial showing how to repurpose your old T-shirt into a pillow case

We’re probably all guilty of buying a novelty t-shirt that we’ve never worn. It typically happens in a moment of madness on a city break or on the festival trail. But there’s no need to throw it away if it doesn’t spark joy; not when you can repurpose the T-shirt into a funky pillowcase for the living room.

 

What you need:

  • old souvenir T-shirt
  • a pillow that can fit inside
  • pins
  • a sewing machine or needle and thread
  • scissors

What to do:

Step 1:
Turn your T-shirt inside-out, put the pillow in and pin the fabric around the top and sides of the pillow, leaving the bottom unpinned. Take the pillow out.

 

Step 2:
Using a sewing machine or needle and thread, sew where you have pinned and trim away excess fabric with scissors. Leave the bottom completely untouched and open.

 

Step 3:
Turn the T-shirt the right side out again and place the pillow inside, folding the overhang at the bottom, inside. Top tip: If you’re feeling very adventurous you could add a zipper or buttons, but the fabric will stay put without them.

 

Lay back and enjoy the memories!

Image credits

Header image: Blaublut