5 Ways You can Repurpose Your Old T-Shirts

Spring cleaning season might have brought up plenty of old tees from your closet. What do you do with them? Instead of just tossing them in the garbage, why not turn them into something you can use? This is a great way to stay eco-friendly and recreate new things from old.

Wearable old tees

If your old tees are still wearable but you feel you’ve worn them too many times, there are a number of ways to create a whole new look with them. Here are some ideas:

  • Dip dye tees – Got a plain white tee that you feel is just too boring? Add some color to it with powdered fabric dye. All you need to do is take a quarter of powdered fabric dye from its container and dissolve it into 4 cups of warm water. Add 4 tablespoons and then add more water to form a dilution solution. Soak just the bottom part of the tee for about 1 minute and then rinse it under cold water.Hang the t-shirt to dry for about 15 minute until it becomes damp and then sprinkle some of the dye powder onto the dyed part. This will create a fun, speckle effect unlike regular tie dye t-shirts. After it dries completely, give it another rinse and then hang to dry again. This easy and fun method can be used with cotton dresses as well. Now you have some colorful and fashionable new tees to wear for the summer.
  • Tank top – If you have an oversized t-shirt that you no longer wear, you can turn it into a cute tank top for the summer. Just grab a pair of scissors and cut off the arms, neck, and bottom edges as shown in the image below. You can then tie back the shoulders together near the top seams using a ribbon or a piece of cloth. While you can also use the extra material you’ve cut off to tie the shoulders back, a printed cloth can add some flair to the tank top.Tank top

Image Credit: Maegan Tintari (Creative Commons License)

The finished tank top will look something like this:finished tank top


Image Credit: Maegan Tintari (Creative Commons License)

This tank top will be perfect for the warm summer months, as you can wear it with almost anything. Maybe you can wear it with a cute pair of denim shorts or soften the look with a flowy skirt. You could also pair it with distressed denims or flared jeans if you wish.

  • Pearl-neck tee – Another way to repurpose a plain t-shirt is by embedding pearls along the neck. All you need to do is sew on several pearls along the neck of your tee. You can use pearls of different sizes so as to add some substance to the look. At the same time, you could also use beads in place of the pearls. Make sure all the fabric is covered along the neckline, as this will create a nice finishing.A white v-neck tee would be perfect for this project, as it will blend nicely with the pearls. You can wear this with your favorite pair of stilettos and a flattering skirt for a formal event. It will also look great with flared jeans or trousers, so just choose whichever style suits you best.
  • Braided belt – If you have a t-shirt that’s too damaged to wear, you can easily repurpose it into a stylish braided belt. Start by cutting four strips of cloth from the t-shirt. You can cut the strips thinner if you want thin braids and wider if you want bigger braids. A width of 2.5inches should be just fine for medium width braids.
    Now pin the ends together and then hold down this end using a heavy object. You can start braiding the four strips. Once you’re done, tie up this end and then sew the other end so you can wrap it around a couple of D-rings for the buckle. After wrapping the rings around, sew the edge against the belt.

Braided belt

Image Credit: Maegan Tintari (Creative Commons License)

The next step is to untie the other end and sew it several times and you have your braided belt. Instead of the D-rings, you can use a regular belt buckle, but that will be much more complicated. You can also play around with colors and cut off strips from two or three different t-shirts.

  • Halloween outfits – If you have some really old t-shirts that have been torn in places, you can always re-use it for a creepy zombie Halloween costume. You can add more cuts here and there using scissors or blades and then pull the cuts so they look a bit more natural. For a convincing zombie costume, you could rub some dirt onto the t-shirt and add some fake blood here and there.

Now you have several ideas for recreating something new out of old t-shirts. If you find some more old tees, set them aside instead of throwing them all away because you might have some use of it later. Otherwise, you could always give them away for donations.

Author Bio:

Brandon Leibowitz is a seasoned writer for global thrift retailers, Savers and Value Village. He is a frequent contributor to blogs such as Social Media Examiner, Businesss 2 Community and several others. Brandon is recognized as a strong social media influencer due to his knowledge of and dedication to the industry.

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