Transforming Old T-Shirts Into Useful Objects

After the oil industry, the fashion industry is the most polluting in the world! This is an excellent reason to reconsider your clothes and keep them longer. Here, to avoid wasting more resources for recycling at the end of its life, some practical tips to transform and reuse an old t-shirt.

As you may already know, the fashion industry is one of the most polluting. It alone produces 10% of the world’s carbon emissions. In addition, according to a report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the dyes used to color fabrics are the second largest water polluter globally. So here are some ideas to reuse an old T-shirt and avoid the trash.

A Tawashi or a Fabric Sponge

The very fashionable tawashi is usually made with old spun tights, but also with an old t-shirt. Find out how to make it in our quick and easy tutorial. In addition, you can reuse an old, printed t-shirt to make excellent washable and reusable sponges if you know how to sew.

A Large Shopping Bag

Have you ever thought that you can easily make shopping bags from old t-shirts? It’s quick, and the bags look great!

First, cut off the bottom edge of the T-shirt. Keep the strip of fabric. Next, cut off the sleeves and collar hem as well.

Turn the shirt inside out and tie the bottom very tightly with the strip of fabric. To make the whole thing more stable, you can also fix the knot with some stitches. Finally, turn the shirt right side out again, and you have a stylish bag!

A Bread Bag With an Old Long-sleeved T-shirt

By simply cutting off one sleeve of your old long-sleeved t-shirt, you can reuse it as a baguette bag!

Small Toys for Dogs

No need to spend thousands of dollars on a bunch of plastic dog toys that will end up being shredded and scattered all over your garden anyway… Instead, exploit the potential of your old cotton T-shirts!

A Soft Scarf

By saving the sleeves of an old T-shirt, you can put it to good use by turning it into an original scarf. 

Crochet Accessories

Crochet is an art that can be applied to cotton T-shirts too! Use your old patterns to create unique objects. Hanging plants, pencil pots, or bathroom baskets, you wouldn’t have imagined the decorative potential hidden behind your old, faded T-shirt.


Turn your old t-shirts into pretty bracelets with this simple trick. How to do it? First, cut your t-shirts into strips. The bracelets look best if you use different colors.

Lay 3 or 6 of the strips next to each other, depending on how wide you want the bracelet to be. Place something heavy on one end to hold the strips in place. Then weave the strips into a bracelet.

Sew the ends together, so they don’t come undone. Then, if you like, you can add a button, snap, or magnetic closure.
You can also make hairbands in the same way; just make the strips a little longer.

Patchwork Rugs

Yes, your favorite t-shirt could be a rug tomorrow. Even though it’s a bit mean to imagine, you might enjoy it a little longer this way.
Many t-shirts have beautiful patterns, which makes it doubly hard to throw them away. In order not to waste them, you can create original carpets or rugs out of them.

It’s straightforward: first, cut off the bottom hem of several T-shirts. Then cut each shirt into a long strip all around (like you would peel an orange). This way, you get several long strips of fabric.

Pull the strips lengthwise and knot three pieces together. Then braid them into a pigtail. You can sew on more with a few stitches when the strips are finished and continue braiding until the braid is long enough.

Now wind the braid lying flat into a scroll so that the braiding pattern is visible. From the inside out, you should sew the rounds together.

The more different T-shirts you use, the more colors and patterns the rug will have. Try to use as many different colors as possible. You can also vary the thickness of the carpet by either using thicker T-shirts or cutting the strips wider. It’s best to try a bit before you decide.


As you can see, from now on there’s no reason to throw away old clothes. With a bit of creativity, they can be transformed into beautiful accessories. There are so many great craft ideas. Just get started! 

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