As the weather warms up most of us decide it’s time to take a look at the clothes that are cluttering our closets. We have to make room for clothing better suited for spring and summer and at the same time, it’s a good idea to ‘weed out’ things that will probably not be worn again. However, some items, like old t-shirts, can be re-used and up-cycled to create new things. Let’s talk about some of the uses for those treasured shirts that we hate to throw out.
This idea is perfect for little girls and older ones too. In fact, darker colored shirts can be used to create a camouflage-effect, which is perfect for the guys. Just cut strips of the shirt and braid. Note: use one t-shirt to experiment with the width of the strips and the desired length.
You can make small, delicate-looking bracelets or use larger strips and give your bracelet a chunky, bold look. The bracelets can be tied at the correct length and for added decoration you can leave a bit of the cloth strips hanging.
You can give old bangles a new look by wrapping them with t-shirt strips. Since you probably have t-shirts in a variety of colors, you can easily create bracelets to accessorize all your summer outfits. Mix and match bracelets and colors for an interesting effect.
Belts, Headbands And Something For Your Dog
Using the braiding technique (described above), you can also create headbands and belts. Just make the strips wider and longer.
Large, chunky braids can be turned into dog toys. Just tie off both ends of a braid 6 – 12 inches in length. The truth is, even dirty t-shirts work for this – your dog will appreciate toys that smell like you!
T-shirt braids can be braided together to create durable rugs. Start by cutting your t-shirts in strips that are between 1 and 3 inches wide. You will have to add strips to your braid to create the desired rug size. Begin by loosely tying 2 strips together along their length. You should now have 2 lengths to work with.
Lay the strips out on a table or other flat surface. Using the strip on the right side, weave it through the others, go under, over, and under again. You do not need to create a tight weave – just ensure that it is snug enough to hold the shape.
Repeat the process using the strip that is now on the right side. Continue in this manner until your braid is about ½ the length of the total rug size desired. Now you will turn the braid so you can begin building the rug out from the center. The process is basically the same as you have been doing – Use the strip on the right side and go under, over, under, and then push the strip through the loop (from underneath) in the braid. Always braid by using the strip on the right, go under, over, under, over, under, and tuck as needed.
Add lengths to your strips by cutting slits into the old and the new piece. Push the new strip through the slit in the old one – then bring the end of the new piece back up and push it through its own slit.
You may find that you will need to skip the tucking on some spots in order to keep the rug flat – especially as you come to the ends of the curved areas. Add in additional strips by tying them onto the braid. Each time you work your way around to the beginning knot you should another set of strips. Eventually you will reach the width size you want. When that happens you should start working yourself down to fewer and fewer strips until you can finish off your rug.
Debbie Allen is a team member at Package From Santa. When she’s not creating content for websites she’s busy spending time with her family and pets.