T-Shirt Upcycling

Ah, upcycling. There’s something so trendy about that word. Something even better about it is that upcycling usually means cheap or free! I don’t like to think of myself as cheap in a bad way. Getting creative by using what I have on hand or what I find in a thrift store is so much fun! Making gifts using recycled/upcycled materials can be a little tricky. Some people really appreciate a homemade gift but others might appreciate something fresh from the store instead. One person in my life who is sure to enjoy a nice handmade gift is my mom so for her birthday I decided to raid my craft closet to see what would inspire me.

I started with an old t-shirt that I didn’t really like anymore.

I cut strips about 1.5 inches wide and the length of the bottom of the shirt.  My strips were extra long because the shirt was pretty baggy but if when you start braiding you feel like your strips aren’t long enough then cut some more and sew the ends together to lengthen them.  I didn’t really measure anything.

This part reminded me of the friendship bracelets I used to make when I was little.  Those were fancier than a simple braid but that is all you need to do here!  Just keep braiding and braiding and then tie a knot when you have about 4 or 5 inches left.

So this is how I figured the end should work.  Tie one knot in the end and then leave a little gap and then tie another knot.  This way you have an opening for the other end of the braid to go through.  If it’s tight enough you will have a nice closure.

Next you can add any type of embellishment you’d like to.  These were the supplies I used to make…

…a flower.  I sewed it onto the necklace.

So this is how it ended up.  It was long enough to loop it around my neck three times.  I think next time I would braid it more loosely so that it isn’t so stiff and drapes a little more nicely.

I made a bracelet with some thicker strips and the same type of closure to complete the ensemble.

So this was my mom’s birthday gift! I’ve seen her wear it several times so I guess she likes it. 🙂 I’ve also seen her wear the necklace as a headband (so creative) and it looks great that way too!  It actually gave me the idea to make a couple braided headbands for myself.  Great way to keep my hair off my face as the days heat up.

2 responses to “T-Shirt Upcycling

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