Friday, November 21, 2008

How Can I Recycle A T-Shirt?

In my closet cleaning and sorting frenzy last week, I came up with a stack of old t-shirts. Most were a little stained or too worn to donate to Goodwill but nice enough that they still had some life in them.

I really like rags cut out of old t-shirts, so I cut some of the thinner, stretchier shirts into squares. These rags are great for dusting and polishing or drying as you clean.

I had long wanted to try making some of these t-shirt bags. I've admired them on other blogs and kept wanting to try them! I ended up making 8 of them in all. All 8 bags took me 30 minutes to complete!

I wasn't totally satisfied with these bags, though. In my opinion, they are not as cute in real life as they appear on blogs. I did find that the ones that looked the best to me were the smaller shirts that I used. Most of my shirts were too big and looked really wonky! I kept my two favorites and cut the rest into more rags. The two that I kept will be used for grocery bags. I'm guessing that they will work best for light-weight items. If I really like them, I'll make more when I have more shirts to recycle! As for looks, I imagine they will look better filled with groceries.

More ideas for reusing t-shirts:
-make a quilt
-cut squares to use as hankies especially when you have a cold-I can use some of my rags for this!
-Lindsay has a great post about re-using t-shirts. There are more ideas in the comments!
-sew other articles of clothing
-make a rug by knitting or crocheting strips of t-shirts together

Edit: Thanks to Monica for letting me know about Mama to Mama; a charity that donates baby hats sewn from old t-shirts! This would be a fun project to do with friends.

Any more ideas for re-using t-shirts? Please share!

I love finding new uses for things that I have around the house!


thehomespunheart said...

Great ideas, Mary Ann!

Did you see the link my post today? There is a mom organizing the sending of baby hats to Haiti for babies who need them - made out of OLD T-SHIRTS!!

Debbie J. said...

These are good ideas!

My daughter made pillows from some old tee shirts and tried to sell them in her Etsy shop. She called them "shirties"

I would like to make a college theme quilt if I can save up enough "NC State" shirts. Sometimes I've found these at thrift shops.

DarcyLee said...

Mary Ann,

What great ideas. I'm going to try the ideas of making rags out of t-shirts-can't have too many of those-and I want to try making a bag out of a t-shirt. I also really want to look into the Mama to Mama project. Thank you so much for sharing.