Recycling Old T-shirts

It’s tempting when looking at an old t-shirt to simply throw it out and be done with it. After all, there’s no possible way you’d want to wear that old rag again. And sure, there is a very strong chance you may not want to wear that t-shirt again, but is that still any reason to throw out a perfectly good piece of material? After all, there’s a good chance you may find a way to recycle an old t-shirt instead. Indeed, recycling an old t-shirt may allow you to extend the life of it by a few years or more.

Naturally such prudent reclamation of old garments requires a little thought and creativity. To help jolt your mind and get you thinking of such things, here are a few ideas on recycling old t-shirts to help get you started.

  • Kids’ Hand Me Downs

This is a classic, and as old as wearing clothes itself. If you have or are expecting a young child, or any other young family member, it’s a very simple matter of simply passing on your old t-shirts to them. Simply resize and refit so that it’s not quite as baggy on them, and voila! You’ve not only saved perfectly serviceable clothing, but also a few pounds on new clothes as well. Most kids don’t care that it’s old – they’re simply thrilled to have something new to wear.

  • Dogs’ Toys

Cut your old-shirts into thin strips, and then tie them up tight into a thick braided rope, with two large knots on the end for a good grip. Now you have a perfectly good toy for your dog to get their teeth into. Adding extra strands to the braid makes the rope tougher, which will provide for a longer lifespan.

  • Wall Art

If one of your t-shirts has a particularly appealing image on it that you don’t really want to get rid of, then you can just as easily cut out the picture in question and mount it onto a frame. Feel free to hang your new picture up anyway you think would suit it best.

  • Quilts

If you have a lot of t-shirts to be getting rid of, you may have enough material on you to try this way of recycling old t-shirts. Gather up the most visually distinctive of the pile and start stitching together your own patchwork quilt. This can be especially fun if the t-shirts in question are particularly connected to memorable events, as the quilt itself can be used to express many different memories.

  • Cloth Bags

Sew up the bottom hem of the t-shirt, and you immediately have a bag. These are not only very useful in themselves, but they’re also very environmentally friendly. Unlike plastic, most clothes do eventually degrade after time.

  • Pillow Covers

Another way you can reuse t-shirts with a particularly distinctive or beloved design is to remake them into pillow cases. Such pillow cases are also very soft against the skin, which makes them great for general comfort.

  • Headbands and Wristbands

One last way you can recycle an old t-shirt is to take several of them, cut them into strips and wrap them into a band. Use different colours to produce a more varied pattern, or else similar colours and patterns if you want to maintain a set theme. Then simply sew the ends to form a single strap to tie it together, and you now have a new headband. Do the same on a smaller scale, and you also have new wristbands as well. Why not make a matching set of these and give them to friends as a self-made friendship bracelet?

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