Thursday, February 3, 2011

Crafting for the Clueless (or how I upcycled an ugly t-shirt.)

As I said before, I'm arriving late to the repurposing, upcycling party.  I've never had a problem getting rid of things - I'm not a collector, and I frequently get hit by bouts of needing to purge closets and cupboards.  I always keep a box in my closet so I can put items I no longer want.  When it's full, I take it the Sally Anne.  And that's cool - I love what they do, and I'm glad to help.

But in my effort to avoid stores (I'm one of those strange women who actually DISLIKES going to the mall), I'm starting to get my eyes opened to how I can repurpose or upcycle things from home.

Now don't get me wrong....I still don't plan on hanging on to every scrap of cardboard or material in case it comes in handy one day...We are a family of six living in a 1,400 square foot home with no garage or basement, but I will take a little closer look at items before I decide whether or not I could use them for something right away.  Not someday.  I don't want my family to have to deal with mountains of toilet paper tubes when I've gone on to a better place...

Anyway, back to the point of the post.  Did you know that there are COUNTLESS cool ways to upcycle an old t-shirt.  I do now.  Look what I made out of an ugly, old, shapeless t-shirt!
I love big, chunky necklaces, and scarves.  Can you tell?

Remember, I'm not crafty.  I don't know how to sew (other than a hem & a button), knit, crochet, do calligraphy, scrapbook, etc, etc.

But I do know how to use a pair of scissors, braid three strands, and sew a button!

Here's the tutorial I used for the basic idea.

To make the flower detail, I just cut out some petal shapes out of the leftover material on the sleeve, tugged on them to give them a slight curl, layered them, & sewed on a button.

Cost to me:  ZERO

There are SO many ways to use a t-shirt!
Here's a bunch more links for crazy inspiration.

The next thing I want to make?  A braided rag rug!  I'm starting to sound practically pioneerish, aren't I?  (No chickens in my backyard yet though...)

P.S.  I joined in on this Link Party - so many great ideas there!


  1. cool.
    I'm making a rag rug out of all the kids old stained clothes - stuff I wouldn't give away. And I'm attempting to make a scrappy quilt from other bits of material - although it is looking VERY scrappy thus far!

  2. A braided rag rug? Or a shag one? What is your process? You go momma!