The T-shirt industry is massive. Everyone has at least a few T-shirts I their closets. Ranging from basic cotton shirts to special shirts from sporting events or vacations, you probably have a few favorites you will never part with. To give you an idea of how many T-shirts are sold every year, consider the fact that the Walt Disney World resorts in Orlando sell an average of three million shirts a year. The question isn’t whether we love our T-shirts but what we can do with the old ones.
Make a Handbag
If you have a tank top T-shirt, then you can make an instant bag. Just sew the bottom shut to create a handbag that is easy to carry and comfortable. If your favorite shirt has sleeves, then just remove them at the shoulder seams. With a quick stitch around the exposed seams to create new loops, you will still have a cool bag for carrying around campus.
The Vest Transformation
If your favorite T-shirt is a little too tight, then you can always transform it into a vest. Cut it right up the middle of the front, sew the freshly cut edges and then add a tie to hold it closed. It will look sharp over a coordinating solid color shirt, and you won’t have to give up your favorite Tee. It’s unexpected and edgy, and it allows you to get a little more use out of your favorite T-shirts.
Wrap Yourself in a Memories Quilt
If you like to pick up shirts as souvenirs, then you may have a closet full of memories. If the shirts are too small to wear now, then a quilt might be in your future. Separate the fronts and cut them into squares or rectangles that still show the design. Sew them into a quilt so you can wrap yourself in memories of the ball games you attended, great vacations or even fun summer camps. This also makes a great parting gift for retiring coaches or volunteer organization leaders.
Create a Soft Rag Rug
The softness of T-shirts is what we love about them, and you can enjoy that luxury under your feet. Cut the shirts into long strips and weave them into a rug you can use anywhere in your house. Put one in the kitchen for a soft place to stand while cooking, or add one to the bottom of the coat closet for dirty shoes to sit on. The great thing about these rugs is that they’re completely machine washable and the ultimate recycling.
Personalized Wall Art
With a simple thrift store frame and a pair of scissors, you can frame your favorite T-shirts and turn them into wall art. Simply remove the front of the shirt, center it over the cardboard frame backing to the special image is centered, and then put the frame back together. Use your old ball game shirts to add visual interest to your basement recreation room, or use your shirts covered with witty sayings to add a humorous edge to the family room.
The T-shirt as we know it has been around for nearly a century. The word first appeared in the English dictionary in the 1920s, so these shirts have been part of our culture for a long time. Nearly every closet across the country has at least a few shirts that are damaged, dated or just don’t fit. In the past, these shirts were thrown out or donated. However, you can now transform your old tee into something wonderful and new.
Joyce English is a freelance blogger writing for http://www.tshirtprinting.org. She enjoys making custom tshirts for family and friends.