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What to Do With Old T Shirts – 19 Innovative Ideas

What to do with old t shirts? Read to find out.

Do you, just like the rest of us, get emotionally attached to your shirts and are unable to throw them out even if they get holes in them? Well, we all have been there quite a lot of times. It can be hard to part from clothes that you love, but minimalism has given rise to decluttering, and we are here for it. So, if you have old t-shirts stuffed in your closet, now is the perfect time to do something about them.

We have come up with the 19 most innovative ideas for you so if you want to become creative and charitable, then keep on reading:

1. The T-Shirt Quilt

This is the best answer to what to do with old sentimental t shirts because it not just helps you use your old t-shirts that you can bring yourself to throw out, but it also holds great sentimental value. 

So, if you have a lot of old vintage tees lying around, stitch them together into a quilt. And if you do not know how to stitch things together, or you do not have the time to be a crafty person, you can just get it made by someone else, such as companies that offer to stitch your t-shirts together. Besides, you can find plenty of tutorials on YouTube.

2. Reusable Bags

It’s 2021 and everyone knows how bad plastic is for our planet, and you do not need to buy organic bags if you have old t-shirts that you do not wear anymore. Turn your shirts into tote bags. Sew their bottom and cut out the sleeves or go with the cut and knot method if you do not want to sew. These bags are not just reusable, but they are re-washable, so it is a win-win.

You can also find plenty of tutorials online on how to create a tote bag in the size you want. So, why not use a rock band t-shirt and turn it into a bag to make heads turn when you go to the farmer’s market.

3. Cotton Strip Mop

Did you know that you can make tassels using t-shirts and tassels look like cleaning mops, don’t they? And surprisingly you can actually make a cotton mop by using old t-shirts. You can use a cotton shirt and cut it to make a mop if your old mop isn’t doing its job quite well.

4. Dream Catcher

Dreamcatchers are something you see in everyone’s room. And they are the perfect DIY project for everyone who has been searching for what to do with old t shirts DIY. You can use pretty much anything to make a dream catcher from embellished shirts to your own designs, and you can finish it off using a $3 hoop. Snip some strips and add some decorative items to decorate your window.

5. Dog Toys

Use your old shirts to make dog toys for your loyal animal friend. Such toys do not even cost a penny so even if your dog rips it apart you can make a new one. You can find many tutorials online but the easiest one, in our opinion, is a chunky braid with two big knots on it both ends. All you have to do is cut your shirts into strips, braid them, and then knot them.

Feel free to get creative and use several shirts in different colours to add both colours and thickness.

6. Makeup Remover Wipes

We all know how difficult it is to remove your makeup after you have had a long day. Plus, cotton balls or cotton pads are abrasive to the skin so if you have sensitive skin, you definitely want to change your makeup product. And what better way to do that than using an old worn soft shirt to remove your makeup.

Cut a shirt into small patches and use them to remove your makeup. They will get softer every time you use them, and you can wash them after every use. 

7. Towels

Are you aware of the fact that towels made using t-shirts help get rid of split ends and make hair softer? Typical towels can be tough on hair especially curly hair, and they end up destroying their texture. So, it is recommended to use a special micro-fibre towel. However, instead of splurging on such towels, just use a t-shirt as it does the same thing. A t-shirt towel is less damaging to the hair.

8. Turn Them Into Aprons

This one requires no craft at all. So, you can get as creative as you want or stay as uncrafty as you can. You do not need any ruffles, or pom poms, or bells. All you need is an oversized old shirt and some snips and ties. Make as many aprons as you want and wear a different one each day.

9. Cat Hideaway

Use your old clothes to treat your cat. Cats love to hide in confined places so why not make your cat a hiding spot using a shirt. This hack only requires you to use your shirt to cover a box and let your cat find its way in via the hole for the head.

The best part about this one is that it will not cost you anything except for 10 minutes of your life and an old shirt. And you can make more than one and put them in different places in your house.

10. Pillows

Make pillows using your old shirts without doing a lot of work. You can either sew them or use a glue gun to glue clothes together in a straight line to make a pillowcase. And if you are feeling experimental you can cut out different shapes and stuff them. Such pillows come in handy when kids need a travel pillow for road trips.

11. Wall Art

Do you have t-shirts that you love but do not wear and do not even want to throw them out? Try using them to make wall art. These are good for remembering important events in your life, such as a vacation done overseas or a concert. All you need is a glue gun, tacks, or staples and a t-shirt to repurpose your great concert or vacation, these make a great way to repurpose those souvenir shirts. 

Hang them in your room just the way they are or place them in small embroidery hoops, if you want to go all out, stretch the shirt on a canvas and paint something on it.

12. Use Them as Hair Curlers

Rag curls are a very popular way to curl hair without exposing them to any heat damage. So, it is not just eco-friendly but also extremely easy. Wrap your hair in small chunks around small strips of your shirt and, then go to sleep. You will wake up the next morning with the most beautiful bouncy curls you have ever seen. 

You can check out videos by beauty YouTubers on YouTube or head over to TikTok for guidance. Keep in mind that this method results in tight barrel curls, but you can brush them out for a softer and more put-together look.

13. Donate Them

If you want to get rid of clothes, then donate them to someone who can use them instead of throwing them out. If it is still in a superb position, then you can sell it on different platforms, such as Depop or ThredUp.

But if you do not want to resell them and want to donate them, then do a quick search on Google to find out any collection boxes locations in your neighbourhood. Considering charities, such as Clothes4Souls and Planet Aid is also a good option. Then there are places like Goodwill, GreenDrop and Salvation Army, all of which have outlets all over major countries. However, if you are not sure, you can visit their respective websites for more details.

14. Sell Them Online

If you spend most of your time watching videos on YouTube, you will know that reselling clothes to places like thrift shops has become a trend that is rapidly growing. You can actually make good money by reselling your old shirts on platforms, including Etsy, Depop or eBay, etc. There is no shortage of websites that buy pre-loved clothes, and you can also find consignment sites, such as Poshmark and ThredUp. And last but not the least if the clothes you are selling are not designer clothes, then places like Facebook Marketplace are a good place.

15. Paint Smocks for Kids

Let your little ones have some fun with watercolours, paint pens and acrylics without worrying that they will get their school uniform or play clothes dirty. Save some of your old shirts instead of throwing them away and let your kids wear them when they are playing with paints or working in the garden. Adults can use them too when staining an old vintage table or painting someone’s nursery.

16. Down Cycle Your Old Clothes

Take a look at down cycling. One of the most common examples of downcycling is to cut your shirts into rags, toss them in a bag and use them for different tasks over the next few days, such as cleaning your car, staining wood or polishing tables around your house. The choices are endless, and you won’t even have to purchase rags which saves fabric and plastic.

17. Hand-Them-Downs Are a Good Choice

Adults understand the sentimental value of receiving an old shirt from one of their friends or their elders. They see those shirts as vintage hand-me-downs instead of something that is worn out. So, if you have a teen cousin who has a knack for hipster fashion, gift them your old Motorhead t-shirt from the 80s or the woolly jumper that is way too big for you.

These can also come in handy for those who work in not so tidy conditions, such as working with bikes and cars, or paints, for instance. 

18. Recycle Them

If your shirts have lived their lives to the fullest and can not be repaired in any way, then you can recycle them. Many big brands now offer in-store recycling programs that take in old tees and other items, such as tote bags in an effort to countervail their carbon footprints. On the other hand, some brands offer discounts to people, who donate to them, for the future. So, as tempting as it may sound to dump your old t-shirts in the trash, try recycling them for the environment, if not for yourself.

19. Upcycle Used Clothing

If you’ve never heard of upcycling, then we recommend you to head over to TikTok or Instagram and see how popular of a trend it has become in the past few months.

Upcycling, also known as creative reuse, is the procedure of taking something that is no longer being used and giving it a new function and a second life. With hundreds of thousands of tutorials available online, you can make really cool dresses out of your old shirts. You can even make Coachella inspired outfits from old shirts. Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?

Bottom Line

So, there you have all the amazing ways in which you can transform your old shirts. Our 19 innovation suggestions on what to do with old t shirts that are too small or what to do with old t shirts you want to keep will help you move towards a sustainable future. So, do not forget to use these ideas and transform your old shirts into things that you’d, otherwise, spend a lot of money on.

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