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What To Do With Old T-Shirts

October 26, 2021 4 min read

Wondering what to do with old sentimental t shirts currently accumulating dust in your bedroom drawers?

If yes, then you have come to the right place.

While your bunch of old t shirts may be stained, torn, or just on the shabby side, that doesn’t mean that you can’t breathe new life into them with just a little bit of crafting know-how.

From making your own t-shirt blanket to creating a personalized dog toy, to using them to hang your plants, keep reading to discover eight wonderful ways and DIY projects that you can re-use and recycle your unloved and unwanted t-shirts.

1.   Donate them

If you have any old t-shirts that are still in good condition, but you no longer wear them, you might want to consider donating them so that someone else can benefit from them.

All you need to do is a quick Google search, and you will be inundated with clothing collection boxes in your area. Several national charities accept unwanted clothing, such as Planet Aid and Clothes4Souls.

You can even find charities that will send you out a donation bag and printable label so that you don’t have to incur any costs to make your donation.

2.   Recycle them

If your beloved old t-shirts are beyond repair, you can still put them to good use. Several fashion retailers accept old t-shirts and other clothes and recycle the materials. Both H&M and American Eagle Outfitters have in-store recycling programs, so all you need to do is bring along your old tees, as well as any other unwanted garments or textiles such as bedding and towels, and hand them in to a member of staff.

Plus, there are even some retailers that provide incentives for their customers to recycle unwanted clothes. Levi, Patagonia, and The North Face all have donation programs that give you a discount on new purchases when you make a donation.

3.   Make a t-shirt blanket

The perfect gift for Christmas, a birthday, anniversary, graduation, and pretty much any other special occasion you can think of; rather than throw your old t-shirts in the bin, why not try your hand at making a t-shirt blanket.

Not as hard as you might think. All you need to do is decide upon a theme, collect enough old t-shirts and then start cutting and stitching them all together. What’s more, you could even step it up and create a double sided t-shirt blanket!  

Alternatively, if you are not a natural crafter, you can send away your beloved t-shirts to a t-shirt blanket company that will do all the hard work for you and guarantee a high-quality finished product.

4.   Use them as rags

Another good option if your old t-shirts are beyond repair, simply rip them up and use them as rags. Whether you need to clean the bathroom, scrub some outdoor furniture or get the streaks out of your windows, t-shirts make great rags.

This is a particularly good idea if you have something really dirty to clean and don’t want to ruin your nice tea towels or washcloths.

To make the perfect rag, cut along the seams of your old t-shirt to separate the front from the back, and there you have it, two DIY rags to clean your home with.

5.   Curl your hair with them

Why spend your hard-earned cash on expensive hair curlers when you can create amazing curls for free using a cut-up old t-shirt? Eco and budget-friendly, simply cut your t-shirt into strips, about 5 inches in length and 2 inches wide, and begin winding a section of your hair around each one.

For bouncy, effortless curls, make sure your hair is about 90% dry before you begin.

6.   Make a dog toy

If your pooch loves to play with dog toys, but you don’t want to have to spend money on keeping your pet happy, then this is the DIY project for you. All you need is one old t-shirt and 5 minutes of your time.

Start by cutting along the seams of the t-shirt to separate the front from the back. You can choose to leave the sleeves on or remove them to use for something else, such as a hair tie.

Then cut three-inch slits at the bottom, which are roughly 2-3 inches wide, and rip the rest of the way up so that you have several long strips of material. Finally, gather the strips, tie one large basic knot and then braid them together.

7.   Use them to hang house plants

Are you looking for a cheap and cheerful way to hang your house plants? Look no further. You can create a stunning arrangement of hanging houseplants using just a few old t-shirts.

To turn your old t-shirt into a plant hanger, simply follow the below steps:

  • Cut your t-shirt horizontally into 8 strips
  • Tie all the strips in an overhand knot
  • Separate the strips onto 4 groups of 2
  • Tie an overhand knot with the 2 strings in each group
  • Take one string from one group and one from an adjacent group and tie an overhand knot
  • Move up 2 inches and repeat 6 until you have made a big enough basket to place your plant pot in
  • Tie a knot at the desired length and hang from the ceiling.

8.   Frame them

If you have old t-shirts that you don’t wear anymore, but that means something to you, such as old college sports shirts or race day t-shirts, you probably don’t want to throw them away or turn them into rags. So why not showcase them on your wall for all to see?

Framing your old t-shirts couldn’t be simpler. All you need to do is stretch your chosen t-shirt out on a canvas and then either make your own frame or use a shop-bought one.

Got lots of cherished old t-shirts? Have a go at creating a whole wall of framed t-shirt art and decorate your bedroom or living room on a budget.

Other ideas:

  • Make tote bags
  • Create a cat tent
  • Sell them online
  • Give them to family and friends
  • Make a tie dye headband
  • Make a door wreath


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