Transforming old t-shirts into yarn is a great way to recycle them all by yourself.
When you send items away to be recycled, especially textiles, you can’t always guarantee that they will actually be reused.
Some t-shirts, if they are a complex weave, have a plastic or painted logo, or are just a difficult color to recycle, may still end up in landfills.
But, by recycling your t-shirts yourself, you can be sure that they will definitely be reused. Plus, you get the fun of making all those new creations in your own unique way!
So, to get you started, here are just a few awesome projects that you can make using t-shirt yarn.
If you scroll through Pinterest, rugs are one of the most common items made with t-shirt yarn. They might be big items, but they are actually quite easy to make, especially if you use a simple weaving process.
Using just a handful of t-shirt yarn strips, you can make a simple, tight weave that will make a beautiful (and soft!) rug.
As the material is so soft, you’re going to need to add a base to stop it from slipping around. But these can be easily bought at craft stores or general homeware stores.
Macramé Fruit Basket
If you’re wondering how to make that cute macramé Instagram aesthetic even more eco-friendly, using t-shirt yarn instead of rope is a great idea.
All you need to do is follow the normal process of making a macramé hanging basket, but just use t-shirt yarn! But be careful, you may need to go over some sections and tie a few more knots as t-shirt material is not as strong and sturdy as rope.
You should also consider using another, stronger material to actually hang it from.
Making your own jewelry has become more and more popular recently. It’s a great way of adding some of your unique personality to your everyday style. (It’s also a lot cheaper than buying most jewelry…)
The best option is to make a necklace as t-shirt yarn is the only material you need for this. So, if you have a load of t-shirt yarn that you’re not sure what to do with, make a necklace!
All it takes is some plaiting and twisting and you will have a cool, unique necklace.
You can also make earrings but will obviously need to buy the hooks. This is a great way to be extra creative as you can make earrings in so many imaginative shapes.
Crafting has had a massive popularity resurgence over the past year. One of the most popular crafts is wall tapestry.
Wall tapestries have become a standard feature of every arty Instagram influencer’s home. They are a great idea
if you have some wall space that you’re not quite sure what to do with and want something a little different from just another print or photo.
Wall tapestries have a similar vibe to macramé fruit baskets. So if you choose to make both, making them from t-shirt yarn (especially the same t-shirt yarn) will make your home look even more intentionally styled.
Making coasters out of t-shirt yarn is a really cute and practical way of recycling your old t-shirts. You can use alternating colors to make rainbow coasters, a different colored yarn for each coaster, or make them all the same color.
Making t-shirt yarn coasters is probably the easiest project on this list, so give it a go if you’re a beginner.
The process mostly involves plaiting the t-shirt yarn and then twisting it into a circular shape.
As they’re such a small project you can have lots of practice, plus there are a lot of opportunities to make mistakes and then reverse them. (Which is vital for any beginner).
Once you get used to the process, you can move on to placemats and even make a whole tablecloth if you really want to. (But a t-shirt yarn tablecloth with t-shirt yarn coasters and placemats may be a bit much…)
As t-shirt yarn is so soft, it can be made into a super snuggly blanket. The process for this is a little complicated. The best way to make a t-shirt yarn blanket is by using a process similar to making a cable knit sweater.
As the t-shirt yarn is so soft, you can also make a blanket using the same weaving method as the rug. You just need to make it bigger!
This project can be made entirely out of t-shirt yarn or can just be the feature of one side. You can even make t-shirt yarn cushions to match your t-shirt yarn blanket!
Using the same cable knit pattern, you can make an entire cushion out of t-shirt yarn and then sew up the edges and stuff it.
Or, if you don’t have enough t-shirt yarn for that, you can make one square of cable knit and then sew that onto another piece of fabric.
This is a great choice if you’ve made some yarn out of only one t-shirt and don’t want to destroy clothes to make a cushion.
If you’re not yet confident or skilled enough to make a cable knit pattern, you can also use the rug weave to make a cushion too.
If you’re feeling confident with your t-shirt yarn crocheting abilities, you might be able to make yourself a bag.
This will take some serious skill as you’re going to have to make quite a tight, complex pattern to make sure the bag will actually be able to hold everything you need it to.
You’re also going to need to decide on a size and template and what kind of strap, buckles, and buttons you’re going to attach. So this is a project for when you’ve already done everything else.
So, there you have loads of awesome projects to get you going and maybe recycling even more t-shirts or other clothes!