Up-cycling Old T-shirts into Scarves and Bracelets

I've always loved the idea of craft, but I have a hard time motivating myself to do it. Maybe it's insecurity? Because usually once I get going, it's all good ...

Well today I decided that I do too much shopping. Granted, mostly it's op-shopping (thrift stores for the non-Aussies), but I guess it adds up. So, I've vowed to do no more non-food/necessity shopping for 2 whole months. Break the addiction.

Nelle says "Mummy, stop shopping!"

Instead, I'm going to up-cycle the stuff we have around the house - make new things out of old. I'm actually really excited about the challenge, and I think it fits in well with the theme we have going on here - practical, economical, sustainable!

So, this means I'll be exploring my crafty side! (Which is good timing for us because we have Mother's Day, my sister-in-law's birthday and both Robbie's and my mother's birthdays coming up ... )

I recently found some great 'recipes' for remodeling T-shirts into cool looking accessories and this afternoon turned a sad old T-shirt of Robbie's into 2 scarves and a bracelet and some dish cloths. Ok, the latter isn't super exciting but I had some bits left over and didn't want to throw them out ...

Click on the links above to get to the great tutorials I used to make these things, but I'll also briefly describe the methods here.

Fringey Scarf

makes 1 fringey scarf
adapted from www.collegefashion.net 

One old T-shirt (can be solid or patterned but needs to be a crew neck)

1. Lay the T shirt out on the floor, with the side you want to the be outside of your scarf on the inside. (Does that make sense?)

2. Draw a dot about 30 cm or 12 in under the lowest point on the neckline, in the center of the shirt.

3. Draw a dot on each side of the shirt where the sleeves meet the body, about 2.5 cm or 1 in above the bottom of the sleeve.

4. Connect the dots in a big arc. Then cut off the sleeves on the inside of the seam and cut along your arc. Save the bottom of the T-shirt for the next recipe.

5. Draw a dot on each side of the neckline seam at the top, about 2.5 cm or 1 in out towards where the sleeves used to be. Draw a dot in the center of the shirt, right where the neckline seam is. Draw a line to connect the dots in an arc and cut along it.

6. Starting from one side, cut the T-shirt into 1 cm (1/2 in) wide-ish strips, (this is important!) leaving 1 cm (1/2 in) at the top. Keep going. Then you're done!

7. Wear it long and dangly or wrap it twice for a more necklace-type look.

Me modelling the fringey scarf with jeans and a long sweater

Tubey Scarf

makes 1 tubey scarf
adapted from www.collegefashion.net 

The same old T-shirt you used above

1. Cut straight across the top of the remaining section of the T-shirt, so that it's even with the bottom. That's it!

2. I am currently wearing this doubled around my neck ... so comfy ...

The tubey scarf, keeps your neck truly warm

Button Bracelet

makes at least 1 bracelet (probably more)
adapted from www.lilblueboo.com 

The same old T-shirt you used above

1. Cut 3 x 1 cm (1/2 in ) -wide strips that are a little bit longer than the circumference of your wrist. 

2. Pin the 3 strips together (or weigh them down under your computer like I did) and braid them all the way along.

3. Put the bracelet on your wrist and safety pin it where the two sides meet and overlap. Take the bracelet off. At the pinned point, sew the 2 ends of the braid together with a needle and thread. (Super simple) Leave some of the unbraided ends poking out if you'd like (or don't, the original didn't) and sew on a button in the middle of the unbraided ends. Almost flower-like!

Button braided bracelet

Enjoy your up-cycling!
Amanda xx


  1. Nelle is hysterical! I LOVE LOVE LOVE the things you have made with the tee. How about that fringey scarf! Fantastic.

  2. Thanks-I thought you'd like them! I'm planning to dig through all those boxes of clothes downstairs ... there's a warehouse-worth of fringey scarves to be made ...


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Thanks for commenting! Amandaxx