Friday, January 14, 2011

Refashioned t-shirt necklace

I have a giant pile of t-shirts that have shrunk or are too small but I can't bear to part with them. I keep thinking I will come up with the perfect repurposing project for them, but nothing has come to mind. I realize I was thinking too literally- how can I take this shirt and turn it into a new shirt, or how do I keep the integrity of the shirt in tact while still making something out of it?
Then I saw this rug while I was doing some home decor research, my other favorite time waster. I used to have a jersey shag rug in my old flat. It was actually 6 smaller rugs that I sewed together to make a large floor rug. I loved that rug, but I think I would need a lot more shirts to make it. What I like about the rug is the effect of the shredded tubes and how the shadows alone vary the color. It got me thinking... The result is the the

    Refashioned T-shirt Tutorial
All you need is
  • Old T-shirt
  • Fashion Beads (Mine are off the clearance rack at Michael's for $1)
  • Rotary Cutter (optional scissors would work)
  • Clear Ruler (optional but very helpful)
  • Cutting Mat (if using to two supplies above)

Flatten out the t-shirt and cut .5in strips off through both layers. Cut 12 pieces, leaving you with a dozen circles. (You can make these wider, as well as increase the quantity of strips to increase the bulk of the necklace.) Stretch each circle out causing the tee to wrap around itself like a tube.
Put two of these tubed circles to the side and cut them both open. Now you have two ropes. Next gather all the rest of the circles together and line up all of the old seams on one side. Use one of the ropes and wrap around all the pieces, covering the seams and reinforcing the stability of the necklace. Keep wrapping until all the exposed seams are cover and you have a knot like area. Tie off and tuck the end of the rope under the wrapping to hide it.
Cut of the side with the other exposed seams. 
 Thread your accent beads on. Hold the necklace up in the mirror to determine the best length for your desired look. Tie the ends together and trim off the extra. Use the remaining rope to cover the knot.
Easy Breezy. This is for a small more subtle necklace, but I encourage you to experiment. You could make one that is larger and more scarf like, or add shiney silver or gold beads to each strand to give your necklace a bit more bling! The variations are endless. Good luck!


  1. Hi Aletha! I love this necklace, it even looks so easy I may have to give it a try! Heaven knows I have a ton of old t-shirts. I'm sure mine won't look as cute as your but it is worth a shot!

  2. Thanks Elizabeth. Be careful these are so easy to make you will have 20 done in no time. They are mistake proof. Send me a pic if you try it out. Nice to hear from you, hope your well!

  3. Here is a pick of the one I made. I did end up making several different colors! It's kind of addicting!