Weekend Condo Project: 10 Upcycling Ideas For Your Old T-Shirts


Help the environment by turning your old t-shirt into charming DIY crafts. Do you know that the Pasig River is one of the main contributors of trash in the ocean? According to a study published in the journal Nature Communications, the river is the world’s second-largest source of plastic waste and the eighth worst contributor overall. That’s something Filipinos shouldn’t be proud of. The massive amount of trash in the capital is due to obvious reasons such as over consumption, poor waste management policies, and lack of discipline among residents. You can do the environment a favor by keeping only things that matter, donating your excesses or selling your old stuff in a garage sale. You may also explore ways on how to recycle and upcycle.

Give your condo living a twist by planning a weekend crafts project with your condo community friends. For this coming weekend, explore fun ways to repurpose an old shirt. Here are some ideas for you.


A cozy t-shirt quilt

Upcycling Cozy T-shirt Quilt

Photo courtesy of Skitterphoto via Pexels

Don’t toss out those old printed shirts just yet. You can turn them into a cozy quilt for your bed cover or a picnic blanket. To make the quilt, you’d need 30 to 40 t-shirts, lightweight fusible interfacing fabric, a lightweight blanket, and fabric for the back of the quilt.

Cut the t-shirts and fusible interfacing into squares or rectangles. You can use a template to have uniform shapes and sizes. Iron each shirts into the fusible interfacing. Sew the t-shirts together into a quilt, then stitch quilt edges to the edges of a lightweight blanket. Finish off by sewing the back fabric.


Washable shopping bags

Upcycling Washable Shopping Bags

Photo courtesy of BiljaST via Pixabay

Make shopping bags out of your old t-shirts. You simply need a t-shirt made of heavyweight cotton fabric, a dinner plate, and your sewing kit. Cut off the sleeves of the shirt, leaving the seam in place. Trace the dinner plate over the neck of the shirt and cut out the pattern to create an opening for the bag. Turn the shirt inside out and sew the bottom of the shirt hem closed. Turn the t-shirt right-side-out and you’re done! You now have a washable shopping bag.


A chic fringe scarf

To upcycle your old t-shirt into a chic fringe scarf, you just need a shirt, preferably without any printed design. Cut it under the sleeves, and from the initial cut, cut 20-centimeter fringes. Stretch down each fringe to elongate them. Tie the fringes into knots in any way you want. You can create fishing net-style knots or simply tie every two fringes together.


A unique cloth necklace

You don’t want your old college shirt anymore? You can still turn it into a fun accordion-style necklace. Cut an old shirt, preferably of a vibrant color, into 5 strips each with a 2-inch width. Fold each of the 4 strips back and forth like an accordion, then iron each fold. Thread each strip together with a large needle and then connect it to the fifth strip. Feel free to trim the bottom into shapes of your choice.


Cool aprons for your condo kitchen

Upcycle T-shirt Cool Apron

Photo courtesy of Courton via Pixabay

Condo living in the Philippines allows busy professionals to attend to other aspects of their life outside work. By living 15-minutes away from your office, you can have the luxury of time to prepare healthy meals. For your weekend project, make some items for your daily cooking. Turn your old t-shirts into creative aprons.

How? Cut the front design of your shirt into a large rectangle. Fold the bottom of the shift up to the edge of the design. Sew this folded part of the shirt into even sections to create small pockets. Cut 6 strips from the back of the old shirt with a suggested measurement of 2.5 inches by 24 inches. Create two long strips by sewing three strips together. Put the two strips on top of another and stitch them all the way around to make a single waistband. Finally, sew the waistband into the apron skirt.


Pearls and old shirts

Upcycle T-shirt Pearl and Old Shirts

Photo courtesy of TheAnnAnn via Pixabay

You can still revamp your old V-neck shirt by adding simple yet fashionable details. You just need three different sizes of pearls or plastic beads of any color of your choice. Stitch the pearls on the shirt starting near the center of the V with a middle-sized pearl or bead. Continue stitching up, staggering the mid-sized pearls until you’ve gone around the V. Then, sew the largest pearls or beads in the spaces between the mid-sized details. Finish off by stitching the smallest pearls and beads in the remaining blank spaces.


Pillows out of old shirts

Upcycle Pillows Out of Old Shirt

Photo courtesy of StockSnap via Pixabay

Make pillows out of your worn-out t-shirts. Cut a large rectangle out of your old shirt, using both the front and back part. Stitch around the shirt, leaving about a ½ inch seam allowance. Don’t forget to leave an opening for the stuffing. You can fill the shirt with poly-fil or foam, then sew up the opening. Simple, right? You can make as many pillows as you want.


A hip slasher scarf

Upcycle T-shirt Hip Slasher Scarf

Photo courtesy of mali maeder via Pexels

A slasher scarf is perfect for the cooler days ahead. To make one, get an old t-shirt, preferably one with 5 to 10% lycra or spandex. Cut the shirt into a long rectangular strip, then fold it in an accordion style. Cut even slits along both sides of the folds. To finish off, unfold the scarf and start stretching each of the holes with your fingers. Take the scarf on each end and stretch it fully. You’re done! Put on this slasher scarf over a sleeveless top.


A recycled shirt-dress

Recycled Shirt Dress

Photo courtesy of Francesco Paggiaro via Pexels

Believe it or not, you can turn an old t-shirt into a cool dress. Find a large old shirt, probably owned by your husband, father or brother. Try the shirt on inside out to make sure it’s long enough to be dress. Mark the shirt on the waist. Place the shirt on a table and draw a horizontal line all the way around it at the level where you made the markings. Cut a piece of elastic with the length of your waistline. Position the elastic exactly over the line you drew on the shirt. Sew half of the elastic onto each side of the shirt. The folds should fall evenly. Finally, sew straight stitches on the elastic, attaching it to the line you marked on the shirt. Trim the elastic.


Make presentable braided rugs

Upcycle T-shirts Presentable Braided Rugs

Photo courtesy of Pixabay via Pexels

Old t-shirts usually end up as rugs. Well, homely rugs to be more accurate. Make beautiful door mats and rugs using your old t-shirts. Cut long strips of equal width and length from your old shirts. Roll the pile of fabric strips into three equal-sized balls. Overlap the end of each of the three fabric balls and sew them together. Braid the strips together. You may pin the strips on a couch or curtain to secure them as you do your braiding. Lay the braids side-by-side and sew them together to finish your rectangular rug. If you want a round rug, you just need to coil and sew the end of the braid to keep it in place, then coil the rest of the braided strips to a shape like that of a snail shell.

Try out these recycling and upcycling ideas with your friends in the condo community. You can do weekend crafts at the Sky Lounge or at the open lawn at DMCI Properties. Don’t forget to bring refreshments.


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