Recycling Geek T-Shirts

Some of my geek t-shirt collection are in the region of 4 years old now, and as nature (and pregnancy) blessed me with an ever increasing chest size, they’re now fairly tight (bordering on obscene). I’d like to find some way to recycle them so I continue to get use and don’t have to worry about having wasted money (and I don’t mean by making dusters out of them).

Short of cutting off the sleeves and making a patchwork blanket, I’m at a loss as to what I could do with them. And, if I did decide to make a blanket, what’s the best way to do it? Any blanket crafters out there got suggestions?

affiliate window advert

20 comments so far

  1. Aisling said:
    On December 22, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    Well, pillows are easy to do. But then you’d have a whole lot of geek pillows. :P

  2. Emsz said:
    On December 22, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    You could make pillows out of them, just cut of the sleeves, sew them shut and stuff them. I was planning to do that with some of my old T-Shirts until I realised I’d been saying that for three years :P

  3. Amelie said:
    On December 22, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    Use them as nightdresses for Isabel XD

  4. Riitta said:
    On December 22, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    Heh, after seeing the post title on the feed I thought you were going to sell them to the highest bidder, "buy a geek t-shirt worn by teh l33test ninja". =D

    If that’s a bad idea, how about turning them into bags? Tote bags, drawstring bags? I’m sure there are tons of tutorials on the web. :)

  5. Jessica said:
    On December 22, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    pillows are a great idea! in fact, i’m making band t-shirt pillows for christmas for my uncle.

    the blanket idea is great too- there’s lots of different ways to do it too. you could just do a bunch of same-sized squares, or any kind of shape, really. example: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=232224.0

  6. Sarah said:
    On December 22, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    Having a geeky sheet or quilt would be awesome! I would think you could make a sheet easily enough just by cutting off the arms and making each shirt more-or-less square. Stitch them together to make a bigger, bed-sized square. A quilt would be nicer, and more visible on a bed, but it would need padding and whatnot, whatever else goes into a quilt.

  7. Mumblies said:
    On December 22, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    You could give them to your brothers/sister too. I’m sure one of them would appreciate your T shirts.
    Failing that, if you did plan on making either cushions or a patchwork quilt then you would need to back them first as T shirts are made from stretchy material they would not keep their shape properly when you filled them. Backing could be anything from an old sheet to stuff bought specifically for the purpose (Dunelm has an online site) If you need to borrow the sewing machine just let me know and next time you come up I will bring it down for you. :)

    If you are chucking them out, does this mean there are to be new geek shirts to replace them? (can’t wait to see the new ones if so)

  8. Christine said:
    On December 22, 2009 at 8:29 pm

    I like making cloth bags out of old T-shirts. It’s eco-friendly, and you can never have too many cloth bags. I don’t know about the UK, but more and more places here in Victoria are no longer using plastic bags so cloth bags are a must. They’re fairly easy to sew and you can use them for anything! Shopping, storage etc. If you have a couple really favorite designs you love, you can re-enforce it w/ a nice firm fabric and even make a nice purse/travel bag.

    I’m sure what ever you decide, they’ll look awesome <3>

  9. Jordie said:
    On December 22, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    You could give them to me. :3

    Although I’m not sure the fit in the chest region would be any better.

  10. Jordie said:
    On December 22, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    And please tell me that you’re moderating all comments now, and your filter isn’t singling me out. :(

  11. Katie said:
    On December 22, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    If they’re still in wearable shape you might hold on to them a little longer; surely I’m no expert since I have 0 expertise in the area, but I’ve heard that sometimes the boobage shrinks after baby is born. *shrug*

    Barring that, there’s a TON of websites/books/ideas for teeshirt reconstruction. Different kinds of shirts, skirts, house hold items.. I’d give you a google link but you’re probably better at googling than me :D

    I like Christine’s idea about the shopping bags; I might do that with some of my old shirts.

  12. Audrey said:
    On December 22, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    You could donate them to a charity store if they’re still in wearable condition. Pillows or a blanket both sound like good alternatives to me too. (:

  13. Jordan said:
    On December 23, 2009 at 12:04 am

    You can always use one of the shirts to turn them into a little purse you can use to fill with baby items whenever you’re out and about. That way you don’t need to carry a large bag but just use your little t-shirt purse to toss in a few quick items. :)

    I like the pillow idea as well too.

  14. Angie said:
    On December 23, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    I’m in the process of making a wall-hanging out of one of my old unicorn shirts. Its purple tie-dyed so I wouldn’t be caught dead in it now. I cut a square around the picture and now I need a piece of wood to glue it to so I can hang it.

  15. Erin said:
    On December 23, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    I have a bunch of threadless shirts I plan on altering and I’ve been following this community to get ideas: http://community.livejournal.com/t_shirt_surgery/

    They have a wealth of tutorials and links on there. So if you know someone handy with a sewing machine, you could still get a lot of use out of them.

    Also, I’ve read that if you do make a tshirt bag, use a thick fabric as a liner otherwise it’ll stretch out and misshape when you actually use it. ;)

  16. JB said:
    On December 23, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    You could maybe turn them into adorable geek babygros? Don’t ask me how you would go about doing that though.

  17. Rainey said:
    On December 24, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    Here’s an idea for old t-shirts (with instructions) – http://www.craftynest.com/2009/10/tank-top-totes-six-pockets-or-gathered/

  18. Mallory said:
    On December 26, 2009 at 3:53 am

    I was going to suggest pillows, but I see I’ve already been beaten to the punch many times over. :P

  19. Josh said:
    On January 1, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    I tend to use my old t-shirt as a cloth to wash my car or to do dirty yard work.

  20. Heather (Skye) said:
    On January 2, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    Whatever you decide to do with them: take lots of pictures of the process and you’ve got yourself material for a tutorial/article :) That way maybe I can clean out my closet and make things…