DIY Projects: Discover What To Make Out Of Old T Shirts

what to make out of old t shirts

Do you have a stack of old t-shirts taking up space in your drawers? Don’t toss them away just yet! There’s a world of creativity waiting for you. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into a multitude of exciting DIY projects and crafty ideas on what to make out of old t shirts. From trendy fashion hacks to eco-friendly home decor, we’ll show you how to breathe new life into your old favorites.

Let’s explore the endless possibilities of repurposing and upcycling, turning those neglected garments into unique and practical creations that will not only save you money but also add a personal touch to your lifestyle.

Create a Heavy-Duty Hot Pad From Old T-Shirts

A heavy-duty hot pad is an excellent initial craft project, offering a practical and creative way to repurpose old t-shirts. By carefully cutting the fabric of these shirts into strips, you can skillfully weave or crochet them together, creating a sturdy and functional hot pad. 

To achieve a more polished appearance, it’s advisable to cut the strips vertically, starting from the bottom hem of the t-shirt and working upwards. This technique produces a series of interconnected loops, eliminating the need for knots and ensuring a seamless finish.

Utilizing this method, you’ll craft a hot pad that boasts considerable thickness and insulation properties, making it ideal for safeguarding your countertops and tables from hot dishes and cookware. 

The transformation of simple, worn-out t-shirts into a robust hot pad is not just an eco-friendly endeavor but also a testament to the ingenuity of repurposing materials. The final product is not only a testament to sustainable crafting but also a highly practical addition to any kitchen.

Tips for Crafting a Hot Pad

  • Material Selection: Choose t-shirts that are thick and sturdy to ensure your hot pad can withstand high temperatures.
  • Crafting Technique: Weave or crochet the strips tightly for maximum thickness and insulation. If crocheting, use a large hook to handle the fabric strips easily.
  • Design: Feel free to add colors by using different t-shirt strips, creating a vibrant and personalized hot pad.
what to make out of old t shirts

Repurposing Old T-Shirts: Creating Multipurpose Cleaning Rags

Transforming old t-shirts into multipurpose cleaning cloths is an effective and sustainable approach to managing household chores. By simply cutting the fabric into various shapes, such as squares or rectangles, you can create a set of versatile and eco-friendly rags. These can be tailored to any size to suit a wide range of cleaning needs, offering a practical alternative to single-use paper towels.

The reimagined t-shirt rags are exceptionally multifunctional. They excel in general cleaning tasks, efficiently removing dust and grime from various surfaces. Their soft texture makes them particularly suitable for polishing wooden furniture, ensuring a gentle yet thorough clean. When combined with a homemade furniture polish, these rags can enhance the natural beauty and longevity of wood surfaces. 

Additionally, their absorbent nature makes them perfect for mopping up spills or wiping down expansive surfaces such as floors. Embracing this sustainable cleaning solution not only reduces waste but also adds a touch of personalized care to your home maintenance routine.

Versatile Uses for T-Shirt Rags

  • General cleaning and dusting.
  • Polishing wood surfaces with homemade furniture polish.
  • Wiping down floors and other large surfaces.

Upcycling Old T-Shirts into Soft Handkerchiefs and Burp Rags

Repurposing old t-shirts into handkerchiefs and burp rags is a sustainable and practical choice, particularly for their softness and absorbency. By cutting these garments into desired sizes, they become invaluable for daily use, especially as gentle burp cloths or bibs during baby feeding times.

These t-shirt-derived items boast significant advantages. Their soft material is kind to the skin, making them perfect for delicate use. Being washable and reusable, they offer an eco-friendly alternative to single-use products, helping to minimize waste. 

Moreover, the ample size of the t-shirt fabric ensures extensive coverage, enhancing their functionality. These upcycled handkerchiefs and burp rags not only contribute to environmental sustainability but also bring a touch of personal craftsmanship to routine care tasks.

Advantages of T-Shirt Handkerchiefs and Burp Rags 

  • Soft and gentle on the skin.
  • Reusable and washable, reducing waste.
  • Large enough to provide ample coverage.

Transforming Old T-Shirts into Durable Shop Rags

what to make out of old t shirts

In workshops and garages, transforming old t-shirts into durable shop rags is a smart recycling move. These rags excel in cleaning up spills, grease, and tough grime due to their superior absorbency. What’s more, their disposability is a boon, especially when they’re soiled by substances that defy cleaning, allowing for guilt-free discarding.

These t-shirt rags are not just practical but also an eco-friendly choice, standing out as a sustainable alternative to single-use disposable shop towels. Their use significantly reduces waste, promoting a greener cleaning solution. 

By adopting these repurposed rags, you’re not only ensuring a cost-effective cleanup in your workspace but also contributing positively to environmental preservation efforts. This simple switch is a step towards a more sustainable and responsible approach to managing messes in any active workshop or garage.

Benefits of T-Shirt Shop Rags

  • Highly absorbent for spills and leaks.
  • Can be discarded after dealing with non-cleanable substances.
  • A sustainable alternative to disposable shop towels.

Crafting an Arm Sling with Old T-Shirts

In situations where immediate medical care is not available, a temporary solution for an injured arm can be devised using a t-shirt rag. This method is particularly useful when one needs to immobilize an arm until professional medical help can be accessed. 

The process involves repurposing a large t-shirt by cutting out a substantial square segment of the fabric. This piece is then folded along its diagonal axis, resulting in a triangular shape. The stretchiness and soft texture of the t-shirt material make it an ideal choice for this purpose, offering a comfortable yet supportive cradle for the injured limb.

Once the fabric is appropriately shaped, the ends of the triangle are tied together, creating a secure enclosure for the arm. This makeshift sling aids in restricting movement, thereby reducing the risk of further injury. While this solution is practical for temporary relief and stabilization, it’s important to seek professional medical evaluation and treatment as soon as possible.

Creating a Makeshift Arm Sling

  • Cut a large, square piece from a t-shirt.
  • Fold diagonally to form a triangle.
  • Tie the ends together to secure the arm.

Utilizing Old T-Shirts for Emergency Bandages and Wraps

In the absence of standard medical supplies, the material from a t-shirt, notable for its stretchability and gentle texture, emerges as an innovative alternative for makeshift bandages or wraps. 

This fabric is highly versatile and can be effectively utilized for various emergency first aid measures. It is particularly useful for securely positioning ice packs on areas affected by sprains or contusions, contributing to swelling reduction and pain relief in a gentle manner. 

Moreover, the inherent pliability and softness of t-shirt fabric make it an ideal choice for applying light, non-constraining compression, which is especially useful in managing minor injuries where a balance between support and comfort is crucial. 

Additionally, this material can serve as a temporary protective layer over wounds or burns, providing a shield against potential contamination and further harm. The resourcefulness of t-shirt fabric in these emergency contexts underscores its value as a multifaceted first aid resource, proving to be an indispensable asset when traditional medical items are not available.

Uses in First Aid

  • Holding ice packs against sprains or bruises.
  • Providing light, comfortable compression.
  • Covering wounds or burns temporarily.

Creating Eco-Friendly Cloth Wipes or Napkins from Old T-Shirts

Choosing a sustainable and environmentally conscious approach to everyday items can significantly reduce waste. One practical and effective method is repurposing old t-shirts by transforming them into reusable cloth wipes or napkins. 

This not only provides a second life to your worn-out clothes but also offers a versatile solution for various household needs. These fabric pieces can be excellently used as gentle baby wipes, soft facial wipes, or even as casual table napkins for family meals. 

Embracing this eco-friendly alternative not only diminishes the reliance on single-use products but also contributes to a greener, more sustainable lifestyle. It’s a simple yet impactful way to make a positive difference in reducing daily waste.

Eco-Friendly and Soft 

  • Gentle on the skin, making them suitable for babies or facial use.
  • Washable and reusable, reducing household waste.
  • Easily cut to preferred sizes without the need for hemming.
old t-shirt

Repurposing Old T-Shirts as Fermentation and Vinegar Covers

When fermenting foods or making vinegar at home, use small squares of t-shirt fabric as breathable covers. These allow air to circulate while keeping contaminants out of your ferments.

Simple and Effective Ferment Covers

  • Breathable, allowing air exchange while fermenting.
  • Keep out dust and small insects effectively.
  • Can be washed and reused multiple times.

Turning Old T-Shirts into Finishing Pads for Woodworking

Woodworking aficionados have a clever trick for applying oils, stains, and finishes to their projects: repurposing old t-shirts by transforming them into finishing pads. This sustainable and economical practice involves cutting the t-shirts into smaller sections, creating soft and absorbent cloths ideal for woodworking tasks. 

The natural texture of the cotton material allows for a smooth and even application of various finishes, enhancing the beauty and durability of the wood. These homemade pads are not only gentle on surfaces but also offer an excellent way to recycle textiles that might otherwise be discarded. This method ensures a flawless finish on woodworking projects, demonstrating that sometimes, the simplest tools can be the most effective.

Perfect for Wood Finishing Projects

  • Soft texture ensures a smooth application of finishes.
  • Absorbent, making them great for oil-based finishes.
  • Disposable, so you can avoid the hassle of cleaning after use.

Versatile Cleaning Rags Made from Old T-Shirts

T-shirts, known for their soft and absorbent qualities, serve as an excellent resource for creating multipurpose cleaning rags. By cutting the fabric into squares or rectangles, one can fashion rags that are perfectly suited for a multitude of household tasks. 

These rags are exceptionally good at tackling everything from wiping down kitchen counters and cleaning windows to polishing wooden furniture. Their gentle texture ensures that surfaces are cleaned without any damage or scratches. 

Opting for these homemade cleaning rags not only promotes sustainability but also provides a cost-effective alternative to repeatedly purchasing disposable paper towels. Incorporating these eco-friendly rags into your cleaning routine contributes to a greener, more sustainable home environment.

Versatile Uses for T-Shirt Rags

  • General Cleaning: Use them for dusting, wiping down countertops, or cleaning windows. The soft fabric won’t scratch surfaces.
  • Polishing: With a dab of homemade furniture polish, t-shirt rags can make wood furniture shine.
  • Customization: Cut the rags in sizes that suit your needs. Smaller rags are perfect for delicate tasks, while larger ones are great for heavy-duty cleaning.
what to make out of old t shirts

Gentle Handkerchiefs and Burp Rags from Upcycled Old T-Shirts

Repurposing old t-shirts is a fantastic way to create soft and gentle handkerchiefs and burp rags. The natural softness and absorbency of the fabric make it perfect for use against delicate skin, whether for wiping away tears or for daily face cleansing. 

Additionally, these upcycled garments offer an excellent solution for parents in need of burp rags. The tender texture is soothing against a baby’s skin, making them ideal for use during feeding times or for dealing with minor spills. 

Not only does this approach offer a cost-effective alternative to store-bought options, but it also contributes to a sustainable lifestyle by giving a second life to old clothing.

Advantages of T-Shirt Handkerchiefs and Burp Rags

  • Comfort: The soft cotton fabric is gentle on the skin, perfect for wiping away tears or cleaning up after a baby.
  • Size Customization: Cut the fabric into any size that suits your needs. Larger pieces are great for burp rags, while smaller ones can serve as handkerchiefs.
  • Easy Maintenance: These rags are machine washable and durable, making them a practical choice for everyday use.


Transforming your old T-shirts into unique fashion statements is not only a creative way to rejuvenate your wardrobe, but also a step towards sustainable living. 

By embracing DIY methods and infusing your personal style, you give a second life to garments that might otherwise be forgotten. 

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