DIY: Upcycle T-Shirts to Revamp Your Wardrobe

How many t-shirts are in your drawers? T-shirts are the perfect building block for so many outfits. They are a great staple piece to have in your wardrobe. They’re versatile, practical and comfortable. Old T-shirts often just sit in your drawer, taking up the space you could be using for clothing you actually wear. However, it’s easy to start to upcycle T-shirts by altering and accessorizing them in new ways. You can revamp your wardrobe and get a great new look, effectively creating a new outfit from unworn garments.

READ MORE: Take Vintage Clothes from Old To Gold with These Simple Tricks

The term upcycling is relatively new, as it was coined in 1994 by Reiner Pilz, who stated that “what we need is upcycling, where old products are given more value, not less.” Upcycling, also known as creative reuse, is one of the most sustainable things people can do in fashion. There are more textiles produced in the world today than can actually be used. As a result, upcycling has become increasingly popular among groups and individuals concerned about climate change.

The art of upcycling is a way of processing an item to make it better than the original. In the example of clothing, this is often taking something that doesn’t fit or is damaged and refashioning it into a wearable or usable product. As upcycling makes use of existing pieces, it often uses few resources in its creation and keeps “unwanted” items out of the waste stream.

It’s no wonder that most of us hate to part with our favorite T-shirts. It’s estimated that over 2 billion T-shirts are sold each year, but what happens to T-shirts when they don’t get worn any longer? A T-shirt is not only a garment to wear, it can hold beloved memories from childhood or a first rock concert. These days there’s no need for throwaway fashion if you’re willing to put in a little crafting action. There are tons of ways to refashion an old T-shirt. There are many tutorials out there to help you to refashion or reimagine your unwanted or worn out clothes into something new. Here are our top 5 ways to upcycle T-shirts.

5.) Tie-Dye

Get a handle on the basics of the tie-dye with this great tutorial. With simple, clear instructions that kids will be able to follow and repeat the whole process to dye their shirts. The T-shirts that work best are 100% cotton, but you can also use 50/50 cotton/polyester mix. They just won’t be as vibrant.

An extra tip: soak the T-Shirt in water and ring it out before applying the dye to the damp fabric. Always put light colored dyes on first. This will then absorb the dye much easier.

Dye kits are readily available from craft stores, which come with everything you need. They include rubber gloves, rubber bands, soda ash, dyes and complete, easy-to-follow instructions. Tie-dying old tees will add a colorful, bold and vibrant look to your garments that your friends will envy. The most important thing is to have fun and enjoy transforming your tees!

You will need:

  • T-Shirt
  • One Step Tie-Dye Kit