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.
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.
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:
- One Step Tie-Dye Kit
4.) Off-Shoulder Top
Learn how to upycle T-shirts into stunning off-the-shoulder tops. This is such a quick clothing hack you can do in just 30 minutes. If you have an oversized shirt stored away in your closet, then you can give this easy DIY a try. Off-the-shoulder tops are perfect for anyone. They’re comfortable, relaxed and can be worn for any occasion by dressing them up for a party or dressing them down for some chill time. You can make thetop as cropped but keep in mind that if you don’t hem it, it will roll up at the edges.
You will need:
- Oversized T-shirt
- Tailor or fabric scissors
- Black elastic
- Safety pins
3.) Fringe Crop Top
Fringing an old T-Shirt is an easy and fun way to produce a totally new look from shirts you already have just sitting in your wardrobe. And 2018 is all about the fringe fashion trend. Fringe tops are super cute to wear for summer concertsand festivals and the beach.
This one is not only a cute shirt but it also makes a great swimsuit coverup! It’s the perfect way to stay cool for summer and be stylish at the same time. Beads can also be added for extra detail and style. This is a fantastic revamp tutorial for any T-Shirt.
You will need:
Update your style this season with a halter top. Check your wardrobe for any unwanted tees and watch this DIY halter top tutorial to inspire the creativity within you. Save money instead of going shopping by making a completely unique outfit from a once-loved but no longer worn shirt.
A halter top looks chic, sophisticated and it’s completely underrated. Versatile, the halter neck tops can be styled for casual daytime looks or dressy nighttime outfits. Once you have mastered the art of the upcycled halter top, you’ll be itching to try the next project.
You will need:
1.) Woven Pattern-Back Top
The simplest way to add some personality to a T-shirt is with this easy, fun and very creative tutorial. For those of you with more limited sewing skills, you can relax as there no sewing needed at all for this T-shirt reconstruction. It’s as simple as making a cut up the back and then creating this elegant two-weave pattern. It’s really easy to make and it looks fantastic! Tip: Use masking tape or painters tape as a guide instead of a book. This will make it so much easier than measuring with a book or markers.
You will need:
If you are inundated with old clothes, try to upcycle T-Shirts that you never wear into something you’ll actually use. It also promotes sustainable innovation and creativity, not to mention some fun crafting time.
Why not create some cute new clothes for spring and summer? If you do, tell us in the comments below or share your upcycled t-shirts with us on social media: tag @topfivecom and #top5upcycledtees.