Memorable Ways to Repurpose Old T-Shirts

We all have them- those t-shirts we just can’t let go of. Even if they are worn out, faded or no longer fit, we can’t seem to let go because of the fond memories they hold.

It could be a concert t-shirt from your favorite band, or a college shirt that remind you of the good ol’ days, or maybe it’s one of your child’s tiny tees that they’ve grown out of. They are filled with memories so you can’t let go, but they are taking up space in a drawer or box collecting dust.

But they don’t have to.

If you have some craft and sewing skills you can turn your old t-shirts into upcycled, repurposed and memorable items.


Like a pillow. It’s easy to cut an old t-shirt into a square and stuff it with stuffing or make it the right size for a pillow form.

There are instructions all over if you need them and Savvy Seams has a nice tutorial to turn a t-shirt into a zip off pillow cover to put over a form.

Maiden Jane has a fancier tutorial for creating a pillow with the t-shirt and other fabric.

If you have quite a few t-shirts you’d like to save, consider turning them into a quilt.

I am considering collecting some of my kids old t-shirts and creating a quilt for each child. This would be a great graduation gift or a great way for me to always have my babies close even once they’re all grown up.

Goosetracks offers free DIY t-shirt quilt instructions and if you’re a non-sewer they offer quilt making services as well.

If you are sew challenged a couple other places offer t-shirt quilts made to order too- and The Quilt Loft both offer reasonable quilt making services. You send in your shirts and they make you a quilt.

If you want a great quilt pattern MaidenJane has one for sale on Etsy. QuiltBug has some fabulous free tips to help make your t-shirt quilt a success.

I found this idea at, a memory scarf made from t-shirts. That’s a great concept.

If you’re looking for something with a little less sewing involved you could turn your old shirts into fun wall art. FaveCrafts has instructions.

I think I would alter the instructions a bit and not use Styrofoam instead put the shirt over a wood frame, maybe over a wood and canvas frame.

Another option would be to place the screen print square or rectangle of the shirt in a simple frame. Or stretch the fabric over a wooden frame, just like canvas is stretched over a wood frame.

Another sew-less craft is to save an old shirt in a shadow box frame, maybe combine it with some other memorabilia. If it was a concert t-shirt and you still have the ticket stubs that would be a great combo.

If it’s a child’s t-shirt you could combine the shirt with some photos or trinkets that fit the theme. Perhaps if it was a summer camp shirt place a few small crafts, a bracelet or anything they made at camp in with the t-shirt.

You could also use a t-shirt to cover a scrap book then fill the book with memories.

What crafty way have you saved an old t-shirt or made it into something memorable to use or display?

More T-Shirt Craft Projects:

Written by Wenona Napolitano

Wenona is married with three crazy kids that range in age from 4 to 18. She is a freelance writer, poet and the author of The Everything Green Wedding Book.

She enjoys reading, writing, crafting and gardening. She tries to do all of these as "greenly" as possible.

Her writing has appeared in several local and regional publications, Pack O Fun, Today's Creative Home Arts, and Indiana Living Green magazines as well as numerous online sites including,,, eHow, Associated Content, Suite101 and


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