In the midst of decluttering our home, I was amazed to find how many old t-shirts were stashed deep in our dresser drawers, that probably hadn’t been touched in a while. Instead of just tossing them out or packing them up for donations, I thought why not get crafty. I went to search online, and found so many awesome ways you can upcycle old t-shirts in a fun DIY! Also, if you don’t get enough inspiration in this post check out 16 more cool things to do with old t-shirts. As I said, the ways to repurpose old shirts seem to be pretty endless.

3-photo collage titled 16 AMAZING WAYS TO UPCYCLE OLD T-SHIRTS - braided basket, infinity scarf, and a sorority patchwork quilt.
16 Amazing Ways To Upcycle Old T-shirts

Fun Things to Make from Old T-Shirts

1. Upcycle Old T-shirts Into A Cute Braided Basket

We all have those old t-shirts we’ve held on to for a bit too long and they definitely won’t be making it to the thrift shops or goodwill. Don’t worry. You can upcycle your old t-shirts by turning them into a braided basket and hold on to them for a bit longer.

Cut up those sentimental tees into long strips. Make them thinner if you’ll be making your basket using a machine though you can keep them chunky for that handsewn one-of-a-kind braided basket you’ll use in your our bedroom, to hold a few magazines and a blanket or two!

braided basket made from strips of old t-shirts

2. Black Old-Tshirt Upcycled Into A Fun Superhero Cape

While not all heroes wear capes, you’ll definitely be a huge one when you make a cape for your child out of an upcycled old t-shirt. Especially if you have a child who dreams of being a superhero. Create for them this cute and easy-to-make fun cape made by fixing a Batman logo on a plain black tee that’s been cut, sewn, and shaped into a really amazing cape!

3. From A Girl’s Hottest Fashion Item to A Comfy Upcycled Old T-Shirt Quilt

Fashion is like eating, you shouldn’t stick to the same menu. — Kenzo Takada

Girl moms know this all to well because that tie-and-dye t-shirt your little girl wore every single day like some girl code uniform is the same tee she can’t be caught dead wearing right now. So what to do with her collection of old tie-and-dye t-shirts? Upcycle and turn them into a comfy t-shirt quilt! You can use any other design of shirts, but I just love this tie-dyed look!

If you’re making a quilt for warmth then go all out and quilt it but if just for use as a picnic blanket, it works fine as is –  a patchwork of upcycled old t-shirts.

picnic blanket made from a patchwork of old tie-and-dye t-shirts

4. Upcycle Your Family’s Old-Tshirts Into Individual Laundry Organizers

All your kids probably have an equal share of a bunch of old t-shirts. Why not upcycle them into their individual laundry organizers, using their own t-shirts? This is a really neat idea, so you (and they) know whose clothes are whose!

It’s a really fun and easy craft to make, that will help keep your laundry a bit more organized when it comes time to put away. And because the kiddos can identify their upcycled old t-shirts, they can also help out to get things done faster.

5. Trade Sorority Old T-shirts For A Stunning Quilt

Your kids are done with college and apart from their college degrees, they also have with them lots of memories and they come bearing plenty of old sorority t-shirts. Those old t-shirts will definitely not be worn again and instead of having them clutter their closets, why not upcycle them into a quilt?

Here is another quilt idea. One that uses all sorority-style t-shirts and is absolutely stunning. I love the idea behind this! You can either make it yourself if you have the time and sewing skills, or you can simply outsource the project and make this a surprise gift for your kids.

quilt made from a patchwork of upcycled old sorority t-shirts

6. Upcycle Your Old T-Shirts Into A Bag For Your Child’s Stuffed Animals

Kids lately don’t go anywhere without tagging along their favorite toy, stuffed animal, or otherwise. This is such a handy craft I’m sure most moms will love to craft by upcycling old t-shirts. No more of that delicate balancing act where you have a sleepy kid and their many toy pieces in your hands; the toys always get the raw deal because they get dropped, wasting valuable time looking for them, because there’s no way you’ll make it home without that exact beloved toy!

Here’s a super quick and easy way to create a bag for your child to stash all their favorite toys. Great for also when you are on the go!

7. Repurpose Old Oversized T-shirt Into A Puppet Show Stage

Before your kids move on to take their place on the world’s stages, how about you create a puppet show stage for them with a cardboard box and an old oversized t-shirt that you won’t use anymore?  Your kids will have endless hours of fun making their own puppet show or playing with puppets!

Start by cutting off the back of the box so you’re left with a wide-open space. Next, on the opposite side make a window. Then, pull down the old t-shirt to cover the entire box and tuck it in under the box. Cut through the old tee to reveal the window you made, and make a half slit at the back where the kids will go in through.

The kids can stick their hands up and through the window during the puppet show while staying hidden inside the box, while the t-shirt sleeves can be rolled and tucked in to give amazing storage for their ‘entourage’ the puppets.

Frugal Fun: Upcycle Old T-Shirts

8. Get A New Summer Look From An Upcycled Old T-shirt

Summer’s here and you can’t seem to find something to wear. Why not quickly upcycle an old t-shirt into another article of clothing altogether using this tutorial? Although a new boys’ tee was used for this, you’ll probably have the perfect old t-shirt stashed in a drawer somewhere!

person who's in the sunny outdoors and wearing a striped skirt

9. Upcycle Boring Old T-shirts Into Next-Level Friendship Bracelets

Here’s an easy and fun DIY project your little ones can participate in: take a plain old t-shirt, tie-and-dye it, and create these really cute and fun friendship bracelets for your child to hand out to their best friends! Your kids will be pleased to have fancy friendship bracelets and you’ll score some serious cool mom points!

10. Upcycle Your Fave Old T-Shirt Into A Conversational Decor Piece

Do you have a favorite shirt you would hate to part with? You don’t need to part with it because there’s really no need to when you could turn it into an awesome decor piece for your home or bedroom. Grab a canvas and create a fun wall art display!

Now you have a real piece of art you can tell your grandkids about someday…

11. Reuse Old T-shirts For Cute Eco-Friendly Christmas Tree

You love Christmas but can’t stand those fake trees and you’ll have nothing to with cutting down of more trees just to celebrate for a few days. Here’s a permanent fix: make your own eco-friendly Christmas trees! These are really pretty and would be fun to display in your home around the holidays! Create these Christmas trees pretty quickly!

T-shirt yarn Christmas cones

12. Upcycle Your Old T-Shirts Into No-Carve DIY Pumpkins

Fall is here and the last thing you want is to carve pumpkins. It’s alright. You can make these adorable little pumpkins to display for Fall or even Halloween time around your home! This obviously works for orange t-shirts, or you can dye a t-shirt orange! And I might have forgotten to mention that they are also no-sew pumpkins? Yeah, I know. And you’re welcome.

13. ‘New’ Stylish Infinity Scarf Collection From Upcycled Old T-shirts

Infinity scarves are a great accessory item for Fall, they offer a fun style to your outfit and help you keep a little bit warmer during the colder days of the year.

De-clutter your closet of old t-shirts and stock it with a ‘new’ collection of infinity scarves, because once you get crafting, no one will ever guess you had these tees all this time! They’ll totally be upcycled.

white polka dot infinity scarf on a hanger

14. Upcycle Old T-Shirt Into A Cute Tote Bag

This way to recycle old t-shirts is a great idea for carrying around your books for school, items for your kids when you are on the go, or snacks, water, and sunscreen during summer, and more. I love this look, and I can imagine how soft a t-shirt tote would feel!

Make a t-shirt tote bag from an old t-shirt that speaks to you, or for dirt-cheap by visiting a thrift store.

tote bag made from an upcycled old t-shirt

15. Get A Colorful Rug From A Bunch Of Old T-Shirts

If you need a rug for a bedroom or any other room in the home, try this DIY route! This rug would look adorable in a kid’s room! It’s a fun way to declutter your closet and upcycle a bunch of your old T-shirts. Since you’ll be at it for a while, it’s also a great opportunity to bond with your family over a movie or some sing-a-long music.

16. Dog Toy

Does your dog love to play tug of war or chew on toys? Try this tug toy made from old t-shirts! Upcycle your stretchy old t-shirts and easily make a new set of toys for your furry friend.

4-photo collage of upcycled old t-shirts - as an infinity scarf, as a sorority quilt, as a braided bag, and as a tote bag.

I wanted to share these fun ideas with you in case you are like me and have some old shirts just laying around. Let us know your favorite way to recycle old t-shirts in the comments!

Had fun upcycling your old t-shirts? Take a look at more things you could recycle in your home:

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