Re-Purposed to a T: new life for old T-shirts

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They come in EVERY color of the rainbow; in every size possible.  The messages they convey are  sometimes chosen carefully by those who wear them; favorite bands, colleges and universities, political statements, and more. Other times they “freebies”given away at all sorts of events; the slightly flimsier types worn when gardening, cleaning the garage or painting a room.

T-Shirts. They are about as American as apple pie and just about everyone has at least one, maybe two or perhaps a closet full.

What to do with all those T-shirts when the time comes when you no longer wear them; when it’s time purge?  Clearly us Green Divas believe in donating those that may not have any special meaning. And of course, Green Divas also take those Ts and repurpose, repurpose, repurpose!

Here are just a few of the really “Coolie-O” things, which can be crafted from old T-shirts

Here a strip of lace is sewed down the front of a plain black T. This is such a simple idea which the designer actually “borrowed” from actress Rashida Jones (I Love You Man). She saw this cute embellished top and said, “hey I can do that!” And so can you…simple, simple simple. While the DIYer bought a shirt and a piece of lace, I used an old T without any desgn and and several scraps of lace. Easy and so cute!                                  

Talk about fun, funky and fantastic! Whether you cut it, trim it, knot it, ruffle it, put bows or buttons on it, make an old t-shirt into a pair of baby pants or even a bib, … the possibilities are endless!

Don’t really feel like wearing an old T-shirt no matter even how funky it might be. Never give up on those old Ts. If you know the Green Divas, you know how we are  constantly reminding everyone to remember their re-usable shopping bags. The amount of garbage – a lot of it floating in the pacific — generated by plastic is overwhelming. Those re-usable bags are great but easy to forget at home or in the car. Maybe making your own multi-purpose bags out of several T-shirts might just do the trick and it’ll also safe you a couple of bucks a bag as well!

Listen to the fun Green Diva Mizar’s DIY segment on giving New Life to Old T-Shirts!

Now come on … aren’t these fun?

Not handy with the sewing machine? No worries! Here’s a perfect idea for making totes without sewing a stitch. Use these tote bags to bring home your groceries, to take an extra set of clothes to the gym, or for pretty much anything else you can think of. This would be a fabulous slumber party activity for girls, or a fun fundraiser, summer camp or scout activity. Oh, and it would also be fun for a big girls’ craft night.







Your fruits and vegetable will thank you if you grab a few shirts and a pair of scissors to create adorable, practical produce bags from old t-shirts. Just a few simple cuts and stitches and there you’ll have them. Not only do the eco-bags not create waste, but you get to enjoy your favorite t-shirt all over again.

Memories! We’re not done yet as making a quilt out of those extra special T’s will have you enjoying them and reliving those special events. Once upon a time, quilts were sewn together using scraps of any fabric or clothing that could be salvaged to keep warm. Quilts were a necessity and passed down from one generation to the next. Now folks are taking old t shirts and using the same method to create t-shirt quilts, not necessarily to keep warm, but to preserve great memories.

And while you’re at it, if you have that odd number of T-shirts, use one to make a companion pillow.


Tiffany, Harry Winston, Cartier or Hermes!  They’ve got nothing on T-shirt scarves and jewelry. I couldn’t help myself. It was SO hard to choose from the number of beautiful and creative ideas out there, that I picked one link where you’ll find 10-ideas. From there, keep on exploring.

And as for jewelry, again the ideas are virtually endless. From necklaces, rings, earrings and bracelets, any one of them can be crafted out of an old T-shirt.

One more thing … Green Diva Meg and Green Diva Mizar were joined in the studio by Green Diva Lisa, who happens to be GD Meg’s sister. When her son graduated high school, she stitched together a quilt using all his favorite T-shirts.  GD Jessie — we call her Silent Jessie  because she’s in the control room making sure audio levels are okay and that the show is being recorded — has refashioned T-shirts into blazers, shrugs, etc.

Listen to the fun Green Diva Mizar’s DIY segment on giving New Life to Old T-Shirts!


About the author / 

Green Diva Mizar'

Green Diva Mizar is a former co-host of the GD show. GD Mizar is also dedicated to providing safe, clean water to all through her company Pur2o Water Filtration & Purification.

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