Monday, June 16, 2014

Made It: Almost-Instant T-shirt Crafts

Hello! I finally got my husband to go through his slightly out-of-control t-shirt collection. It turned out that he hadn't been wearing many of his t-shirts for a reason: either they were too big, too small, or were rather worn out. 

There was still some life left in the ill-fitting shirts, and some of these he had particularly liked at one time. So I decided to see if I could make something with them. 

Didn't have enough t-shirts to make a quilt, but besides being kind of college dorm-ish, I wanted something quicker. And as it turned out, I found a couple of crafts that were way quicker. 

Like, would you believe an apron you can make in a minute or less? It's true:

As you may be able to tell, the neckline of the t-shirt stayed put to become the apron neckline. The sleeves and most of the back of the apron were cut away. A portion of the back was cut to make a couple of straps to tie around the waist. Quite clever, I thought!

This wouldn't win any ribbons at the county fair, but hey, what do you want for under a minute? I liked this so much I made one for me, and will make more with other old t-shirts. I'm a messy cook/eater/gardener, so I'll make enough for frequent apron changes. 

The larger the size, the more coverage, of course. A men's large or x-large works for me. 

If you're interested, the tutorial can be found HERE.

I was on a roll, and still had a couple of my husband's old favorite t-shirts at my disposal. I decided to turn them into pillow covers for the pillows that had come with the family room couch. I'd made a slipcover for that couch a few years ago, so its pillows no longer matched it. Time for a different look:

Late 1980's Chicago Cubs t-shirt. 

I think that this t-shirt is from the same era. My husband might have purchased it during Michigan's sesquicentennial celebration in 1987. 

(note: that's not the slipcovered couch behind the pillows. The slipcover is blue, so the t-shirted pillows now match it very well.)

Again, this was very easy! I think the most time-consuming part of the project was pinning the three sections together - one front and two back pieces. That step took more time than the sewing did! More clever cutting: the hemmed bottom portions of the t-shirt's front and back were used for the backing, so no further hemming was needed. The three pieces were sewn together to form an envelope-like shape - besides being an easy way to make a pillow cover, the cover can be easily removed for washing when needed. 

I found that t-shirt fabric is very forgiving - there was no need to stress out over making a paper pattern to the nth degree of accuracy. I just laid one of my pillows over a piece of newspaper and cut around it. Same with cutting the two pieces for the backing - I just made sure they would overlap when sewn to the front piece. Didn't need a ruler or more paper patterns, I just eyeballed it! 

But of course, there are directions to follow; you can see the tutorial HERE.

Easy, functional, cheap, no-sew or low-sew: my idea of a good project - or two, in this case. 


  1. Cool ideas! I made a pillow once out of one of Bob's old sweaters. When that finally wore out, I didn't feel so bad throwing it out since it had really lived out it's usefulness two fold.

  2. A pillow cover made from a sweater is a great idea too! I have thought of doing that sometime as well.