According to the 2017 State of Reuse Report, the average North American threw away 81 pounds of clothing in 2016. And 95% of that was reusable. That equals 26 billion pounds of clothing and textiles that go into landfills each year. That number is so huge I can’t even wrap my head around it.
I take clothes I am done with (i.e. the “skinny” jeans that were never meant for my mom body) to the resale shop and then donate anything I can’t sell. But what about the T-shirt that are worn out or stained?
At our local Earth Day festival last year, we came upon a booth doing a free craft project of making bracelets out of T-shirts. It’s the perfect way to keep things out of the landfill and make a pretty, usable item instead.
- Old T-Shirts
1. Cut off the hem of the shirt.
Discard this piece.
There are two ways to create your strips of material:
a. If you like precision, cut the shirt into strips of equal widths (approximately 1-2 cm wide.)
*Please note that because T-shirts are typically made with soft cotton material, the strips will curl in. This is expected.
b. If you are lazy artistic, make small starter cuts and simply rip the strips Hulk Hogan-style (I’m trusting you to know who Hulk Hogan is.)
This method is fun and makes you feel strong. It worked pretty well for me, although every now and then I would find an area of the shirt that just didn’t want to rip.
Now you have a pile of strips with just a little bit of waste from the seams.
To create the bracelets, you can mix and match and create different styles. Your imagination is your only limit.
Here are 2 different styles to get you started:
Choose 1 long strip and wind it around your wrist loosely (this will determine your size.) When you have the number of loops you want, tie the ends together (cutting off any extra length.)
Take a different colored strip and wind it around the knot to create a large “bead.”
Tie the ends and tuck them in to hide them.
You can get creative and try a flower or bow.
Choose 3 strips of any colors and tie a starter knot to hold them together. (I taped mine to my workspace to make it easier to braid.)
Braid the strips until you have the length you want (loose around the wrist.) Tie off the braid.
Tie your ends together to create a circle.
Get creative with your knots to make it look artistic.
You can also try covering one knot with another strip to make it look like a giant bead.
Other styles are paracord knots and you could even make necklaces and rings.