Fun T-Shirt Crafts

We all have vintage t-shirts taking up space in our closets. With a little ingenuity and time, our "oldies but goodies" can be used again. Craft projects using t-shirts are easy to make and fun to show off.

T-Shirt Art Projects

  • Patchwork quilt, traveling blanket or sports blanket

  • Framed t-shirt art

  • Throw pillows

  • Rag rugs

  • Potholders

Patchwork Quilt, Traveling Blanket or Sports Blanket
The easiest way to make a patchwork quilt is to use a flat sheet as the bottom of the quilt, a blanket or quilt batting in the center, and sewn together squares on the front. If you're using t-shirt logos as the quilt squares, try to find several different sizes to use as your pattern pieces. Before you begin cutting logos out, however, measure the blanket to the person it is being created for. If it's for an adult, you may want to make it slightly larger so that there is enough material to wrap around the shoulders comfortably. For a child, the blanket can be smaller.

Framed T-Shirt Art
Got a wonderful logo that you simply cannot part with? Is it your college logo…the same university your mother and grandmother attended? Does it match your bedroom? Does it mean something special to you or someone you know? Would it be a grand addition to the parlor wall? If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then there can be no doubt about what to do with this particular t-shirt. It simply must be placed in a frame and hung on the wall for all to see.

Throw Pillows
When making a throw pillow, you may want to use t-shirt logos and add matching material-cut into small squares or strips-around the logo to enlarge the pattern. Once you have your pattern laid out, sew the pieces together to make a pillowcase or pillow cover.

Rag Rugs
Cut the t-shirt directly beneath the logo, leaving about 1 ½ inches for seams. The bottom portion of the t-shirt can be used to make rag rugs. Cut the t-shirt in a one- or two-inch spiral, starting at the bottom and working your way up the shirt. Since t-shirt material will not unravel, these strips can be woven together to make wonderful rugs. Using a large crochet hook, simply use the t-shirt strips as if they were strips of yarn and crochet to your heart's content.

Potholders
This is perhaps the easiest project. Simply cut out two logos using the same pattern so they're the same size. Cut out a thick layer of batting for the inside of the potholder. The object is to make sure the potholder is thick enough that you don't burn your hands. When you have decided on the batting you'll use, place logos together, facing so that one is facing up the other is face down on top of it. Lay your batting on top. Pin around the edges, sew along the edge, leaving a space of about three inches on one side to turn the potholder right-side out. Turn the potholder and iron flat. Use wide-bias tape of a matching color to sew around the edges of the potholder, leaving a loop in the top corner.

Handmade projects using t-shirts are not only a fun way to spend an afternoon, they're also inexpensive.

Tips

  • Spice up a vintage logo with fabric paint such as puffy paints or glitter paints, or add buttons or embroidery and fancy stitches, and all of your personal handmade decorations. Let your imagination run wild.

  • Color-coordinating various calico, gingham, stripes, and plaids and adding strips of color to throw pillows adds to the overall beauty of the object. Just make sure the colors are complementary to the logo in the center of your pillow.

  • An old bed pillow offers the perfect solution to throw-pillow filler. Simply cut the bed pillow in half vertically, stitch the raw edges to keep the batting in place, then cover the two pieces with t-shirt logos.

  • Since t-shirt material is stretchy, be careful not to pull or stretch it as you move it under the sewing machine foot. However, since it is a little stretchy, when you are sewing a quilt or throw and the squares don't quite match up, tug the material slightly to make it fit. (Tug too much and the material will bunch up and distort the logo.)

  • Several layers of t-shirt material can be used in place of potholder batting.

  • Frames for t-shirt artwork can be purchased at dollar stores and then painted the color you choose, or at yard sales for a fraction of what you'd have to pay if you bought the frame new.

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