12 Upcycled T Shirt Ideas

I don’t know about you but I have always had bags of clothing waiting for some miracle to happen. Specially t-shirts! Let’s look at what to do with them with these 12 Upcycled old t-shirt ideas.

Did you know upcycle clothing is a thing? I am a sucker for upcycling everything. There is something so thrilling about taking something destined for Goodwill or a landfill and recreating it again. 

What is an upcycled shirt?

Upcycling is a type of recycling that involves taking something that is no longer useful or desired and giving it a new life by transforming it into something that is both useful and stylish.

This can be done in many different ways. And some of them don’t even require sewing! 

An upcycled shirt is a shirt that has been repurposed from an existing garment, rather than being made from new raw materials. 

You can cut the shirt into a different shape, adding embellishments or patches, or using dye to give it a new color. Upcycled shirts are a sustainable and eco-friendly alternative to buying new clothing, and they often have a unique and creative aesthetic.

So…as I was purging my t-shirt collection and my husband’s, I thought…

what to do with old tshirts

What can I turn an old shirt into?

Turns out, a whole lot of things you wouldn’t even think of! So keep reading.

This week I have gathered some fun upcycled t-shirt ideas for you that I can’t wait to show you.

12 Upcycled T Shirt Ideas

12 Upcycled T Shirt DIY Ideas

Ombre Fringe Skirt 

It is always a good idea to support and appreciate the talents and creations of others. If you have a little girl, like Ashley and are interested in crafts, you may enjoy checking out this gorgeous skirt made out of old t-shirts.

Ashley will help to encourage and inspire you to fill your little girl wardrobe with great upcycled fashion on a dime!

Ruffled T-Shirt 

Miche from Just Another Day in Paradise explains you step by step in her tutorial how to make this lovely ruffly t-shirt.

Ruffly green tshirt 1

Ruffled Dress  

At Sew Like my Mum, they support sustainable fashion as well. Check out how they tossed this shirt in the upcycling pile and finally decided to make a new sundress/bathing suit cover-up. They went for this lovely ruffled dressed.

Side Gathered Shirt 

This one requires a little more skills than the others and some seewing. SugarBeesCrafts shows you this tutorial so you can update your closet with this great idea.

SugarBeeCrafts t shirts

Is it cheaper to upcycling clothes?

Although I want to shout out that Yes! Of course, it depends on the situation. In some cases, upcycling clothes can be cheaper than buying new clothes because you are using materials that you already have and don’t have to spend any money.

However, if you want to add embellishments or embroidery, lace, buttons, etc. it may end up being more expensive. 

What I can surely tell you from experience is that the satisfaction of the job created with old clothes, like old jeans you will never wear again, makes up for the rest.

Your creativity will be thrilled with the DIY experience.

Recycled T-Shirt Bags

Among all the creative ways in which you can transform old fabrics, I thought this one was genius. Get rid of all those unnecessary plastic shopping bags and instead recycle your old t-shirts.

Tracy shows you a few different ways to upcycle old t-shirts. With so many ideas, maybe you can start an Etsy shop for these, lol.

Recycled T Shirt Product Bags

She uses these ones either for produce or for beach or summertime toys. I agree with her that it has to be for big produce for this to work fine. Tote bags work better to go to the market for me.

T-Shirt Dog Toy

More inspiration with a total different craft and a new item. This one is great for beginners. No need to go top the thrift store anymore to buy a toy for your pet. Even they can can benefit from your recycling!

Besides using old t-shirts, if you have fabric scraps lying around, this is a perfect craft to put them to good use.

Super Simple Leggings

A little girl can never have to many leggings! These are so cute! Ashley will teach you how to do it with just 2 fabric pieces.

Colorful Recycled T-Shirt Rug

This is so adorable and perfect for the Fourth of July! See the full tutorial in here by Jembellish.

Here’s a video of how to make one.

Contrasting Sleeve Top 

Merrick’s Art is back for another fun refashion today. Inspired by all the contrasting sleeved tops out there right now, they gave it a go.

It takes 2 t-shirts, a plain and a patterned one. Date night material, totally agree on that.

Contrasting top tshirt

Simple Kid’s Dress 

The Thread Riding Hood brings this wonderful idea  to the sustainable fashion industry of the upcycling! A simple Kid’s dress out of extra-small women’s tees.

Boot Socks 

I already had made some woolly boot sock with old sweaters when I was a teen. You just need the long sleeve and I remember I didn’t even sew them at all.

Upstyledaily shows you step by step how to make boor socks with old t-shirts. Check it out.

Betsy Ross Baby 

This is so adorable and perfect for the Fourth of July! 

Aren’t those fun ideas? Which one are you going to try first??

I have some dresses for the 4th of July made with upcycled t-shirts here as well. And also How to Make Hair Bows from Old T-Shirts

In fact, I have done lots of them haha. 

To see more fun ideas, I have gathered a ton ideas that I have done in the past. 

Check them out below:

Similar Posts


  1. My daughter was just cutting up tees this weekend! She tried to make a heart design in the back of the tee. Not sure if she got what she wanted but she was creating and having fun with clearance tees. 🙂 I love this pick of you–it’s just a FUN pic! Can’t wait to see what you made.

  2. I love #3 and funny thing I have these cool retro tees from Gap kids I was just trying to figure out what I should make with them!

  3. I guess I’m just not into this that much. I do l ike the tug toy for the dog, but I use my old scrappy t-shirts for dust rags and even swiffer pads. Most are 100% cotton and they do a good job on both chores, plus I can bleach them to remove dust and other floor debris.

Comments are closed.