Dec 7, 2011

Homemade Gifts: T-Shirt Scarf

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I’m a big fan of upcycling, and when I saw this trick on Pinterest, I had to give it a try.  I had been saving my old t-shirts for crafts that Naomi and I could do together. Jersey fabric is so soft, stretchy and fun to play with.  This project is very forgiving, and is also a great way to get rid of an old t-shirt with tiny splattered stains, like grease or paint, because they won’t be so easily noticed on the scarf.  Of course, if you make this for someone else, you might want to use more care than I do.  I did it rather roughly because I wanted to show how easy it is to make.

Take an old t-shirt.  I chose this one because as you can see, it’s got a grease stain, and is not even at the bottom.  But it is a great color and I hated to throw it out.

Cut off just under the sleeves and throw them out.

Next, cut of the hem at the bottom of the t-shirt.  This is used later, so don’t throw it away!

Next, cut small strips off the belly of the shirt off in long strips.  An inch or so wide is fine.  Don’t worry if they’re not exact.  Again, this is a very forgiving project.

Once you’ve cut the strips off the t-shirt, take one strip at a time and put it around your hands as shown above and stretch it out.

This will cause the fabric of the strip to curl in on itself, making it almost tube-like.  (This can also be a great tug-of-war game for little ones to play!)  Do this for each of your strips of t-shirt.

Now you can begin binding the seamed edges.  Gather up all the strips and in one hand, collect together all the seamed ends of the strips in one hand.

You can now stretch them with your hands so they are roughly the same length.  This will make the scarf a wee bit longer but they will all be the same length.

Take your hemmed end of the shirt and cut off the seams at the end.  You’re now left with two strips from the hemmed bottom of the t-shirt.  Using one of the hemmed ends of the shirt, tie a tight knot with one end and begin wrapping it around and around the seams.  Continue until you cannot see anymore seams.

Leave a couple inches of hemmed strip at the end.  Now there are two ways you can finish it off.  You can either take a large sewing needle (I used one I got for weaving the ends of my knitting in place) and use it to string the hemmed edge in through the wound up piece.  It will take some work to do this, but you’ll end up with a nice secure end covering your scarf.  Once that’s done, you’re good to snip off any excess.

Alternatively, you can try this trick: lay your finger over the top of the scarf, just over the length of the bound end.

Keep your finger there and wind around it tightly.  Once you have a few loops around it, slip your finger out gingerly, without pulling the tail of too much.  As you slip your finger out, slide through the tail so that it is looped underneath the loose loops.  Pull it tightly and guide the few loops through and tighten it.

Snip the extra tail off, and repeat on the other end.  That is all it takes to complete!

These look great on their own, doubled up, or with several other scarves.  Lots of variety, too based on whatever color and design you happen to use!  Have fun with it!  Good luck!

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  • How awesome! Thank you so much for sharing! I may have to try this one out. :)

    • It’s super easy, and makes a lovely scarf. I have made two now. I will make another one the next time I ruin a t-shirt. 😛