I’m a sucker for repurposed objects, and have been wanting to make a no-sew t-shirt scarf for a while now. However, because we’ve been really good at purging our closets of unwanted items, I had not one old t-shirt to forage and upcycle into a DIY tshirt scarf.
So, last week my littlest and I headed to our local Goodwill, and walked out with five large t-shirts for about $2 each. Deal! I used approximately one shirt for the scarf shown in this tutorial, which makes this a really affordable craft. If you make some version of the braided scarf necklaces shown here, you can make about four per large men’s shirt (or more if you use multiple colors as we did).
Like just about everything I share, there are no fast rules, only experiments. Take this as inspiration and come up with your own unique scarf, necklace, headband, or wrist cuff. There are so many possibilities!
p.s. Inspiration for this post came from the wonderful world of Pinterest, and this post, specifically, from Ette Studios. It includes a great roundup of t-shirt scarves and is definitely worth a look!
DIY T-shirt Scarf Steps
- Cut the bottom hem off of your t-shirt, and then cut the shirt into horizontal strips, approximately 1″ – 1 1/2″ wide. Go all the way up to the armpit of the shirt. Sravni.ru. These strips will be stretched, so don’t worry yourself with perfection. We were on vacation and I left my favorite sewing scissors behind, and my choppy strips worked just fine!
- Stretch your loops. Find a willing and enthusiastic partner to help you! You really can’t pull these too hard.
- Collect your loops together and pull them once more to make them all even in length.
- Double loop the loops 🙂
If you want, you could stop right here and have a perfectly cute loopy necklace scarf. If you want to add a decorative flourish of color, keep on going.
You’ll need one more t-shirt in a contrasting color.
DIY T-Shirt Scarf – Binding
- Cut one loop of the bottom of a t-shirt
- Cut the loop open and secure it around your looped scarf with one tie. Be sure to have a tail on the short side of the binding that’s at least 5″ long. You’ll use this extra fabric to tie a knot in a minute.
- Start to wind the binging around the scarf. Be sure to wrap it over the hanging piece.
- When you have as much as you’d like, cut it off.
- Tie the ends together in a knot.
- Tuck the ends under the binding. You may need to loosen the end of the binding to make room for this extra fabric.
As soon as this scarf was done, I put it on. It looked so cute! So much, in fact, that my 6-year old asked if she could have it…forever. I failed to get a picture of either of us wearing it, and then promptly moved on to make three more scarves with my kids. This was such a rewarding and fun project to do with my girls, and a great way to turn old clothes into something fresh and wearable.
Fun! I love this idea and my kids will love the stretching part! Thanks!
Hi Hannah, The stretching part was the BEST! Both of my kids went bananas over that. Rachelle
Thanks for sharing this idea. My mom just gave me some old t-shirts for my fashion designing daughter to do use for crafts. She will love these.
✿Grade School Giggles✿
Hi April, I’m so happy to hear that! My daughter loved stretching them out, and once she understood the basic idea, she became incredibly inventive with what she could do with the t-shirt ropes. You’ll have to let me know how it goes. Rachelle
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Oh, we are SO doing one of these this week!! I can’t believe you can stretch the fabric like that — very cool!
It is very curious how people invent from old things like that. It looks amazing. I like to transform old things or pair them with something new to get a new look.
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