August 15, 2018


Old sorority T-shirts were turned into this cute quilt by Cheryl Lausch of Fargo. Special to The Forum

As children’s summer activities start to wind down, many parents are left with not just lovely memories and photos on their iPhones, but with a ton of T-shirts. Whether it’s from hockey camp, theater productions or vacation Bible school, most of us will leave summer with more T-shirts than when it started.

After trying to stuff them in dresser drawers, you consider throwing them out or even turning them into cleaning rags. (Seriously, will my kid ever wear this shirt again?) But when you bring up the subject to your children, you’re met with a crestfallen, “How dare you even suggest that, you horrible T-shirt-hating mother?”

So what do you do when you can’t throw away those shirts, but you’re running out of room? Recycle and repurpose them.

Here are five ideas:

1. T-shirt quilts. This is perhaps the most popular and beloved way to use those old T-shirts, perfect for those children who don’t want to wear their T-shirts anymore, but are sentimental enough that they want to keep them. Craft stores are full of kits that will help you get started. You’ll also find online tutorials at sites like that will give you some guidance. When you’re done, your graduating senior will thank you for helping to commemorate her stellar career on the preschool T-ball team.

A men's T-shirt can be transformed into a women's tank top. DIY Damsels

A men’s T-shirt can be transformed into a women’s tank top. DIY Damsels

2. T-shirt bags. Did you know the average American can use about 20,000 plastic grocery bags in a lifetime, and most are not recycled? Why not turn your old T-shirt into a grocery bag? They’re reusable and washable.They only require a few scissor cuts and sewing of two seams. Check out the tutorial from SewMargaretSew at

3. T-shirt headband. Turning your T-shirt into a headband can be either complicated or quite intricate. shows you how to make a cute knotted jersey look. If you have T-shirts in different colors, this is a great way to make a colorful accessory.

4. T-shirt to tank top. Some people don’t care for the boxy look of T-shirts. Others just want something cooler. It doesn’t take much effort to turn a T-shirt into a tank top. DIY Damsels shows you how to turn a men’s shirt into something a lot cuter.

5. T-shirt baby clothes. You know babies and toddlers can be tough on their clothes, so you want something durable and comfortable. Old T-shirts are a great way to stretch your clothing budget. When they outgrow the T-shirt clothes you made for them, just find another T-shirt to recycle. has a fun tutorial for baby leggings.


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