Upcycle Old T-Shirts into a Cool Scarf Accessory – VIDEO

Girly. Vintage. Baseball. Whatever your style, there’s a T-shirt out there that’s sure to fit it to – well, a T! But, lurking in many a southeast Michigan family’s closet, there’s that cadre of misshapen, baggy, worn-out shirts that have served us well but are, shall we say, past their prime.

Want to give that top a second life? With a few snips, tugs and twists, consider it done. Metro Parent trolled the blogosphere and scored two simple DIY tutorials Check ’em out – and be sure to watch our original how-to video, just a few scrolls down, too!

Braided T-Shirt Scarf

Connie Yu goes ga-ga for “crafting, hot dogs and soft furry animals” – and her blog, This Old Dress, is a fun ode to her faves. The Canadian teacher has a knack for transforming T-shirts into neckwear, too. Try this if funky flair is your cup of tea.


  • 1-2 used adult XL T-shirts (no side seams), washed and dried
  • Fabric scissors
  • Fabric paint (optional)


  1. Lay the T flat and cut off the bottom hem and top portion (i.e., straight across under the armpits). Spatter the material with paint, if desired, and let dry.
  2. Cut 1/2- to 1-inch strips along the width of the fabric, creating loops. Don’t worry if the edges are jagged. Eyeballing is cool; just aim for roughly the same width. At least 13 strips is plenty.
  3. Gently tug along the length of the strips to curl the edges under. Try to stretch each loop evenly.
  4. Holding all strips, cut through at one point – so you have long strands of cotton instead of circular loops. Set one spare strand aside.
  5. Find something heavy, like a table. Use a leg to anchor the strands (for the braiding). Leave about a foot of free-flow “excess” hanging off the end.
  6. Divide strands into three (roughly) equal sections. Braid down the length of the fabric, leaving another foot of excess at the end. Note: Go slow and do small sections at a time, brushing out the loose strands – they’re prone to tangling.
  7. Gently remove the “anchor” and tie the two ends together with the “spare” strand you set aside. Wrap it around several times and double-knot to secure.
  8. Feather out the loose strands and cut random pieces shorter for a layered look!

Loopy T-Shirt Necklace

Bargain-hunting Salt Lake City mom Elizabeth Telford, who blogs and sells vintage wares on Etsy.com as WittyVintage, loves upcycling. She saw this necklace in a magazine and had to make it. Primo for the bit-boho mama!


  • 1-2 T-shirts (adult medium to XL), washed and dried
  • Fabric scissors


  1. Lay the T flat. Cut off the bottom hem. Then, cut the fabric into length-wise strips (about 3/4 inches) till you reach the top.
  2. Pull each strip gently until they curl. Lay them all flat and together by the seams to form a long necklace. Note: This won’t apply if your shirt has no side seams.
  3. Double-loop the necklace (if it has side-seams, match seams-with-seams).
  4. Adjust the pieces if desired, varying the length. If you have seams, use a scrap piece of fabric to cover them (this part goes behind the neck) – and/or just to secure it.
  5. If you’d like, add a brooch or little flair.


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