De-cluttering, keeping consumerism in check. and upcycling. They’re all hallmarks of our 21st century. But, so is breaking the rules and making your own according to your own tastes. How do you accomplish all of this all at the same time?
Guest writer and fabric expert Leann Farmer is here to help put this into frame, with three projects to turn your old clothes into home decor accessories …
What happens to your old clothes when you no longer wear them? Perhaps you give them to charity or someone you know, but what about those pieces you just can’t bring yourself to get rid of? That t-shirt that’s been with you everywhere or that dress made from beautiful fabric.
Well, instead of leaving them to gather dust in the closet, why not make those well-loved clothes into something new? Repurposing old clothes to make unique and stylish home furnishings is a great way to make the most out of your treasured t-shirts, sweaters and dresses, and, more importantly, leaves you free to enjoy a little nostalgia every now and then.
Ruffle Rose Pillows
Ruffle rose pillows make a beautiful addition to any home and are extremely simple to make. They work especially well with old sweater fabric, but can be made with any material you have on hand.
You will need:
• A large sweater
• Sewing machine and thread
• A circular cushion pad
1. Cut four 4 inch-wide strips from the front of your sweater, and then cut two circles to fit your cushion pad from the remaining material.
2. Stitch the 4 strips together to make one, long piece of fabric, then fold it in half lengthways and iron. Open up the strip so that you can see the ironed seam running along the middle.
3. Take one of your fabric circles and pin one end of the fabric to the outer edge. The end of your strip should be at 12 o’clock, so that it can run clockwise around the edge of your circle, spiraling in towards the center.
4. Machine-stitch along the pressed seam in the middle of your fabric strip, turning the circle as you go, slightly gathering the fabric, working into the center.
5. Stop just before the center and hand-finish to form a rosebud.
6. Machine-stitch your second circle on top of your ruffled front (being careful not to catch the edge of your ruffles) and leave a 12cm gap.
7. Turn the right way, insert cushion pad and sew gap closed.
And voila! You could even dye gray sweats to perfectly match your room’s color scheme.
T-shirt Wall Art
A t-shirt can be packed with sentimental value, whether it’s one you wore in high school, bought at a concert or even pilfered from an old boyfriend. Why not turn it into t-shirt wall piece and keep your memories fresh?
You will need:
• Old t-shirt
• Hot glue
• Standard picture frame
This one is pretty self-explanatory, but just in case!
1. Insert the cardboard (sized to fit frame) into the t-shirt and carefully position the shirt so logo (or whatever section of the shirt you want displayed in the frame) is centered and straight. Stretch the t-shirt tightly around cardboard, making sure that the sleeves and neckline don’t appear on the front.
2. Cut fabric so that it’s a few inches larger than the cardboard all the way around.
3. Pull fabric tightly around cardboard (folding neatly in the corners) and glue to reverse side.
4. Let it dry before inserting it into frame and hanging for all to see!
T-shirt Shag Rug
T-shirt shag rugs are easy to make, gorgeous to look at, and feel great underfoot.
You will need:
• Rug Canvas (available at most craft stores)
• Old t-shirts
1. Cut your rug canvas to the size of rug that you want.
2. Cut your t-shirt (or t-shirts if you’re going for a multi-colored rug) into 1″ by 4″ strips.
3. Starting in the corner of your rug canvas, tie strips to form shag using a lark’s head knot (fold strip in half to make loop, insert one end of loop down through a square in your rug canvas, then up again through the next square along, insert loose ends into loop and pull tightly).
4. Continue along the row using the colors you need to achieve your desired effect.
There are a lot of different t-shirt rug tutorials online, but this is one of the simplest, and in my opinion, most effective!
So there you have it, three different ways to make a unique style statement in your home. They also make wonderful gifts, but no one would blame you for keeping these beauties all to yourself!
Leann Farmer is a social media and customer experience manager at BlueCotton, a custom t-shirt design company. When not thinking up memorable and witty sayings to print on apparel, you can find her pinning away on Pinterest and thinking about creative uses for all the old t-shirts she’s accumulated.