Right now, millions of Americans are going about their day as if it were any other. They’re waking up, eating their gluten-free pancakes, waving goodbye to their children, and shuffling off to their jobs. But something is wrong. Something is very wrong, and despite their best efforts, that something will keep nagging at them, burning like a fire in the back of their brains.
Somewhere, in the deepest, darkest recesses of their t-shirt drawers, is a tattered old gem. A once-prized possession that has since felt the wrinkles of time and the stains of history. What once was a best friend who accompanied them on some of their most memorable journeys (Remember that one time at that bar in Cancun? Or the awkward first date with your now-husband? Because it does! It was there for all of it, and it’ll never forget the beautiful times you shared!) is now nothing more than a bed liner for your newer, more frequently used t-shirts t0 lay on.
Sure, it has seen better days, but who among us hasn’t?! The point is, your old favorite t-shirt deserves better. You know it, we know it, and deep down at the musty bottom of your t-shirt drawer, it knows it.
But fear not, guilt-ridden soul! Here are 5 awesome t-shirt hacks that, with just a little bit of MacGuyver-ism, elbow grease, and craft wizardry, will restore your old favorite t-shirt to its former glory.
Turn It into a Pillowcase
If you’re anything like me – and I bet you are – you love a good nap. And if there’s one thing that’s sure to make a nap better, it’s being able to rest your head on a nice, soft, and totally awesome pillow. Yank your favorite tired old tee out from the bottom of your dresser drawer, stuff a pillow in it, and presto change-o – you have a pillowcase!
Looking for something a little less… Tacky? Fine! Check out this awesome tutorial from our friends at the DIY Network. The instructions couldn’t be simpler; your favorite shabby shirt, a pair of scissors, pins, a throw pillow or a generous pile of pillow stuffing, and a needle and thread (or a sewing machine, if you’re feeling fancy shmancy), and you’ll have yourself a killer throw pillow that’ll make your sad old couch feel like a brand new piece of IKEA gold.
Or An Awesome Quilt
Aside from a possibly unhealthy penchant for long naps, I’m big on nostalgia. I love reminiscing about things from my past like old favorite bands, memorable concerts, birthday parties, high school and college clubs, favorite sports teams, or anything that I can look back on and smile about. If your two favorite vocations are napping and reminiscing, a quilt is the perfect way to combine them!
Of course, it’ll take a few (and by a few, we mean at least 25) of your favorite old t-shirts, but the end result is totally worth the sacrifice and effort.
Roughly 25 t-shirts, some batting (the stuff that goes in the middle layer of the quilt – you can use anything, so long as it’s cozy and warm!), and some fleece for backing, coupled with the typical pins and scissors (or a rotary cutter, as one blog tutorial brilliantly suggests), and you have everything you need to craft yourself one awesome quilt that’ll stand up to even the toughest washer-dryer treatment, and last for years to come.
The best thing about quilting? You can always add more rows and columns! In fact, that’s half the fun. There are countless tutorials outlining the process, but after a pretty serious vetting session, the two most useful ones we found were this one and this one.
Two Words: Tote Bag
We try to stray away from the political spectrum here at Rush Order Tees, so I won’t delve into the ecological implications of using too many plastic bags. However, I think most of us can say that it’s probably better to use less of them. And even if we can’t agree on that, maybe you – like me – are tired of cheap plastic bags tearing in the supermarket parking lot and sending your groceries to their untimely demise (RIP Eggs and gallon of milk. We hardly knew ye!).
This simple and super easy-to-do project transforms your favorite old shirts into stylish tote bags that you can use to carry groceries, sporting equipment, clothes, school supplies, kittens, French poodles, bags of money, bags of other tote bags, and whatever else you feel inclined to fill it with. Be stylish and eco-conscious with these awesome totes.
All you need is your favorite old shirt, a pair of scissors, a plate (to help proportionately size the mouth of the bag), a few straight pins, and a needle and thread.
Instructions can be found here.
Hint: If you want the bags to be extra durable, take the sleeves you cut and sew them into the bottom!
Something Special For Your Furry Friend
Okay, so maybe this next one isn’t the best way to rekindle the love between you and your favorite tee, but when we came across it in our research, it was too cool not to mention.
For your family’s furry best friend, you can turn one of your old t-shirts into a cool new chew toy (and if your little buddy is anything like mine, they go through them often).
The best thing about this craft is that absolutely anyone can do it! You simply take the t-shirt and cut it into long strips (the longer the better). Aim for numbers that are divisible by three (three, six, nine, etc.).
Take the strips bundle them together, and then tie the bundle in a knot at one end. Then take the bundle, divide it into groups of three, and braid the strands to a length you’re satisfied with. Then, simply tie another knot at the bottom of the braid and… Voila!
See detailed instructions here.
Turn It Into a Work of Art
Immortalize your favorite tee forever and give it the respect it deserves by making it into a wall-ready work of art! This hack is the perfect level of cool and simple, and is an ideal way to keep your favorite tee out of the bottom of your drawer and into the spotlight of your bedroom, living room, sitting room, or office.
The only things you’ll need are your shirt of choice, a canvas (can be found at any crafts store), a manual stapler, and a pair of scissors.
Cut the shirt in half up the back, stretch it taut and smooth over the canvas, and then staple it to the back. According to this blog from MyHomeStyle.com, 12-inch by 16-inch frames work great! From there, cut the excessive fabric from the back of the canvas, and hang it somewhere all your guests, friends, and clients will see it.