How to: Repurpose Free T-Shirts
There’s nothing quite as common on campus as a free t-shirt (except maybe free pizza). Between orientation events, homecoming, Greek life, and clubs, you’re likely to have drawers stuffed full of incredibly bright screen print before your first semester at college is up.
Though some of these shirts are worth keeping, the vast majority of them are most likely not shirts that you want to keep wearing, either because you got the wrong size or they don’t hold up well in the wash. However, this doesn’t have to be the end of the t-shirt’s life. Here are four options to repurpose your worn-out t-shirt without giving it away.
Tote bag: If you need a reusable bag for grocery shopping which folds up small, try turning out worn-out t-shirt into a tote. This project is incredibly clever because the author takes advantage of the t-shirt’s structure to turn it into a bag without the use of a sewing machine. If you’re like me and hate the waste of plastic produce bags, this seems like a good alternative–particularly because the bag is so crushable that it can just be shoved into the bottom of your backpack.
Laptop case: This t-shirt to laptop case transformation isn’t super well-documented, but it’s pretty easy to figure out. Using a little big of sewing and smart folding, this hack turns a pocket t-shirt into a laptop cover that stores your bag and provides a space to store a charger. If you’re taking your machine with you in a bag that’s not designed specifically for computers, this is a good way to keep it from getting scratched up. If you don’t have your own sewing machine and don’t want to sew by hand, try stopping by your campus art studio or theater costume closet–chances are that both places have a machine that you can use for a few minutes.
Throw pillow: The worst part about dorm furniture is that they don’t pad the arms–all of the couches in my apartment are impossible to sit on because the wooden arms jut into my back. To fix that, make a t-shirt throw pillow. Because the pillow’s not likely to see much stress, you’re safe using just a plain-jane needle and thread rather than digging up a machine. Voilà–instantly better furniture.
Underpants: I’m not saying you need upcycled underwear to put a cat on your butt. I’m just saying that it’s awesome. (This also requires some more impressive sewing skills, but the results are pretty awesome.)