Jul 23 2012

Upcycle Old T-shirts into Jewelry:
Guest Post from HEARTing Handmade

Happy Monday, sweets! Today I have a super fun tutorial for you, guest posted by Maša, a lovely Slovenian blogger from HEARTing Handmade.

If you are new to HEATing Handmade, check out Maša’s weekly roundup of giveaways (she’s done all the hard work of finding crazy cool giveaways for you so you could enter something everyday!), discover her literature love and book giveaways, and learn her personal journey and the reason why I find her the bravest woman I’ve ever met (although not in person yet!).

So… enjoy the upcycle tutorial :)

Hi there! I’m Maša from HEARTing Handmade and I’m very excited to be a guest of Emi’s today! :)

I have a passion for repurposing old things that usually end up in the dumpster at the end of their life. I found two shirts I used to really enjoy wearing, but have become too worn out to be used anymore. So I made yarn from them which I will use for making fashion accessories. Making yarn from old clothes is the simplest thing in the world! I’ll also show you how to make a really simple choker, even if you have never made jewelry in your life (no equipment needed). So the good news is that you already have everything you need for this project!

Upcycle Old T-shirts into Jewelry 1

You only need:

  • old T-shirts or other clothes, mostly made of cotton
  • scissors

Step 1

Upcycle Old T-shirts into Jewelry t1

Start to cut your clothes. First remove the parts you won’t need, like the collar, edges etc.

Step 2

Upcycle Old T-shirts into Jewelry t2

Than cut long strips from one end to the other. I usually measure the width with my thumb, but it depends on how thick the cloth is or how thick you want the yarn to be.

Step 3

Upcycle Old T-shirts into Jewelry t3

Pull the strips apart so they stretch into strings. In my case, the length of one string measured just enough to make a choker.

Step 4

Upcycle Old T-shirts into Jewelry t4

Take 4 strings (in my case 2 pink and 2 green) and braid them. Please excuse me for holding a braid with my foot – I didn’t find a place to pin it, but you can simply tape it to the table. :)

P. S. Just in case you were wondering: I had clean feet (I even treated them with a mask -> happy feet).

If you don’t know how to braid with 4 strings, I drew little pictures for you:

Upcycle Old T-shirts into Jewelry 2

1. First knot together a pair of every color (or of mixed colors, it doesn’t matter), so you have two separate pairs. Temporarily pin or tape them to a suitable surface.

2. If you want to make a striped pattern like I did, put the pairs together so one color is followed by another. This is your starting position.

3. Begin by pulling string C over string B and under string A. Next pull string B over string D.

4. Then pull string D over string A. Pull string B under string A.

5. Now pull string C over string D and under string B. Then pull string A under string C.

6. Next pull string D over string B and under string A.

In short: the string on the right is pulled under the string closest to it. Then the string on the far left is pulled over one string and under the other string, stopping in the middle. It may sound complicated, but it’s actually quite simple and the fingers will automatically start to braid after you make a few rounds.

To finish the choker (or a bracelet) make a knot when you finish braiding. Remember knotting two pairs at the beginning? Pull the two knots slightly apart so you get a little loop with which you can fasten your fashion accessory (just pull the loop over the ending knot). And you’re done!

Upcycle Old T-shirts into Jewelry 3

I must say it is very comfortable to wear, especially for a choker. :)

Upcycle Old T-shirts into Jewelry 4

Here is the nautic yarn I made from T-shirts and tights.  I used it for the headband and bracelets you can see me wearing on other pictures. One cute ball of yarn makes a lot of jewelry! You can also give it as a present to a playful kitten. :)

Upcycle Old T-shirts into Jewelry 5

I hope I inspired you to recreate something beautiful before deciding to throw away those old clothes. The possibilities are endless! :)

Thanks a million for the lovely guest post, Maša! I’m going to dig out my old T-shirts stash later, and can’t wait to try Maša’s wild toe-holding as well :D (No, I’m sure you can skip the feet mask part!). Oh, and don’t forget to check my guest post on HEARTing Handmade (an Anthro Knockoff tutorial!) if you’ve missed it!

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9 Commnents to “Upcycle Old T-shirts into Jewelry:
Guest Post from HEARTing Handmade”

  1. I know, isn’t Masha a genius?! Thank for stopping by, Evani :)

  2. Such a wonderful tutorial!! I love Masa!!! :)


  3. you’re all too kind! :D

    Aniko, you should really make some, they have a magic power of stress-relieving! ;)

  4. Yap, I’ll have to try the toe holding, too :) Thanks for stopping by, Aniko!

  5. I know, isn’t she just darling?! Thanks for stopping by, Suki :)

  6. Thanks for this tute, it’s a super idea! My favourite moment is the holding braid between toes – it has coolness written all over it :)
    I love the balls of upcycled yarn, I might make some just to have some. :) Maša you rock!

  7. This is such a fantastic tutorial- love it! I have never tried this and would love to do so. Ps Masha you are so pretty!

  8. Thank you evdokia t, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy HEARTing Handmade :)

  9. very sweet tutorial!
    thank you!:)

    & now i am going to check Masa’s blog :)

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