Sunday, February 26, 2012

Recycled T-Shirt Scarf

I'm pretty sure I squealed when I first saw a photo of one of these scarves on PinterestI love anything that is crafty, recycled and easy, but these scarves are more than that. They are elegant and seem to have that store-bought look. I get more compliments on my t-shirt scarves than any other article of clothing.  Plus, it's shocking how easy they are to make. All you have to do is dig up some suitable shirts, or head to a thrift store.  So if you're looking to make a gift for a friend but don't want to spend too much money, then this project is perfect. 

It would be ideal to make scarves from your own old t-shirts, but it's not always possible.  Modern female t-shirts are tricky because they are often fitted with side seams.  On the other hand, male shirts are almost always made with tubed fabric (I'm sure that's the technical term).  Tubed fabric is essential for these scarves.  Otherwise, you'd have weird seams sticking out here and there. 

see! no side seams. 
I was surprised to find this Hanes shirt in the women's section at a thrift store. Every once in a while you will luck out and find a female shirt without side seams. 

Also, you don't want any graphics on the t-shirt.  I tried making a scarf from a shirt with minimal graphics to see if they would be visible and they definitely were. Fortunately, there is an endless supply of cheap t-shirts in thrift stores, so it's worth it to spend a little time finding the right shirt. 


1 plain jersey shirt (size medium in male, large in female), no side seams
sharp scissors


step 1
Lay t-shirt flat on table.  Cut off bottom hem.  Starting at one side of the shirt, cut 1-inch wide loops.  Stop when you reach the armpit of the shirt.

step 2
Stretch each loop.  Don't be afraid to really yank on them. 

step 3
Cut a 1-inch wide strip about 10 inches long from the remaining fabric.  This strip will be used to wrap the loops together.

step 4
Gather loops carefully in one hand, making sure they are not twisted.  Tightly wrap the 10-inch long strip around all the loops.  Tuck in end. Trim overhang.  You can hand sew the tucked in end of the strip for extra reinforcement, but I have never had an issue with it slipping out. 



  1. So cute! I'm gonna have to make one. It reminds me of this simple knitting pattern:

  2. Autumn I love reading your blog and just made this. Thank you for your thoughtful entries.

  3. I had no idea this was so easy! So cool!

  4. Well, Hailey Rose has spent the evening making T-shirts scarves. What's next, quilting!

  5. Hey Autumn! I remembered this post from way back while brainstorming Christmas gifts. Thanks for the straightforward how-to. I used a black shirt, reverse-dyed? with bleach and I must say...looks /pretty/ elegant.