T-shirt fabric doesn't fray, so cut edges don't need finishing or sewing. The fabric is easily knotted, glued or just snipped and rolled. Turn round necklines into V necklines and let the edges roll. Shorten sleeves in the same way. Or, turn long Ts into crop tops just by cutting off the bottom inches.
T-Shirt Tote Bag
Turn a T-shirt into a tote bag by cutting off the sleeves and neck-band. Cut the neckband to the same shape and size on both front and back by cutting through both layers of fabric at the same time. Cut off the bottom hem, then cut slits into the bottom of the T-shirt to make a fringe. Knot the fringes together to close up the bottom of the T-shirt.
Tied T-Shirt Throw
Gather together all your outgrown or discarded T-Shirts, cut them into squares and knot them together into a throw or blanket. T-shirts in good condition will give a couple of squares each, one from the front and one from the back, but don't discount stained or ripped ones as there might be one area where you can get a clean square. Cut same-sized squares from the fronts and backs, cut fringes around the edges and knot the squares together to form a blanket. If a blanket is too big a project, try a cushion cover or pillow case.
No-Sew T-Shirt Makeovers
Update and renew old or ill-fitting T-shirts by cutting horizontal ladders into the body. Ladders on the front create a ruche effect when they're re-tied tightly to draw the fabric together, or for a racy effect on the back of the T-shirt, leave the ladders open. To make ladders, lay the T-shirt down flat then draw chalk lines, 6-inches or 7-inches long and about one-half inch apart. Cut through the lines straight up the middle of the back of the T-shirt dividing it into halves, then cut along the lines to create fringes. Knot the fringes together to rejoin the fabric. Use the same technique to re-size a too-large T-shirt or give a straight-bodied shirt more shape.
Kid's T-Shirt Makeovers
It gets expensive to keep feminine little girls in frills and bows, but with a pair of scissors and a length of ribbon, a plain T-shirt can have gathered sleeves with bows at the shoulders. Snip a small hole at the top of the sleeve, close to the seam, then thread a length a ribbon through the hole and down the sleeve. Gather up the sleeve and tie the ribbon in a bow at the seam. Trim the ends and add a dab of hot glue to prevent the bow from unraveling.
Deborah Jones started her freelance writing career in 1990. Her work has appeared in The Writer's Forum, "Reader's Digest" and numerous D.C. Thomson magazines. Jones has a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing and a postgraduate certificate in education, both from the University of Derby.