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Recycled Craft: The T-Shirt Necklace

The last time you made a necklace, it probably involved macaroni. 

Here's an idea inspired by a project on the blog Cucumbersome.com: Turn an old shirt into a piece of wearable art that's quite grown-up.

 

 

Tools and Materials

  • Soft cotton T-shirt
  • Ruler
  • Scissors or rotary cutter

 

 

T-Shirt Necklace How-To
1. Lay the shirt on a flat surface; cut off the hem and discard. Then cut the body of the shirt horizontally into strips approximately 3/4 of an inch long. (They will actually be loops.)

2. One at a time, pull the loops open and stretch until the fabric starts to curl. Stack the loops on top of one another so that all the T-shirt side seams are in the same spot.

3. Once you have the thickness you desire, wrap the seams with a scrap piece of fabric (about 6 inches long) from the same shirt. Tuck the end of the scrap under itself.

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Comments

Comments (19)

  • 2 Jun, 2013

    This is a great idea. I have also used old stretch velour items to make similar cords. Just remember to cut across the stretch of the material. The cords made are great for stitching onto crazy patchwork as scrolls etc.

  • 19 Jan, 2013

    Good job

  • 18 Feb, 2012

    t-shirts without side seams work great for this.

  • 17 Feb, 2012

    To get the strips to curl, you must cut the fabric horizontally across the t-shirt (even with the bottom hem). If you cut vertically, the fabric will not curl as desired.

  • 15 May, 2011

    This worked great for the concert t-shirts I never wear :D Yes I could have made them into a quilt but meh I'm not a quilt person AND this is so much easier :o

  • 14 May, 2010

    I read in a previous comment, then learned by trying, that you can't use t-shirts with even the slightest bit of ribbing. Soft, thin, tissue cotton t's work best

  • 4 May, 2010

    I am having trouble - I cut up 4 100% cotton tee shirts and only one curled when stretched !! - Any suggestions??

  • 20 Apr, 2010

    I just made this after seeing it on Martha and i have to say it really does work. be careful not to drop the whole bundle before securing it as it all get s knotted up. I also stretched all of them all at once rather than one at a time to make they were even (different to how Martha demonstrated). Looks cool too!

  • 18 Apr, 2010

    I just made myself one and it was great! I just wondered if it might/might not be necessary to wash the shirt first? I had little bits of red shavings on the shirt I wore with it. Bracelet is a great idea! You could also tie the whole thing together with a piece of ribbon to make it a little more decorative! Just a thought!

  • 13 Apr, 2010

    Ryder: You can't use a tee that has even the slightest ribbing to it. Try finding a cotton tissue tee. I used one that had a 3/4 sleeve and made a matching bracelet. It might be cute with a broach as well.

  • 13 Apr, 2010

    It's a great idea. I know you need to wrap the ends where the seams are but
    how do you attached the two wrapped ends. I missed that portion of the show.
    Please help.

  • 13 Apr, 2010

    I thought this was too easy to be true, so I got out an old t-shirt, rotary cutter, and cutting board. In less than 10 minutes I had my necklace. I have some pendants from the 80s and this is how I'm going to use them. What a great way to recycle stained t-shirts. Thanks Queen (you too Martha)
    BJ LaVann

  • 13 Apr, 2010

    To: ryderwoods

    It could be the fabric you are using. Mine was 100% cotton but polyester works too. I would stick to cotton blends or stretchy fabrics...hope that helps.

  • 13 Apr, 2010

    To: ryderwoods

    It could be the fabric you are using. Mine was 100% cotton but polyester works too. I would stick to cotton blends or stretchy fabrics...hope that helps.

  • 13 Apr, 2010

    To: ryderwoods

    It could be the fabric you are using. Mine was 100% cotton but polyester works too. I would stick to cotton blends or stretchy fabrics...hope that helps.

  • 13 Apr, 2010

    This project was really fun! I made it using one of my boyfriends old shirts and it ended up being really long...so shirt width is something to take into consideration.

  • 12 Apr, 2010

    I just tried this and no matter how hard I stretch the fabric it doesn't curl...HELP!!!

  • 12 Apr, 2010

    hahhaha biiig mistake

  • 10 Apr, 2010

    Don't you mean "strips approximately 3/4 of an inch WIDE"?

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