reduce, reuse, recycle…
putting old tees to the test

Reuse tshirt

The green mantra – reduce, reuse, recycle. Reaching for a refillable bottle instead of a disposable plastic one is old-hat to most of us by now. Most of us have a few old tee shirts hanging around that are too beat up for donating, or maybe they have sentimental value and we don’t want to get rid of them. So, what to do with them?

If they’re really beat up, turn them into rags to help replace paper towels, of course. But if they’re in reasonably good shape, we’ve got some suggestions for cool DIY projects that are perfect ways to reuse something.

When we went looking for ideas, we found plenty of tutorials on turning your old tees into headbands, scarves, vests, pillowcases, tote bags and even skirts and yoga pants. But we were really looking for creative projects that turned cool old tees into cool new home items. And we finally found a few.

Create a quilt – this is the perfect solution if you’ve got a lot of old tees that have real sentimental value, like team jerseys. There are actually companies that will make these for you out of your old tees, but if you can sew, even a little bit, a tee shirt quilt is an easy DIY.

Have a pillow – another perfect way to use a tee that you love but can’t wear is to turn it into a pillow. You can stuff it with an eco-friendly fiberfill, or recover a pillow you already have (but don’t like) for double the reuse points.

Hang it up – on the wall, of course. If you’ve got a favorite tee with a great print, or some really great memories, consider framing it as wall art. If your style is more modern, stretch your tee fabric over a canvas frame for a clean look that’s just as cool and green.

And for those tees that are beyond salvaging? You could always create your own reusable dust cloth that fits on the handle of that oh-so-popular and oh-so-disposable brand’s handle. The instructions are for flannel, but a repurposed tee would be a good alternative.

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