Simple But Fab Ways to Upcycle Old T-Shirts

It’s tough to say goodbye to an old favorite t-shirt, especially if there are mems attached to it. But if there’s one thing sadder than getting rid of a fave, it’s hiding it away in a drawer never to be worn again. We all do it, we get so many new clothes that some of our faves just become neglected, or they become damaged; but we just can’t let go.

But you don’t have to let go, you can breathe new life into them instead. You don’t have to be a skilled seamstress to up-cycle an old tee, just grab some scissors, glue, and a few shiny chains. Here’s how...

p.s. we were inspired by our latest drop introducing our first-ever line of sustainable clothing made from 100% recycled materials. The ethos behind our brand are one-of-a-kind statement pieces that can last forever in your closet AND be passed down through generations -- which is why we are now introducing our commitment to eco-friendly fashion... because there is no Planet B.

See the latest collection HERE.

Get Croppin': cut off the bottom, distress the edges, or sew in a seam

We know it’s gonna be Winter soon but there’s always need for a crop top underneath approximately ten jackets and coats. You can cut the hem and leave it as is for a raw look, or sew/glue a small section of the fabric up behind itself to create a seam. This is perfect if your favorite graphic or patterned tee has a tragic stain at the bottom. Once you wash it, the hem will fray a bit over time and curl making it look authentically vintage - which we love. If you want to make it feel like it’s in extra new condition (though let’s face it, who among us hasn’t spilled coffee on a brand new t-shirt??) you can get rid of any pilling on the shirt by gently running a leg razor or electric shaver over the rough parts. Then voilà! Good as new. New and improved that is. Pair with JOSS to really show off your abs or lack there of.

Make it Unique Tip for Upcycling Old T-shirts: grab fabric pens or paint, think about meaningful message, write your truth

We all have plain white or block color tees we never get round to wearing, so why not turn them into a statement? Grab some fabric pens or a fabric ink cartridge and write pretty much anything you want on them. Your favorite catchphrases or lyrics are a given, but why not go a step further and turn your torso into a meaningful message? You could write the definition of feminism, or list election polling dates. Show support things you stand for. You could spread awareness about what’s happening in Canada, Armenia, and on our own soil. And if in doubt, “be kind” is the most political message of all, at the end of the day. Add one of our charity necklaces such as MALALA to add a little extra love to the outfit, or some statement earrings such as IVY.

Make a Tote Tip for Upcycling Old T-shirts: cut off sleeves, sew bottom shut, turn inside out and fill it

You can never have enough tote bags. They’re better for the environment than plastic bags, they’re easy to fold away into your purse, and they bring extra cuteness to your outfit. The easiest way to make your own is to grab a graphic tee and cut off the sleeves. Technically you could leave it here and boom, new distressed tank top! You could also skip that step entirely and use an actual tank top, and you’re half way there. Turn the shirt inside out and grab your fabric glue, or sewing kit. Sew or glue along the bottom seam, you could do both to be extra secure, then turn it the right way out. That’s literally it. It’ll then be perfect for carrying light shopping, or some beach essentials. For extra glam, attach some diamantés, faux flowers, or studs.

New PJs Tip for Upcycling Old T-shirts: wear to bed, pair with loose shorts, get cozy

If you don’t really know what to do with an old tee you can’t seem to get rid of, but it’s a little too worse for wear; make it nightwear. Distressed, faded tees make the most comfortable pajamas, especially with a pair of boxer shorts or granny pants underneath, let’s face it. This is also the most fun way to deal with a tee that’s way too large for you; boom, it’s now a night dress. Or an oversized t-shirt dress for lounging around in on your days off, or period days.

Add Some Bling Tip for Upcycling Old T-shirts: add statement jewelry, chain belts, and other accessories

You can give your tee a semi-permanent live-in necklace by cutting small slits under the collar, threading in a chain and tying the clasp at the back. No need to sew it in as you can just un-thread it when you need it for another outfit, but the slits will keep it in place firmly when needed. ANI Will work wonders for this as its long and slender chain is both eye-catching, yet lightweight. At the end of the day when you’ve run out of DIY steam, it’s time to just accessorize everything. Adding a statement choker, large chain, or belt to an oversized t-shirt makes for a perfectly casual-chic outfit. From JUNO to SCARLETT, our statement chokers and brooches will bring any t-shirt to life with a snap of your fingers.

What is your favorite way to breathe new life into your old clothes? Drop us your strategies in the comments!