Brightly colored t-shirts that are too small for my daughters now, have found new life as bracelets.
For this project you will need some old t-shirts and a bunch of bangle bracelets. Try using old bangles that you already own, check thrift stores or pick up some up for a few dollars at Target, Walmart - or even the sale bins at Old Navy.
Cut t-shirt in 1/2" to 1" wide strips. Depending on the thickness of the bangle - a thick bracelet will need thicker strips.
Loosely tie one end of the t-shirt strip to the bangle and start wrapping fabric around bracelet - the tighter the better.
Wrap fabric all the way around until you meet the first knot - untie the knot and tie both ends together to close. Make a double knot, pull it tight and make sure the knot is positioned on the inside of the bracelet. Trim ends with scissors.
I found this technique worked well for us - but you could also use a glue gun to secure ends.
We made a ton of these bracelets this morning - my daughters really enjoyed it.
June 4, 2011 at 1:23 pm
June 4, 2011 at 2:52 pm
What a nifty idea and it sounds super easy! I love the finished look!
June 4, 2011 at 5:09 pm
I just picked up some plastic thrift-store bangles to try this! A great easy summer craft idea.
I love the Mondrian-ish ring in the last picture. What’s its story?
June 5, 2011 at 9:09 am
Hi Bonnie – thanks for the comment- I got that ring about 5 years ago at a shop in my local mall called Sterling Works. That shop is closed now – but I believe they are a chain – so you may have one in your area. It is sterling silver with semi-precious stone and I completely agree it has a Piet Mondrian look to it! 🙂 Take care, Camilla
June 4, 2011 at 5:15 pm
Those look all islandy and summery! I love them.
“Too pretty to pass along to Goodwill…” reminded me… the driveway to my local Goodwill passes their dumpster and I hate to see all the stuff they throw away. GARBAGE!
Not cool, Goodwill. Not cool. So, I tend to give less, for fear that someone will just toss it in the landfill. That’s what I was trying to avoid!!! I need to remember to try to repurpose more- and this is a great idea for that!
June 5, 2011 at 9:11 am
Hi Lori – Thanks for the comment – glad you like these!
Unfortunately, that is a problem with a lot of charity organizations that have thrift stores – they get flooded with donations and don’t have to room to hold them. It is a shame – I agree.
August 2, 2012 at 7:19 am
Don’t get too upset when you see the “garbage” in storage bins! I volunteered at our local Good Samaritan this summer and the clothes they don’t have room for or the winter in summer/summer in winter clothes they bag up and send to third world countries!! (:
June 5, 2011 at 10:38 am
I just love your idea for recycling old t-shirts to bracelets. I would love to have your permission to post this on my blog this month. I know my readers would love to see this. I will give you full credit with a link back to your blog. Please let me know if this would be acceptable. Thanks so much!
June 5, 2011 at 3:38 pm
Thanks Karen! So glad you like this project. Thanks for asking about reposting it – go ahead! I would love to check it out when it goes up. Thanks, Camilla
Heather - Dollar Store Crafts
June 5, 2011 at 6:01 pm
These are great! I could post links to just about every tutorial on your site! 🙂 I will be linking tomorrow afternoon at Dollar Store Crafts.
June 5, 2011 at 6:27 pm
That sounds great! Thanks Heather! Take care, Camilla
June 6, 2011 at 9:14 am
June 6, 2011 at 2:30 pm
I would love to find more ideas about re-purposing material from clothing that is no longer wearable. Sometimes, an item is too shabby (has a stain or what have you) for Goodwill but most of the material is still just fine. Seems a shame to consign it to the land fill.
June 7, 2011 at 4:22 am
I am so excited to do this with some of my kids old baby teeshirts and clothes. It will make a nice memory. I keep their stuff, but wonder what good it is in a box. This will be a much better way to remember.
June 7, 2011 at 5:26 am
OOO, AHHH, OHH, so beautiful. Now, that’s a bracelet worth wearing…and I just so happen to have a box full of too small T-shirts. I just have to find some bracelets to wrap. Thanks for sharing. So special. I will also share this idea with my MOMS Club friends. Oh, maybe we can make a moms night out with this idea.
June 20, 2011 at 3:38 pm
thank you so much for sharing this great idea! just did 3 bracelets and I LOVE them! Can’t wait to show my friends!
June 20, 2011 at 5:42 pm
Alayna, Thanks! I’ve made several of those bracelets and every time I wear them, I end up giving them away to friends (and my daughter’s friends) because they get such a big reaction. I love to wear at least 5 at a time. Thanks for letting me know you had success with this project 🙂 Take care, Camilla
June 24, 2011 at 11:39 am
This is a SUPER cute idea for giving bracelets and tshirts new life!! Adding this to my “to make” list! Thanks for sharing!
June 25, 2011 at 6:47 am
What a great idea! I was wondering what to do with a bunch of old bracelets I have stashed in my jewelry box.
June 28, 2011 at 8:35 am
Great idea, and I like the idea of the hot glue rather than the knot (that could get uncomfortable if you’re resting your hand on something) I may have to try this out!
July 7, 2011 at 8:11 pm
I made a bunch of these today, so addictive and they look awesome.. Thanks for the tutorial!! 🙂
July 16, 2011 at 10:21 am
@Lori – Part of the reason Goodwill and other charities throw away what appears to be useful items is that they are often used for dumping grounds. My workplace gets regular donations and we find some pretty awful, stained and torn clothing in the bags. Like us, charity shops don’t have the facilities to launder clothing or clean items at all – so into the dumpster it goes unfortunately.
As long as the clothing/items are clean and only show normal wear and tear, afaik, they are put out for sale.
Cheers and thanks for donating!
July 18, 2011 at 1:46 am
what a lovely idea 🙂 im trying this for sure!!
July 27, 2011 at 1:10 pm
Loooooooooove this, how creative, I am ripping shirts as we speak!!!
August 12, 2011 at 10:41 pm
This is such a great idea. I just made 4 bracelets. I covered the bracelets that I bought at Walmart. These bracelets will go into the kids loot bags for my daughters bday.
August 22, 2011 at 11:10 am
This is such a great idea!! I love the big bracelet with the floral pattern!
Cloe Hedger Jewellery Designer
August 25, 2011 at 4:16 am
I just love these bracelets, I really like the ring too !
Thanks for sharing.
September 2, 2011 at 1:49 am
another on the to-do lists – we LUV making bracelets!!!
XoXo~Bless Up Always~XoXo
September 9, 2011 at 10:14 pm
I love this and can’t wait to try it! It’s also neat that we have the same last name when it is so rare!
September 15, 2011 at 8:35 am
Im excited to try this on my next day off. =D
September 19, 2011 at 11:21 am
I love this…Imma linking this on my blog today… GREAT!
October 12, 2011 at 10:44 am
I love this idea!! I am definitely going to do this!!
April 10, 2012 at 8:51 pm
My daughter will Love these!!!
April 17, 2012 at 1:13 am
What a great project to do with kids too.
May 29, 2012 at 8:49 pm
Love this idea! Will be sharing with my MOPS group.
September 13, 2012 at 11:52 am
Hi, I loved those t-shirt bracelets as I’m going to use my son’s old t-shirt to make bracelets for my other three kids for memories of their brother as he passed away from car accident 20 years ago and it would be great to use all of my son’s clothing to something new. Thank you so much for this ideas.
September 13, 2012 at 12:48 pm
Gail, Thank you so much for sharing this with me; I’m not really sure how to respond – I am completely overwhelmed and deeply touched. Will you please let me know how they turn out? I would love to share your story with my readers. I send you a big hug and lots of love, Camilla
September 17, 2012 at 7:58 pm
This is such a thoughtful idea. You are recycling an old t-shirt and maybe saving an old bangle bracelet. I am going to try it. I wonder if you could glue the ends together also. Or have you tried that?
September 19, 2012 at 1:25 pm
I love this idea. We are going to try it on some old “glow” bracelets that have lost their glow and I didn’t want to throw out. My daughter made a duck tape necklace wrapping around the glow necklace so I hope the t-shirt wrap will work.
October 15, 2012 at 1:49 pm
This idea is so cool! I’m going to try & make pretty headbands for my granddaughter.
December 8, 2012 at 1:14 pm
I pinned this tutorial almost a year ago and will be using it to make bracelets for my nieces for Christmas. I’m making them infinity scarves from knit fabric. I bought just a little more fabric then what I need for the scarf so I’ll be able to make coordinating bracelets. So excited to get started! When I’m done I’ll post a link to my finished bracelets.
February 15, 2013 at 4:25 pm
Love this idea. You could also do this with the hoop earings.
May 6, 2013 at 4:52 pm
If you don’t have enough bangles, cut rings out of plastic bottles.
May 25, 2013 at 4:42 pm
This is such a cute idea!! Gotta get some bangle bracelets now. May add this to my business inventory for selling!!
August 3, 2013 at 1:44 am
I’m thinking SCHOOL FUNDRAISER. Teach kids how to make these and sell them for $3.00 a piece to raise $$ for school. MUCH better approach then selling magazine, candy and other crap from corporations!!!