recycled materials for a shirtDid you know that you could use recycled materials in customizing your t-shirt? It is known that old shirts can be transformed into marvelous pieces of jewelry (layered necklaces, anyone?) but not everyone knows that your old pieces of jewelry can be used to embellish your articles of clothing as well! Don’t throw away your broken necklaces or bracelets as those bits and pieces may be sewn into some of your clothes to create an entirely new design.

Embellished clothing can be quite pricey when bought at your favorite retail stores. Using recycled materials for a shirt will keep you from spending a fortune on similar pieces you can find in retail stores. Plus, it will also save you from throwing away junk that could potentially transform your wardrobe into an embellished wonderland.

Here are a few ways you can use recycled materials for a shirt:


  1. Broke your favorite beaded necklace and bracelet and can’t seem to put it back together anymore? Don’t worry – keep all the beads and use them to embellish your tops! Glass beads would be perfect for dainty pieces, while solid colored or wooden beads would work well on bohemian-inspired apparel. Why not try creating a fringed top with these beads tied to the ends of the fringe strips?


  1. Do you have some extra buttons from previous purchases? Create some fancy embellishment design using all sorts of buttons you can find and sew them all on to your shirt. Not only would it be unique; you can show off your personality through it as well!


  1. Got some strips of fabric from past projects? Do you have some tulle? If you do, create a French pouf out of it then pin it (just like you would a brooch) over your left or right chest. To create a French pouf, you will need the fabrics mentioned previously, a pair of scissors, some thread, and a needle. Cut your strips of fabric into squares (preferably around 3×3). Take one square and fold into half twice. Cut around the unfolded corner to form a petal shape to create a circle. Stack about five petals and overlap them in such a way that they form a circle with the folded corners in the center. Sew them all together. Repeat the process using tulle. Make as many layers as you want to make it as poufy as it can be.


  1. Got an old laced tablecloth or curtain that you don’t really use anymore? Take the lace and use it as one of your recycled materials for a shirt! Separate the lace itself from its old attachment and lay it on a new surface (a tank top perhaps?). Pin the lace down on your desired layout. It could be on the collar, on the seams, or wherever you want the lace detail to be. Fold the excess lace under the hems to have a finished edge. Using a zigzag stitch, sew the lace onto your tank top. Remove the pins, then ta-da!


What other recycled materials can you think of using to customize your clothes?