I love re-fashioning something old into a fabulous new project. And I am not alone; ‘upcycling’ is the newest trend in handmade creations. Basically, upcycling is taking something you would normally throw out and using it to create something better. Upcycling differs from recycling in that the quality of the materials used during an upcycle project are actually improved. Some examples of upcycle projects include transforming a droopy old dress into a chic apron, using juice boxes to fashion a fancy purse, or reconfiguring a rubber rain boot into an adorable garden planter.
Through my adventures in blogging, I had seen a few versions of the “Upcycled T-shirt Necklace” floating around the web. Miss Martha Stewart herself even created one on her daytime talk show with Queen Latifah! But it wasn’t until I recently spied a similar necklace at an high-end boutique for $35 that I decided to make one myself. Best of all, this gorgeous accessory costs nothing to make and since it upcycled- it is environmentally friendly!
Supplies Needed to Create an Upcycled T-shirt Necklace:
-Rotary cutter or scissors
I used to adore this purple t-shirt, but sadly it has seen better days. I can say that it was a really good knit shirt, the kind that is stretchy, smooth and soft. I was excited that by upcycling, I could give my old shirt a 'second life'.
Some important things to note: This project hinges on the stretchiness of the cotton. Therefore it works best with a shirt that is not ribbed. Best results are found by using a form-fitting shirt, not a big boxy one.
To begin making your T-Shirt necklace, simply lay the shirt out on a flat surface. I like to use my rotary cutter and board. It makes it simple to cut straight lines quickly and it is easier to keep track of the measurements for each strip. But of course, you can use scissors if needed.
Next, cut the shirt into 1-1.5 inch strips. Keep an eye on your measurements, but know that they don’t have to be perfect.
Once the shirt is completely cut into strips, it is time to stretch out each piece. Use a ‘taffy pulling’ motion to stretch the shirt. The fabric will roll and become skinny.
Once you have stretched all the pieces, gather them up and use one of the strips to tie them all together.
I love pairing this necklace with a simple tank top, sundress, or sleeveless shirt. I think it would be adorable in coral, turquoise, or even a bright green. I layered it with a silver chain for some interest. You could also add embellishments to the fabric with hot glue. Think metallic or shiny- like metal studs or a few crystals. Or be patriotic for the Fourth of July; imagine it done in red, worn with a blue and white striped top. The “T-Shirt Necklace” creates a unique, chic look.
It is the perfect necklace for summer- simple, free, and a great upcycle project! How would you wear the “T-Shirt Necklace”? Have you upcycled anything in your home?