Do you have a pile of raggedy old t-shirts that you want to recycle creatively? Are you hanging on to t-shirts you love, even though they don’t fit anymore? If you’re not ready to donate your old t-shirts to goodwill, there are plenty of creative uses for them.
Creative Uses for Old T-Shirts: Eyeglass Wipes
Instead of using scratchy paper towels the clean eyeglasses, the soft cotton of a t-shirt is a nice alternative. Just snip up an old tee into square pieces about 6″ x 6″ and you’ll have a nice supply of rags for wiping off your glasses, with or without Windex.
Creative Uses for Old T-Shirts: Packing Material
People often use newspaper to wrap glasses, plates, and other fragile pieces when they move, but the ink often rubs onto the items and they have to be washed and wiped after they’re unpacked. By using clean old t-shirts as packing material, you can save yourself some time and ensured that nothing is scratched or broken.
Creative Uses for Old T-Shirts: Dog Security Blanket
Because clothing is laden with human scents, an especially attached dog may enjoy his master’s old t-shirts lining a dog bed or the floor of a crate. I credit this idea to my friend Thom, whose insecure little yapper seemed a lot happier when cuddled with Thom’s old clothes in his daytime cage. Some breeds of dog, like Chihuahuas and Miniature Pinschers, especially like hiding under blankets and shirts.
Creative Uses for Old T-Shirts: Draft Blockers
For those of us who live in old houses or apartment buildings, rattling windows can mean winter drafts. Old t-shirts rolled into tubes can help block some of the cold, drafty air in the crevices.
Creative Uses for Old T-Shirts: Wall Art
Let’s say you like the design on the front (or back) of your t-shirt – but it no longer fits you. Or maybe there’s a stain or hole elsewhere on the tee? If the design is nifty enough to be decorative, you can frame it. I actually stole this idea from department stores that display their t-shirt stock in perfect squares, folded and pinned around a piece of wood or plastic. Just wrap the t-shirt around the “backboard” of a poster frame, and stretch it to eliminate wrinkles. It should work with or without glass.
Creative Uses for Old T-Shirts: Wrapping “Paper”
For some small gifts, including books and CDs, an old t-shirt can be snipped into a square and used as gift wrap. Just cut up the shirt with some sharp scissors, fold the cloth around the shirt neatly, and tape it into place or use string to secure the package.
Creative Uses for Old T-Shirts: Mini-Dropcloth
Undertaking a small paint job? And old t-shirt is perfect makeshift dropcloth, as it’s more absorbent than newspaper and more convenient than a full-on room-sized dropcloth.
Creative Uses for Old T-Shirts: Tool Box Towel
If you keep a tool box, large or small, it’s possible that you occasionally handle greasy or oily tools. You can use an old t-shirt instead of wasting paper towels or buying a package of rags.
Creative Uses for Old T-Shirts: Drawer Sachets
As a fabric, cotton does breathe. So you can trim pieces of an old tee into squares, sprinkle a little lavender or potpourri inside, and tie it up the bundles with string. As long as you don’t pick anything too potent, these cheap sachets are a nice way to keep your clothing smelling fresh inside dresser drawers.
Creative Uses for Old T-Shirts: The Sauce Shirt
Every time I cook pasta, it seems like I get some sauce on my shirt during the preparation process. Instead of wearing an apron (I hate aprons), I keep one t-shirt that I use for messy cooking enterprises. Then, I don’t have to worry about fussily using a stain-stick on my “good” clothes.