Tag Archives: upcycle

Minimal Sewing: Recycle a Shirt


We all have those shirts…the one you like and wear so much that your armpits destroy it. Right? Wait, that’s not just me is it?! I’m ashamed to share with you all that I have super pits that ruin everything.

I’ve had this Threadless shirt for awhile and I had it shoved into my closet because at some point about a year and a half ago it started to get that permanent armpit smell. Still, I couldn’t bring myself to trash it.

The no-sew workout tank is one of my most frequently viewed posts. This involves a smidge of sewing but it’s so simple you could even do it by hand if you don’t have a sewing machine!

Things you’ll need:

A shirt you want to salvage

Good (fabric) scissors


Sewing machine (or alternatively, just a needle and thread)

A safety pin

I originally saw this idea here: http://nichoward.typepad.com/my_weblog/2013/03/t-shirt-restyling-the-pinterest-way-again.html and was excited to make something less workout-ish.

Here’s my shirt:

shirt I refuse to toss

Why would you get rid of a zebra? You wouldn’t.

Cut off the sleeves, then cut across the top in a straight line. You should cut as close to the collar as you can so you have plenty of room to work with to create your casing for the straps. My design was a bit high up on the chest so part of the zebra’s ear got sewed through.

Snip snip

Snip snip

Cut the sergered edge off of your sleeves (the part where your arm comes out) in one whole strip each- this is what you will use for straps. Now thread one through the front and one through the back casings that you just sewed. Sorry, I’m getting rusty in my blogging and I didn’t photograph this part. Woops, I got lazy.

Attach a safety pin to the fabric you are threading into the shirt and use it to guide the fabric through.

Last, sew the straps together. I just did a zigzag stitch forward and backward several times where the strap ends meet.

I can show off the tattoo I got last month in all my DIY tanks!

I can show off the tattoo I got last month in all my DIY tanks!

Tada! A fun little summer weekend tank.

Upcycling Event Magnets


I work at a non-profit. I also have a hard time throwing things away. Considering my boss has the same problem, this is not a good combination if you’re trying to avoid accumulating junk.

We have an annual walk (as most non-profits these days seem to do) and we had a LOT of magnets leftover with the exact event date on them. They’re square. I couldn’t bring myself to let people throw them away, so my boss started stacking them in my office. Stacks. And stacks. A business card case full. (Only mildly related, I’ve suggested for next year we put the date on the lower half so that we could potentially have our logo at the top, cut the date off when the event is passed, and have magnets with just our logo to still hand out for fun).

While perusing pinterest, I saw a post of someone’s fun printed coasters they had made, and an idea was born. I could totally reuse our square magnets as coasters!!

My first idea was to decoupage them so they could be fun magnets, OR coasters as needed (and no need to store them in a drawer, taking up space). This, however, was sort of fail-


See, it's the right size for a coaster. I've blurred the magnet so none of you can stalk me at work...because I know you all secretly want to hunt me down. I kid, I kid.


Modge podge and some tissue paper. Unfortunately, you can see some of the magnet design through several layers of modgepodged things, and I was worried this would get too heavy to function as a magnet.

Then, I had another inspiration from a different pin on my craft board. Chalk board paint! These could be used as little mini chalkboard for notes on the fridge (and, also for writing your name on your coaster if that sounds like fun).

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Crochet Hook Roll & Shadow Box


Since graduation on the 6th (huzzah!) I’ve been working on setting up my new office craft room. One large haul from Ikea later, I’m still trying to get everything organized and force myself to get rid of some things. It’s awesome to have places for things though! Even just halfway done the new setup is pretty awesome.

This morning I got rid of a whole box of stuff, and finally went through the box of wedding paraphanelia – it’s been almost a year, I figured I should sift through it and at least downsize it. Months and months ago I got a set of 4 picture frames which are actually deep enough to be shadow boxes for $4 at Goodwill. I might paint them, but I might not- in the meantime, one of them is large enough to accommodate my headpiece from the wedding! It has gotten a bit banged up, to my dismay, so I was thrilled to find a safe place for it to go.

My veil and fascinator (which I wish I could wear in regular life).

That’s not really a craft since all I did was put it in a frame, but I am jazzed that it’s safe now! I might find some colored backdrop to put behind it. But I might be lazy and leave it as is.

Anyways, In the spirit of getting organized, I decided to make a roll for all of my crochet hooks, so they’re not scattered all around and next time I’m in the mood for a crochet project, I can have everything with me all neat and tidy like.


Upcycling clothes into something new.

I used an old pair of jeans that had some thigh holes going on, and a skirt I got at the swap-o-rama several months back because I loved the print. So this project was nearly free! That always puts me in a good mood. I hesitate to call this a tutorial, because I’m not sure I did the best photo/explanation job, but maybe between this and other images it will help someone figure out how to make their own. I did not use a pattern, simply looked for examples of what I was thinking of in my head and got started.

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Simplicity 3790 – Jersey and Upcycled Dress = New Shirt for Me!


Remember that little post awhile back with the cutting out of several patterns but not actually making a whole lot? Well, today that came in handy because I wanted to make a shirt with one of the several patterns I bought awhile back and incorporate this dress I got at the swap because I liked the pattern, and the pieces were all ready to go! I used Simplicity 3790 (knit tops), combining view E and F cause I like to do my own thing.


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Swap-O-Rama-Rama: Part 1- Tie Dye and Silk Screens


Yesterday I went to the Swap-O-Rama-Rama, which I originally heard about in this Meetup group called the Chicago Rebel Craft League (which you can check out here, if you’re interested: http://www.meetup.com/chicagorebelcraftleague/). I’m so glad I heard about it, because it was great!


There were a lot of different stations: tie dye, silk screen, sewing, upcyle tshirt projects, handbags, knitting and crochet, embroidery, button making, and jewelry.

Everyone brings a bag of clothing they don’t want/use anymore, and the volunteers sort out the pieces on tables, which other people can then look through. I got a couple of shirts that I ended up putting silk screen designs on, and some shirt I would like to alter for myself later, plus some pieces that I really liked the print of and will deconstruct into fabric for other projects.

There’s going to be a part 2 post (tomorrow? Maybe) because I did several crafts and I might as well spread out the projects a little. Today, we’ll talk about silk screening and tie dye, with quite a few pictures.

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