Project Twenty Six: Recycling an Old T-Shirt into a Lovely Necklace
I buy a lot of cheap t-shirts for layering, but I find that they don’t always hold their shape for more than a year, after which they are all loose and misshapen, with the side seams meandering round to the front and back, thus rendering them useless as wearable items and banished to the scrap pile.
Usually these misshapen t-shirts either end up in charity shops or made into dusters, but I decided to get resourceful and make a braided necklace out of my latest misshapen t-shirt (which was a lovely teal colour) after being inspired by a number of other bloggers who have done similar.
First I cut up my t-shirt into one-inch strips with the help of my trusty cutting mat, quilter’s ruler and rotary cutter. Once I had plenty of strips, I cut off the side seams from each strip, giving me two strips. I then grouped the strips into threes and quickly sewed the three strips together using my machine (with red thread, as you can see in that blurry photo).
It was then a matter of simply braiding each strip of three. I pulled quite tightly on my strips as I braided, and the material stretched a lot, giving me very long finished braids that I doubled over for the final necklace. Once I had finished braiding, I secured the bottom and top of the strip together simply by wrapping a small strip of t-shirt around both ends and tieing in a double knot. Then when I had enough braids I attached them all together and hid all the knotted ends by wrapping another strand of t-shirt around the knotted ends and then tying tightly, as you can see in the photo. It was actually very easy to do as this particular jersey fabric was very stretchy and tied very tightly. For this necklace I just used two braided strands doubled over, but you could add as many as you like.
You could also adapt the technique by cutting thicker strips (even really thick ones to make a scarf rather than a necklace), and even by combining different colours, either within each braid or linking different coloured braids together.
I would love to experiment with weaving some big chunky wooden beads into the braids too, for a more funky necklace.