Celebrate Earth Day: Up-cycle Old T-Shirts to Create Easy to Make Treasures

by |April 20, 2012
Categories: Blog

 “There is a great need, and growing support, for the introduction of new values in our society—where bigger is not necessarily better—where slower can be faster—and where less can be more.” Gaylord Nelson, 1970 (Creator of Earth Day and the making of the modern environmental movement)

Earth Day was celebrated for the first time on April 22, 1970. This day marks the modern environmental movement launch and is now celebrated April 22nd every year.  

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. You have heard these words your whole life. If you are like me, you probably hate having to worry about separating and organizing your trash. Who knows where the recycle bin actually goes, right?

In light of Earth Day, instead of talking about the dreaded trash topic, let us focus on what to do with your old clothes. Specifically, t-shirts. We accumulate piles of t-shirts in our closets. Our family members, spouses or roommates seem to be dealing with the same problem. These shirts are ones we've outgrown, gifts we don't have the heart to give back, contain irremovable stains or they just take up too much space!

Clutter is stressful and unnecessary. Collaborate with the members of your household and find green ways to transform trash into treasure, which will be useful and save money.

I have proposed some creative solutions to your old t-shirt woes. These solutions explain easy things you can do to recycle old t-shirts, and then you can say you celebrated Earth Day in your own creative way. If you are handy at sewing, great. If not, I have ideas that do not involve a sewing contraption. Who uses those things besides our grandmothers these days, anyway?


  1. Donate old t-shirts to Goodwill or the Salvation Army
  2. Donate to local preschools, so they can use them for smocks or mess shirts.
  3. Use them to mop the floor, wash windows or changing oil on your car.
  4. Cut into small strips for eyeglass wipes or for your first aid kit.
  5. Tie Dye your old tees
  6. Make a t-shirt bag/purse out of old shirts with fun prints
  7. Make an infinity scarf using this tutorial
  8. Create simple headbands using this video
  9. Or, create more elaborate headbands
  10. Turn shirts into cute flowers that you can attach to bags, shirts, or scarves
  11. Cut strips to make napkins.
  12. Make your old t-shirts into shorts by following the instructions here
  13. Holes in your child's costume? Make them into silly scarecrow or scary zombie costumes.
  14. Make some extra cash! Host a garage sale.
  15. Turn them into rope toys for dogs.
  16. Tear into strips and use to tie bean and tomato stakes. Instead of gardening twine, use fabric to keep from damaging the plants.

Make everyday Earth Day and stay green!


Molly Nelson is a writer for T-Shirts.com and crafter extraordinaire. Check out some of the cool Earth Day T-Shirts we have available and up-cycle your old ones!