Why do T-shirts get worn out so quickly?
Well, for one thing, T-shirts are knitted, which means they’re basically made of one thin cotton string. This string is looped together into a fabric made of little interlocking Vs. When one loop gets damaged and the fabric stretches, every loop has a chance of getting ripped out. Not to mention the best tees are typically worn to death by their owners.
Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do with a worn out T-shirt: cut up the sleeves for hair bands, sew up the bottom edge and cut handles for a tote bag or, better yet, make a pretty rosette necklace. With just a pair of scissors, a little glue and a sprinkle of glitter, you can make an awesome statement accessory that will pair perfectly with any outfit.
By recycling your shirt, not only do you get a cute new accessory but also cut back on waste. Old T-shirts aren’t really in any shape to be donated, but throwing them away is bad for the environment.
Most people have so many T-shirts that new ways to recycle them make for a fun challenge and saves money.
Making your own rosette statement necklace is an easy, cheap way to try out a trend. A similar necklace at an online boutique could set you back anywhere from $10 to more than $100. The only things you’ll need to buy for the DIY version cost less than $1 each.
One old T-shirt or tank top
Starting at the bottom hem, cut two-inch wide strips horizontally all the way up to the armpits. Take one ring and stretch it out so it begins to curl in on itself. This will be your “chain,” or foundation of your necklace. Take the other strips and cut them all open. Cut some of them in half to get shorter strips. To make a rosette, fold the strip in half widthwise. Roll it up an inch or two; dot it with glue before rolling.
Now start twisting the strip, loosely winding it around this center point in a spiral and dotting the roll with glue periodically. To finish, fold the flat end under the rosette and glue; set aside to dry. If you would like more detailed instructions check out this tutorial that makes practically identical flowers: www.ehow.com/how_12104323_make-tattered-rolled-fabric-roses.html.
Be careful not to stretch the fabric too much as you wind the rosette; you want enough stretch to keep it all in place but not enough to make the center or sides “pop” out unexpectedly.
Make as many rosettes as you want for your necklace. For the one pictured, I made four rosettes: two big and two small. Uncurl part of the saved fabric ring and arrange your rosettes. When you’re happy with the placement, glue rosettes onto necklace.
At this point, the necklace looks great just as it is, simple and clean. But to jazz it up with a little sparkle, all you have to do is brush a tiny amount of glue in the centers of the rosettes and sprinkle with loose glitter. Combining soft, faded gray with sparkling silver would be an especially cool combo.
Alternately, you could cut the “chain” ring and string chunky beads or hardware (use thin nuts or washers for an edgy look) on either end of the rosettes, and then simply knot to close.
If you’ve got extra rosettes, try pinning them onto shirts, purses or hair bands with safety pins. A big cluster of them on the shoulder of a tank looks girly and stylish. You could even clip one onto the top of a pair of ballet flats for a shoe makeover.
Recycling doesn’t have to be tedious and boring. In fact, with just a little effort, it can be downright fashionable.
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