Sunday, July 7, 2013

T-Shirt to Necklace

I've seen a bunch of tutorials online about repurposing old t-shirts into necklaces and headbands, but when I've tried to do it, I've come up short. Literally. I'm not sure why my neck and head are so much bigger than other people's, but I wanted to find a solution. So, here's a little project I worked on tonight to get a necklace the right length. Also, no sewing!

[Edit Dec. 4, 2013: I've figured out that the length issue is caused by using a shirt that has side seams. With side seams, you can only cut across the shirt from seam to seam. The tutorials I've seen use t-shirts that do not have side seams, so the strips are much longer.]

Warning: Bad lighting ahead. I have a tendency to not only work on the floor but also in the dark. 

Any good craft project begins with a cat. You didn't know that? Kira loved my shirt scraps for about five minutes. Anyway, first things first: I cut off the top part with the sleeves and neckline. Then I cut off the bottom and side hems. I used some of these pieces later when I needed scraps.

From there, I cut from the bottom up, making 1-inch strips. In retrospect, I should have cut across for both color advantages and to get longer strips, but it worked out okay. Pulling the strips makes them curl into tubes and stretch a bit.

Then I tied a knot around three strips and began braiding. I made four of these braids.

When I had my four braids, I retied one of the end knots on each side with an extra long tail. This is used to tie around the back of my neck and give the necklace the longer length. If you try this and your strips are longer, then you might not need the extra tail.

I took some electrical tape and tightly wrapped the four ends together on each side. Then, I covered the tape by wrapping it with some of my leftover scraps (I used the leftover hem) and tucking in the ends. It's quite possible that these wrapped sections will come undone at some point, but I don't care. I just made a necklace from a t-shirt for crying out loud.

 Here's the finished product! And my bra strap!

I really thought I should get an outside shot because that's way more granola and bohemian than yellow lighting in my bathroom, but then I cut off the bottom of the whole subject of this post. I'm such a dork. 

I still had quite a bit of leftovers, so I made a matching bracelet with the same method, minus the longer tails of course. The shorter strips made for really great color combinations, but I always think bracelets look funny on me, so I think I'm going to call this a friendship bracelet and give it to a worthy friend :-)


Laura said...

You're not a dork! This is great. I haven't seen this project before, but now I want to make my own T-shirt necklace. I guess I better go root around in my closet. :)

Domestic Kate said...

Go for it! I think the issue with the length might be solved by using a long t-shirt (a men's shirt perhaps) and cutting the strips from the bottom up. I have another shirt in the Goodwill pile that's longer, so we'll see how that one turns out!

rockygrace said...

Oh my gosh I love this! So pretty!

Domestic Kate said...

Thanks! It was really easy!