June 19, 2014
My husband happens to be a bit of a T-shirt hoarder. Not that we don’t all hold on to things we may not need, but he saves T-shirts like they are precious photographs capturing a memory. I’m totally sentimental, so I get it when he doesn’t want to toss out the State Champs T, but the Deron Williams Jazz T-shirt may be dated on several levels (it’s starting to smell, it’s faded, Deron and the Jazz broke up…). But throwing away all the T-shirt fabric strangely makes me almost want to cry. As a DIY-er by diagnosis I talked him into letting me re-purpose one of his old shirts into a chic bohemian T-shirt necklace! What I really love about this DIY is that there are so many variations you can do to make it your own style, however, it is easy and affordable.
What you need:
- If you are starting with a white T-shirt and don’t want a white necklace I suggest you purchase some fabric dye at your local craft store and dye your T-shirt.
- An old T-shirt
- Fabric scissors (or, if you are more crafty-inclined you can use a rotary fabric cutter and mat)
- A thin strip or leather, or a ribbon, or a string will all work great
Step 1: To begin you will want to dis-arm your shirt, literally. What I mean is, take your fabric scissors and cut off both T-shirt arms. You will also want to cut off the neck seam area and the bottom hem area as well. Basically you will cut your T-shirt into a square with no sewn seams or hems.
Step 2: Next, using your fabric scissors or rotary fabric cutter you will cut thin strips of T-shirt parallel to the bottom of your shirt. I cut mine at about 1/3″ thick, which turned out to be the perfect thickness. I cut about 20 strips and had plenty leftover after the necklace was complete. For an XL T-shirt you can easily make two necklaces.
Step 3: Once I had collected a pile of T-shirt strips, I then stretched them out. This is really where the magic comes in because, folks, something quite lovely occurs when you stretch a T-shirt out without any hems or seams. It turns into a rope- or yarn-like tool. The strip is no longer a scrap of T-shirt, but a piece of thick string that can be used to knit, or tie up a gift, or even used to create a necklace ;).
Step 4: Now grab that leather rope/ribbon/string that you will use as the base of your necklace, or the part of your necklace that you will tie around your neck. Take a strip of your T-shirt (post-stretched) and using a square knot tie it around your leather strip. The stretched T-shirt strip is probably a circle because you cut it off the bottom of the shirt so it shouldn’t matter where you decide to tie the square knot. If, however, your yarn strip isn’t a circle just fold it in half and square knot tie it to the leather strip. Repeat this step with about 20 of your T-shirt strings, making sure they are centered on the leather strip.
Step 5: Now that you have all this amazing T-shirt string hanging from your leather strip, decide on the look and shape you want your necklace to take. I wanted mine to be in a “V” shape so I carefully cut the T-shirt string ends to form a “V”.
And how completely easy was that!? All you needed was fabric scissors, a leftover T-shirt, and leather strip to create a DIY necklace all the cool kids will love :).