Ultimate Guide to Recycled T-Shirt Crafts

Recycled T-Shirt Rags

One could easily argue that you can never have too many rags around the house. The multipurpose wiping instrument is much more eco-friendly than its paper counterpart, and in some cases, a much better choice. Soft rags -- like one you can make from your old T-shirt -- are less likely to scratch certain surfaces like a paper towel might. And have you ever tried to scrub a stain on your clothes with a damp paper towel, only to have the paper disintegrate all over you? It doesn't help to remove a stain if you're adding papery bits instead.

There are many ways to make a T-shirt rag. The easiest? Simply throw that old T-shirt into your rag bin and be done. At the very least, however, you should cut it at the seams and remove the hems of the neck, arms and waist. You may also want to consider sewing two layers -- or more -- together to get a thicker, more absorbent rag.

A fancier version of the T-shirt rag is to crochet a woven rag together. Start by cutting your T-shirt into strips -- they will be your "thread." If the shirt is long, be sure to cut the strips vertically. The longer the strips, the less work it is for you later to tie them all together. Be sure to cut the strips the same width, as your final product will end up lopsided if the strips aren't similar.

Alternately, you can also cut your shirt vertically with the seams still in, creating a loop. Link them together with a snug slip knot, and keep looping them together until you have enough to start crocheting [source: Crazy Mom Quilts]. You can also create one big string by starting at the bottom and cutting around in a continuous circle, stretching your strip all the way to the arm holes, giving you one of the longest strips possible [source: Drieu]. Once you have your strips, you're ready to crochet.

You've mastered the rag and you want something bigger. Read on to learn how to make a recycled T-shirt rug.