Saturday, March 17, 2012

Upcycled tee shirt

Great rainy day to stay inside and do some DIY projects, catch up on reading and recorded TV shows such as Smash which I am really enjoying and relishing that I have four to watch.  It's so much fun to be able to watch more than one episode at a time.  Anyway... thought I'd try my hand at making a scarf out out an old tee shirt.  Have you seen them?  I have some pinned on Pinterest and here is the link the original DIY video.

 I decided to make it my own by dying both silk and the tee shirt cotton fabric and combining them together to make an original funky no-sew scarf.  Here's my DIY instructions and my first finished scarf...voila!

Hand dyed silk and cut up cotton tee shirt
I gathered different kinds of white silk like china, gauze and chiffon and a bunch of old tee shirts that I saved from various 5K fund raising races where I got so called free tee shirts when registering.

White vinegar is the mordant I used.

I soaked all the fabric (silk and cotton tees) in a mixture of vinegar and water for 1/2 hour

I tied up some of the fabric and others not.

I mixed up acid dyes and put it in a gallon size zip lock baggie along with the fabric.  Acid dyes are best for silk and wool which are animal fibers; you really should use protein dyes for vegetable fibers like cotton.  But acid dyes were all I had so the dyes did not take to the cotton as intensely as they did to the silk.

Make sure that all the air is out of the baggie, zip it and put it in the microwave for 1 minute.  Check it and push the air out of it.  Repeat 4 or 5 times.

Rinse the fabric in cool water and use some Synthropol which is a gentle detergent.   I then put everything in the dryer.

various shades of gray

Cut off the hem of the tee shirt and then cut horizontal strips about 1" wide .  Stretch the strips to make narrow bands.

Assemble the scarf to your liking.  Enjoy.


  1. This is great Beth, I am always looking for cool projects when I have Toni...this is one I think we could do together.

  2. Hi Gloria - this will be such a fun project to do with Toni. Have fun with it.