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Thursday, May 16, 2024

Making Pillows From T-shirts? Sign Me Up!

Turn your old tees into something fresh, fab and fun.

The new year is finally here—and with it comes love, peace and happiness. For many of us, 2020 means new beginnings: preparing ourselves and our wardrobe for a fresh new start. Do you have less than dazzling jewelry, a collection of scarves you don’t wear anymore or a worn‐out, favorite T‐shirt that you just can’t seem to part ways? Why not take these settled‐in items and turn them into something fresh, fab and fun? 

T-Shirts, Take Two 

I can almost guarantee that you have one of those T‐shirts—the one that makes your heart melt every time you see it in your closet or drawer, day after day, even when you’re reaching for something else. I do. Mine is my “Best Mom Hands Down” T‐shirt, with my 2‐year‐old son’s handprints on them, which he gave me as a gift (he’s now 14). Back then, I wore that shirt repeatedly, showing off his beautiful little handprints to the world—but unfortunately, it inevitably became too worn out to wear. How do you part with something so special? The answer is: You don’t. 

One way to give that old T‐shirt some new life is to create a beautiful pillow out of it—a brilliant and simple idea that makes your heart happy and adds some personality to your home. 

What you’ll need to make your T‐shirt pillow: 

• T‐shirt 

• Stuffing 

• Matching thread 

• Fabric scissors 

• Sewing machine 

This project is extremely easy, so don’t worry if sewing is not your forte. You only need a sewing machine that can sew a straight stitch, and once you get rolling, you’ll be on your way to your new favorite pillow that fills your heart with joy. 

Scarves’ Second Lives 

In addition to those old T‐shirts, scarves also rank high on the “I have way too many of these in my closet” list. Many are beautiful and come with fond memories—but can be repurposed in many artful ways. One of my favorite ways to bring old scarves back to life is by turning them into no‐sew fabric coasters. A simple and fun way to make room in your wardrobe is by creating a gorgeous set of coasters. 

What you’ll need to make your coasters: 

• One old scarf 

• Felt 

• Mod Podge Fabric 

• Brush 

• Scissors 

• Ruler 

• Straight edge 

Using a ruler and straight edge, cut out 4‐inch‐by‐4‐inch squares of felt. Cut out 5‐inch‐by‐5‐inch swatches of your scarf. Apply a medium coat of Mod Podge over the felt square. Firmly press your scarf over the glue and felt, smoothing out any bubbles. Brush a thin coat of Mod Podge over the top of the scarf, making sure to cover any scarf that extends out beyond the felt square. This layer will help seal the scarf and give it a shiny appearance. Once the Mod Podge is dry, carefully trim the excess scarf away from the felt square. You can also repeat this process over 4‐inch‐by‐4‐inch ceramic tiles for a heavier coaster. 

Accessories For The Win! 

Now that your old T‐shirts and scarves have new, exciting lives, why not give those accessories you’ve collected over the years the same special treatment? Do you have a box full of costume jewelry that you never wear? There are so many wonderful ideas to easily turn your once‐loved jewelry into unique, gorgeous fashion pieces, home decor, and gifts. 

Here are three easy ways to recycle old accessories: 

(1) Make jeweled gift tags. From old charm bracelets to brooches, any piece of jewelry can be added to a gift’s package to dress it up. It is a wonderful way to add beauty and pizazz to a gift that someone will surely love. 

(2) Add jewels to a lampshade. Your creativity with your jewelry will create stunning new lampshades. So simple, so new. 

(3) Bejewel your purse or clutch. Grab some glue and place your jewels on purses or clutches to create a brand‐new bag that is original and gorgeous! 

In short, everything old is new again. By taking all of these tips to heart, you’ll be well on your way to a spacious closet, new fashion pieces, great new home decor, and a happy and healthy new year!

Heather Jablonski
Heather Jablonski
Heather Jablonski is a beauty and fashion writer for Capital Region Living.

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