Recycled T-shirt Scarf Tutorial


I had an hour of free time last night, so I decided to recycle one of Joe’s old t-shirts and make myself a scarf out of it.  This project was fast, easy, and only took me less than an hour start to finish (not counting the paint drying time).

Supply List:  tshirtsupplylist




Tip: Cut off the t-shirt hem and under the arms as directed in the photo above.  Notice how the t-shirt material curls and rolls as you tear?  You will want to paint on the top side, which may mean you turn the shirt inside out before painting

Once the above items were gathered, I laid down the plastic trash bag to protect my kitchen counter and just started painting.  In the photo below, I used some purple, blue and silver metallic fabric paints.  I work very fast, so it took me only 10 minutes to paint the t-shirt.  Note that I used an inexpensive foam paint brush and some fabric paint I had on hand.

tshirtpaintThe painted t-shirt was then taken outside to my garden faucet.  I scrunched up the shirt and lightly soaked it to blend the paint.  I used my fingers to blend any white areas or would simply rub the damp fabric to saturate the t-shirt fabric.  Here is what my painted fabric looks like after wet blending the paint:


Next, I hung up the fabric outside until dry.  Notice that I left the hem on, knowing I would tear it off later.


Tip: Once your fabric is dry, I recommend you heat set it, depending on your brand of fabric paint.  If you are not sure, go ahead and heat set the fabric to prevent color bleed.

The next step is to cut and tear the fabric into strips.  Here is a helpful illustration to show you visually what I plan to do next:


I found that by snipping through the side seam first, then tearing until reaching the other side (about an inch away), you could then use the scissors to cut your t-shirt strips to create a long loop.  Here is another visual for you:



Here is what your loop will look like:


To make the t-shirt fabric roll nicely, you just need to stretch it gently.  Here is what my finished strips looked like once I bundled them together and used other rolled t-shirt strips to tie them into a lovely scarf:


At this point, you could embellish your scarf, add beads or tie charms to it.  Braiding some of the strips is another option to try. Really, how you finish it off is up to you.  I used the leftover strips to make dangling bits and for added texture.

If you make one, I would love to see it!  My contact info is above.  Hope you enjoyed this free tutorial.  If so, go ahead and leave me a comment.  Regards, Carla

Thrift Store Shopping Result

I went, I saw, and I bought!!  I love going to thrift stores, you never know what you will find.  If you know your brands, you can find some really nice clothes for just a few dollars each.

Here is a very attractive blouse in a lovely color:

J.Jill is a wonderful brand and the blouse new would have cost at least 200% more than I paid.

Next,  I found a silk sweater from Ann Taylor:

I am thinking of unwinding the sweater and re-using the lovely silk yarn.

I found another nice empire waist blouse by a brand I see at macys:

Next up is a light jacket shirt by Chicos, would look fabulous over a white tank or shirt.  It looks better in person that it does in the photo.

On this shirt/jacket, I saved over $100, I bet.

But wait!  I was there to hunt for sweaters!!  Was I successful?  You bet!  First up is a teal sweater that will be re-made into a sweater wrap with crochet trim when I get done with it:

Looks pretty boring now, but it has potential, I tell you!

Last up was my best find of the day, a 100% wool Ralph Lauren blue sweater.  Here it is before the felting:

I will add a picture of it felted in the morning, so you can see how much it shrunk.  I always wash the clothes I buy to remove the Thrift Store Cooties.  You don’t know where they have been, y’know?  Best to be safe.

I will document what I do with the sweaters above.  It will be fun to work with them both!

Anyone care to share their Thrift Store Outing?  Carla

Thrift Store Recycled Sweater Tutorial


Time for another Feathered Fibers tutorial, this time it is how to remake or reconstruct a thrift store sweater into a stylish garment you would love to be seen in.  This is a beginner’s project:


I have remade about 8 thrift store sweaters over the last few years.  I first learned how to do this from Leslie Riley, a very talented mixed media artist.  Anyway, here are the supplies you need:


Need 1 sweater from the thrift store, rummage sale, or even “borrowed” from the back of your closet or husband’s closet.  The sweater above was in perfect condition with the exception of extra long, stretched out sleeves, which I plan to shorten.

**Helpful Hint: Use a sweater that has knitted holes large enough to get a crochet hook and yarn through.  The sweater in this example is perfect for this project!

**Helpful Hint #2: Wash the sweater and block dry to get the thrift store cooties out of it before you start.

**Helpful Hint #3: Take your thrift store sweater with you to the yarn shop if you don’t have the perfect yarn already in your yarn stash.

Also need:


crochethooks also scissors, sewing machine, pins, thread, etc.

This sweater is pretty easy, all I’m going to do is adjust the sleeves, finish them off, and then add more decoration to the collar.  Before you grab your scissors, there are several steps that you must do first.

Step 1: Measure the alterations and pin where the sewing lines will be.

Here is how to handle a pullover sweater (like in the blue sweater at the very top of this tutorial):


Here is what you can do with a turtleneck sweater:


As I was saying, Step one is to figure out your design and where your stitching line will be.  I pin along the line where my stitching will be to use as a guide:


The next- and VERY important step is to sew 2 lines where you have pinned, about 1/4 of an inch apart. Follow the picture below for a visual reference:


You do this so that you will have a secure space to place your crochet stitches, plus the sweater will not unravel.  Once you have done all your double stitched lines, you can trim about 1/4″ from the stitched line like I have done here:


Because this project is easy, all I had to do was the sleeves.  Now it is time to crochet:


You may choose to do single crochet stitch, double or any other combination of a crochet stitch.  Here is a picture with one sleeve finished and one sleeve not finished:


For a bit more decoration, I also crocheted the collar, too:


I also could have crocheted the bottom edge at the bottom, but I didn’t want to overdo it on this one.

Finishing touches:  You can make the favorite closure of your choice, button hole, frog closure, tied closure, really whatever you like.

Congrats!!  Your thrift store project should be finished.  Please send me a picture as I would love to see your new sweater, too.

Pat yourself on the back…you have just saved another item from ending up in a landfill!

Here are some close ups of other sweaters I have “remade:”






Hope you enjoyed this tutorial.  I have a whole page of various tutorials covering many subjects.

Take care,  Carla

Retail Therapy and ThriftStore finds

Hello, I thought I would share some of my recent retail therapy and thrift store finds.  There is nothing like a little retail therapy to put me in a good mood!

First up, I couldn’t help myself when I saw this fabric at my local quilt store.  Perhaps it is the theme that reeled me in… after all, chocolate is my second favorite thing in the world.  LOL!

Another delightful shopping completed this week was at my favorite bead store- you know the one where I can dig for special beads in a large bin?  When I introduced Lynn to my favorite bead bin, she was instantly hooked, too! (click on the images for a close up look)

Next up is my thrift store finds.  I visited two thrift stores this week and found lots to share with you:

Some colorful dresses to recycle/reuse by converting them into purses:

See the pretty fabrics??

For the denim side of me:

And while I was there, I couldn’t help but buy these to display in my studio:

I’ve been working on my crochet purse using thrift store dresses tutorial, so keep watching for it.  Enjoy your day!!

Upcycling Crafts

Upcycling is the practice of taking something wasteful and turning it into a more attractive and useful item. I’ve decided to go out and find some cool upcycling crafts to share with you:

Plastic Bag crafts: Who would have thought that the lowly plastic bag would make so many wonderful items?

Taking plastic bags to a high artform, check out Gooseflesh Blog for a visual treat!

What else to do with plastic bags???  Fuse them to make coasters.

Also, here’s a tutorial using candy wrappers.  I used to make these as a child.

Check out this silver purse made out of woven capri sun juice bags:


What do you do with empty Tic Tac containers?

Need a terrific way to display photos in your house? Check out this tutorial from the self proclaimed ‘goddess of garbage!.”

Don’t throw out that old cookie sheet! Instead, turn it into a calendar for your studio or home here and here.

Have your kids outgrown their toys??  Here is one idea for turning plastic toys into a functional bowl from  Deep Fried Kudzu.

Don’t throw out your junk mail!!  Instead, turn them into cool recycled paper!

Have fun!!  Regards, Carla