I found it to be a mindless activity I could do while watching the latest Once Upon a Time on ABC or enjoying a Friends marathon on Netflix. Not to mention it was a great break from all the essays I was writing this semester.
There are many things you can do with old t-shirts. I've made a quilt, braided t-shirt dog toys, headbands, grocery bags, and dust rags out of some of mine but my latest project was a DIY Headboard.
What You'll Need:
Let's start with making the t-shirt yarn. There are lots of ways to go about this, but here's the technique I used.
What You'll Do:
Cut the bottom part of the shirt from the arm pit to the bottom seam. If the shirt was long-sleeved, you can use them as well. Basically, you'll need a tube of fabric which can be the bottom of a shirt, pajama pant legs, or even the skirt part of a dress.
Then you'll need to cut up and down the length of the tube. I went around and around as seen in the instructions below:
Here's where you'll need those binder clips or chip clips. I used these handy chip clips from Ikea.
I used a media cart to attach my braids to but you could use the back of a chair or something like a guitar stand to hold the braids.
The orange, pink, and blue braid on the right is the beginning of the braid. I used string to tie it to the cart to get started. It helps to find something at a comfortable height for you. This was the right height for me to stand and braid so that I could walk backwards and make room for the braid.
Unless you want to keep walking backwards pulling the braid taught while you keep braiding, you'll want to create an anchor. The white chip clip is holding the anchor together, keeping the active braid to the finished part. (see image below to clarify which is which). The little green chip clip is optional, but I found it helpful to keep the braid unraveling as I was adjusting the anchor as I finished a length. The finished braid was feeding into a Trader Joe's bag to keep it all together and to keep my dachshund from getting tangled in it.
You can get started on the braiding process as soon as you have three balls of t-shirt yarn. Sometimes it's nice to switch between tasks to avoid burn out. Spend some time cutting, then switch to braiding, then switch back again to cutting.
Once you get started, you'll find a system and rhythm that works. I would release enough yarn so that the balls were on the floor, place the rubber band back on them, and braid until I hit the end of the length. Then clip the end, adjust the anchor, and repeat.
When you have enough finished braid, you can start hanging it on the wall so you can see how much more you'll need to braid.
I used picture hangers (like the photo to the left) to suspend the long-edge of a large picture frame and then looped the braided t-shirts over it.
The braid can get heavy, so I suggest using nails as opposed to Command hooks. Even though it is soft, it wouldn't be fun to wake up to if it fell on your head while you were sleeping.