Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Recycled T-shirt into headbands.

Whilst blog hopping during the summer I stumbled on this recycling idea which I found here at

I decided to use a strap t-shirt that I realised that I had not worn in ages!

Firstly I cut off the hem at the bottom of the T-shirt and across the body just under the arm pits. I then cut up one of the side seams so that I could lay the T-shirt out flat on my cutting board.
Next I needed to cut a rectangle measuring 12cm deep x 43- 48cm long (4.5" deep x x17-19" long). I found that 18" was best for me but you could measure your head before you start.

Due to the size of my T-shirt I had to do this as two separate rectangles. The key to this is using what you have and adapting it if needed.

Due to having two separate pieces, I needed to join them together to make one long piece (so this was not in the original tutorial). I used a straight stitching but set it to be just a little longer to prevent puckering.

You really must put pins at the start and the end of the seam otherwise stretch fabrics such as these will be stretched when passing through the machine and the edges will not meet up when you reach the other side.

Here I now have one long piece of fabric. Next with right sides together pin and stitch to form a tube using a 1cm seam allowance (3/4"). You will need to start and stop you r stitch line approx 4cm in from the ends (1.5"). This will assist with the joining up of the ends.

Turn the tube the right way round.
Take the ends and with right sides together and pin them. Due to most of the fabric being in a tube the pinning may look rather curved, but do not worry, it will straighten out. Stitch along pinned edge. You may want to try it on for size at this stage. Tuck the join inside the tube.

You will now have an opening which needs to be stitched up. With this stage you have a choice, either slip stitch it together with a needle and thread or machine stitch the opening shut using the slightly longer straight stitch used earlier.

Then it is ready to wear!!

Below are a few examples made by my students.
They work very well with patterned T-shirts including those with writing on. on average we managed to make 2-3 headbands per T-shirt used.
They can be adjusted for all sizes of heads and it is a great way of recycling kids T-shirts by making the headbands for them. They could even help select the T-shirt that they have grown out of and be involved in the recycling process.

My students then asked about embellishing them as well, so there are loads of possible ideas to try out. I use headbands whilst gardening, putting make-up on, aerobics and cycling to keep my hair out of my face. These are all washable, recyclable again and much nicer than horrible plastic ones.
If you have a go then please do let me know as I would be happy to post any pictures here on my blog.
Take care.


wonderwoman said...

what a fantastic idea!!


Molly said...

This is such a great idea. I have 2 grown married girls but they still have long hair and wear headbands. This will most definitely be a great and quick project to make them several of these. Now when I go to garage sales I can pick up small shirts for next to nothing and use these. Thanks for the tutorial.

picciolo said...

what a wonderful idea, and they look great!
: )

Mark said...

These are wonderful images! All look so beautiful... Thanks for giving out with this valuable information.

Good luck.

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