Sunday, July 29, 2012

Re: The Shirt Off His Back

For this week's installment of my (semi-regular) feature Re:, I want to share how I repurpose men's long-sleeve shirts into a number of useful items.

If you're new to my blog, I hope you'll check back on Mondays for Re:, a little feature I do to extol the virtues of the six R's--reduce, reuse, recycle, reclaim, repurpose and respect--and offer tips for an earth-friendly lifestyle. I really do have good intentions of posting on this important topic each week, but admittedly, I've been lax lately.

Now, on to the projects. Earlier this year, a dear friend of mine became a Silpada jewelry rep. Much to my delight, as I love that gorgeous stuff. She wanted to find a simple and inexpensive item for a giveaway for her jewelry parties.

I recalled a cute idea I had seen on Pinterest. It involved cutting the cuffs off men's long-sleeve shirts and sewing them into little pouches that can hold jewelry, thumb drives, lipstick, your iPod Nano, and so on.

So, my friend bought color-of-the-week shirts at Goodwill, and I made the pouches for her.

She didn't want what was left of the cuffless shirts, so I set out to make use of all that nice fabric. 

Another borrowed idea is to make pillow covers out of the body of the shirt. They're easy to make and a snap to remove and launder. They can certainly be embellished, but I like the simplicity of just the shirt for use in kids' rooms, dorm rooms or just for casual use around the house.

Not to stop there, this is what I have up my sleeve for repurposing another usable part of the shirt. The sleeves are the perfect size and shape (with a few minor alterations) to make gift bags for wine bottles or other similarly shaped items.

Another option is to repurpose the breast pockets. These could be used to decorate a child's door or as party favors. I made this one for National Poem in Your Pocket Day and filled it with some of my favorite whimsical poems.

I'm also collecting the shirt collars for a future project.

You can view Off the Cuff pouches, Stuffed Shirt pillow covers and Up Your Sleeve gift bags in different shirt patterns in my shop.

As I dissect these shirts, I keep hearing my grandmother's voice in my head:  Waste not, want not. I hope grandma would be proud.

Make it a great day!
Linking to:

Tip Junkie handmade projects


  1. Ann you are one clever girl! I love those little pouches and although I am not very good friends with my sewing machine, I'm going to try making them! Pinning this and thanks for sharing it!

  2. Thanks for all those great ideas. Those little cuff pouches would probably suit the Tooth Fairy too!

  3. These are sweet ideas. VERY interested to see what you will do with collars! :)

  4. Your grandmother would bee very proud of you for using every part of the shirts. I am anxious to see what you do with the collars.
    I can't sew a stitch so I won't be making any. But these are very nice and if I want some I'll have to purchase from you!

  5. Great ideas. Love the pocket on the door handle. and all the rest are great ideas too. Thanks for inspiration for next time I'm ready to recycle a shirt/blouse. Gail (

  6. What great re-use those little cuff pockets...

  7. Great projects! A wonderful recycle project. I'm sure grandma would be proud. Thanks for sharing at the All Star Block Party!


  8. Great ideas. I have a link party, and I would love it if you would link this post. It is called Wednesdays Adorned From Above Link Party. You can find it at

    I hope to see you there. Have a great Day.
    Debi Bolocofsky
    Adorned From Above

  9. Thanks so much for sharing this shirt refashion post last week with Wednesday's Adorned From Above. The link party is open now for this week.
    Just follow this link.
    Debi Bolocofsky


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