Upcycled T-shirt Blanket

If you are anything like me, you’ve accumulated quit a number of t-shirts over the years through various events, concerts, schools, and businesses. If you can’t bear to part with those t-shirts, or to use them as work shirts or rags, here’s an idea to preserve the memories, while still upcycling them into something new and useful!

DIY Upcycled T-shirt Blanket

Upcycled T-shirt Blanket | Musings of a Modern Hippie 

This project is easy enough for even those new to sewing to accomplish. And it’s customizable, so you can make it as small or big as you want.

{Don’t know how to sew, but still want a blanket? I can help! Check out my Etsy store to order your own custom t-shirt blanket now…I even include free shipping both ways!}

Upcycled T-shirt Blanket | Musings of a Modern Hippie

DIY Upcycled T-shirt Blanket

Upcycled T-shirt Blanket | Musings of a Modern Hippie

Step 1:

Collect your shirts and plan your blanket size. For a point of reference, 25 large t-shirts, sewn 5 squares by 5 squares will cover a king-size bed perfectly.

Tip: Prewash your t-shirts to make sure they are pre-shrunk. This will prevent strange pulling when you launder your blanket down the road.

 

Upcycled T-shirt Blanket | Musings of a Modern Hippie

Step 2:

Find your smallest shirt. This will be your reference shirt. It is important to make sure all your squares are the same size as this one will be.

Lay your shirt out flat and cut along each side to make a perfect square. I highly recommend using a cutting mat and long metal ruler along with a rotary cutting tool or professional sheers. Really saves time and makes the job easier. Try and cut the square as large as possible.

Hint: Save your scraps for later!

 

Upcycled T-shirt Blanket | Musings of a Modern Hippie

Step 3:

Cut the remaining shirts the same way, this time, laying the first square on top to use as a template.

 

Upcycled T-shirt Blanket | Musings of a Modern Hippie

Step 4:

Once all the squares are cut out, separate the backs and fronts of each shirt panel. Lay out each side, mirroring the back to the front. It’s important to mirror them, not lay them out identically, so that the sides will match when put back together.

 

Upcycled T-shirt Blanket | Musings of a Modern Hippie

Step 5:

Start stitching the squares together, right sides facing each other.

I’ve used a simple straight stitch before, since it was just a throw blanket for myself and I wasn’t particular about how the seams looked, but if you have a stretch stitch on your machine, I highly recommend using it for these stretchy knits to prevent bunching and stretched out seams. I also recommend using the highest quality thread you can find, specifically for knits, and a ballpoint needle also specifically for knits.

(And wouldn’t a serger be awesome right about now??)

If you are a more advanced sewer and your machine allows it, now’s the time to use a double needle and zigzag foot as well. (Use a simple straight stitch for double needles.)

Another good idea is a walking foot if you have one.

None of the above? Then your next best option is a narrow and short zigzag stitch.

Last tip at this point is to guide your fabric through your machine carefully, to avoid stretching it out.

 

Upcycled T-shirt Blanket | Musings of a Modern Hippie

Step 6:

Once you have all the squares stitched together for both the front and back, put the insides (“backs”) together. It helps to sew them together at this point, but you don’t have to.

If you are using ribbon for your edging, fold it in half the long way, tuck the edge of the blanket inside, and stick it down. A straight stitch is fine here.

Upcycled T-shirt Blanket | Musings of a Modern Hippie

 

If you want to get a little fancier, you can cut your scraps into pieces, stitch them together into one long piece, and sew that to the edges as your border.

 

Upcycled T-shirt Blanket | Musings of a Modern Hippie

 

Another alternative for those scraps is to cut them up and turn them into reusable cloth napkins. We have a bin on the kitchen counter for clean ones (and we don’t even bother folding them)! They absorb well, and we don’t stress when the little one needs to use 20 napkins for one meal.

 

Upcycled T-shirt Napkins | Musings of a Modern Hippie

 

Step 7:

Trim your excess fabrics and threads.

Upcycled T-shirt Blanket | Musings of a Modern Hippie

DONE!

 

How did yours come out?

Upcycled T-shirt Blanket | Musings of a Modern Hippie

 

             

 

 

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10 comments for “Upcycled T-shirt Blanket

  1. December 16, 2014 at 8:18 am

    My dad created a triathlon to raise money for our local adaptive ski program. He’s been doing it for 9 years and plans to pass the reins over to me after the 10th year. I’ve been saving all the event tees and wanted to do something like this for him when he retires. It would be neat to have all the long-time competitors sign it. Thanks for the tutorial since I had no clue how to sew them all together.

  2. December 16, 2014 at 10:16 am

    wow…that is really a cool idea! I love that you took shirts with meaning and made them into something wonderful! That makes the blanket even more special!

  3. Pat
    December 16, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    Suggestion. You’re half-way to a comforter, if you’d like one. My mother did that for years. I have a couple of tops she put together that I need to finish off. She’d buy a flannel sheet and quilt batting, lay it all out in the family room floor and pin it then tack it using crochet thread in matching colors. Then she turned the edges of the sheet into the patchwork top and stitched it closed. This gave an edging to the patchwork, also. Just sayin’. All the kids loved to get Grandma’s comforters. She used old clothes from the kids when they were little to make them each one when they got married. I hadn’t thought of using T shirts, tho. Great idea!

  4. December 16, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    Yes, I know this would be a great gift for me to make for my kiddos and their t-shirt collections. But I can’t sew. And they CAN. And you listed the handful of EASY steps to make one. So I’ll be sharing this link with my kiddos and encouraging them to make themselves blankets. 🙂 Thanks for the idea — your blanket is GORGEOUS!

  5. December 18, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    This has definitely been on my to do list for ages. I have so many t-shirts that I have saved up for this project. Thank you for the tutorial and I can’t wait to try it out!

  6. January 12, 2015 at 11:18 am

    I love this! Would this be a a good beginner project? It seems pretty straight forward.

    I cant’ wait to give it a try.

  7. October 6, 2015 at 10:36 am

    Totally love this idea! This is what I’m going to do with my husband’s old ‘favorite’ tees. Finally I found a way to get rid of them without throwing them away – up-cycling!

  8. Sheri
    October 15, 2016 at 10:25 am

    Hi Kelly, How much do you charge to make the T-shirt blanket?

  9. Nancy Mason
    October 20, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    Do you have a video of this project? I have the t-shirts of my nephew to make a blanket but several of the steps you note are confusing to me. Especially steps 4 and 6.

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