Recycling T-shirts into Headbands

Recycling T-shirts into Headbands is such an easy project, no sewing skills required and you will helping save the environment too!

I know I bang on about recycling a LOT! I can’t help it, its something I’m totally passionate about especially when you find out that an estimated 92 million tonnes of textile waste is created each year, that is the equivalent of a rubbish truck full of clothes ending up on landfill sites every second!!!

All you will need for this project is:

  • An old (stretchy) t-shirt
  • Scissors
  • Glue gun (for the Knotted version)
  • Hair bobble (for the Braided version)

I’ve made two versions, one is a knotted one, and the other a braided one.

I used a size 12 t-shirt for these bands, and they fit my daughter’s head perfectly. I would not recommend any smaller for an adult. If you have a bigger top it’s absolutely fine, you can just cut to measure after you have knotted/braided it. The finished band should be about 3 inches smaller that the head circumference as it will stretch. For the knotted version, start by cutting off the hemmed part of the tshirt, this part can be discarded.

Next cut 3 strips (cutting front and back), you can cut as thick as you like, the thicker the strip the thicker the band will be.

Once you have your strips, you need to stretch them, they will start to curl, that’s perfectly normal and what you need it to do.

Once stretched, cut the sewn parts off so you have 6 strips and divide them into 2 lots of 3. I added coloured elastic to the ends of one of the sets, you do not need to do this, it’s only there so it makes it easier for me to explain how to make the knot.

Take one of the sets, and fold the right side over the left. I’ll call this set one.

Place the other set (set 2) on top.

Take the bottom part of set one and place so its sitting on top of set 2.

Take the red side of set 2 and pass it underneath set 2.

Take the blue side of set 2 and pass it over set one, under the red side and over the other side of set 1.

You will end up with something that looks like this.

Hold both sides and slowly start pulling, this will make the knot start to form.

Next take your t-shirt and cut 1 piece approx. 2inches by 3 inches, and 2 more pieces 1 inch by 2 inches. Stretch as you did previously so the edges will overlap.

Take the smallest pieces and using the glue gun stick on top of each end. Tidy the ends with your scissors.

Place the larger piece flat on the table and flatten with your hand so the longest sides are folded inside.

With the glue gun, secure the two ends first, then fold one side on top and then the other.

You now have a finished knotted headband.

To make the Braided version, cut 3 strips and stretch as before, if using a small t-shirt, only cut one of the sewn sides so you have 3 long strips, you can cut them to size after braiding it. Again, the thicker the strip the thicker the finished band will be.

Tie each strip to the bobble, and start making a braid.

When you reach the end, use one side to tie all 3 strips together and secure to the other end of the bobble.

Cut 2 smaller strips approx. 1inch by 2 inches. Stretch and flatten and using the glue gun attach to the ends so the rough edges are hidden.

Do you enjoy upcycling? Why not check out our other upcycling projects!

I absolutely love seeing what you’ve created, so if you do make this project (or any other items from my website) don’t forget to tag me over on my social media pages

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