Wednesday, August 12, 2009

101 Uses for a Dead T-shirt*

*The use of this title in no way endorses the tacky 1980s book 101 Uses of a Dead Cat, which I thought was tasteless and nasty, but did have a catchy title!

So, turning to the T-shirt problem, our boys have a wonderful collection of T-shirts from round the world, brought back by travelling members of the family or picked up in Charity Shops. When Son 1 grows out of a T-shirt it is snapped up enthusiastically by Son 2, but when a T-shirt gets too small, or too battered for him, we are reluctant to throw it away, or even to give it to a Charity Shop. Thus, we have got inventive over the years...The latest T-shirt to get a bit skimpy on him was one of his favourites, brought back from China by Granny and Grandpa. Anything with a dragon on was bound to be much loved. So while Son 2 did some Holiday Work, I got snipping and sewing...
...and converted it into a cushion for his bed...
... with which he is very pleased.
This was a T-shirt brought back by Uncle Mathew and Aunt Kate (that's Ben's brother - the real globe trotter of the family) when the boys were tiny. It soon wrinkled up in that way that embroidered T-shirts sometimes do, but Son 2, aged about 3, still would not relinquish it. In the end I cut out the embroidery and stretched it over a little frame I'd found.
Since then it has hung in their bedroom, and more recently in our bathroom, next to Son 1's photo of a similar location.
This is one we actually bought ourselves! Son 1 then Son 2 dropped chocolate on the white bits, but the picture remained intact....... and now sits next to our own photos of the same location.
We'll be going back to Carnac, an amazing prehistoric site in Brittany, in a few weeks' time.
Other, more prosaic uses of old T-shirts in this house include cleaning cloths and dusters. Do you have any other suggestions?
Advance warning - I am gathering together bits and pieces of French school ephemera (old and new) for a Giveaway for la RentreƩ! More information to follow...


juanitatortilla said...

The pillow cushion is a very practical idea. I grew up with my mum using our old T-shirts as rags and cleaning cloths, so, we all pretty much have that idea in common :)

I have thought of making a quilt out of my husband's smaller T-shirts (also from past travels), but that sounds like a task too big for me to handle, or at least get my husband to spare me them for a start!

Can't wait to see Carnac.

Shabby Chick said...

Ooh I love the one on an easel, that's brilliant! I've been thinking of doing some kind of patchwork with the clothes my girls have grown out of.

Re my post, I already use Mozilla so I'm not sure what's going on. Today in the dashboard it still says I'm not following any blogs, I hope I don't have to start from scratch :(

Mel xxx

Michela said...

You're so clever Floss! I always convert old t-shirts into boring dusters..
Wow! Your future giveaway sounds so interesting! And can't wait for that Christmas event you're planning! (I'm always curious to read your comment on other blogs!)

The Curious Cat said...

Very inventive and eco-friendly too! :) xxx

Lululiz said...

My favourite is the Kathmandu one, I love that idea of stretching it over a small (embroidery?) frame.

I find tshirts clean my specs really well. Cut squares with pinking shears and keep one in every handbag, coat pocket, room etc, lol, works a treat for me.

Now, do tell us more about your giveaway, you know I am not the most patient person in the world, and I will be without internet access very soon for three whole weeks (going to the cottage), so I gotta know NOW!!!!! Pretty please? I am planning one for my 100th post, which hopefully won't be too far away once I get back from the cottage and get blogging again.

PS @ shabby chick, I have the same prob, my reading list has disappeared as well.

Anonymous said...

what a fab idea :-)

I have to admit, I cut an embroidered fairy off a top that my daughter stained and then grew out of... I still haven't decided what to do with it, but it was too lovely to throw away!

Rose XXX

Carol said...

Great idea's floss. I love the framed one.
I have a much loved duvet that is so thin in parts hole have appeared, I keep thinking about what I can make with the beautiful embroidered parts. You have inspired me get on and do it.

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Great ideas on how to reuse the shirts! You are very creative.
Thanks for the info. about blogger. Hope it is fixed soon.

claire said...

I have made a stuffed bird hangy type thingy out of one of my favourite baby tshirts. (thats a tshirt having belonged to the baby!!!) I couldn't bear for it to mop up sick or something as part of the duster/rag pile!! (the usual end product of our old/stained tshirts!!)

Wendy said...

Bonjour Floss,
Thank you for stopping by my blog. :)
I have made a first visit to your lovely blog, and love what you did with your boys tee shirt, great idea!
I also have two boys who are a bit older (18 & 19yrs), thankfully they are still very hugable and I just adore their company. I have such a soft spot for boys, even the naughty ones. They grow up so fast, so make sure you treasure every minute. :)
Hope you are having a happy french day!

Wendy said...

Don't look now but I'm following you!

Tracie~MyPetiteMaison said...

What good ideas, I like the pillow the best so far! It's really hard letting something go like a favorite t-shirt. We usually use ours for rags or just let them sit in the closet forever and ever (note to self, must clean closet ;) Have a wonderful time in Carnac, can't wait to hear all about it... don't forget the new shirts!

Elizabethd said...

What good ideas, I love the Kathmandu one. Hoping we shall meet in Brittany!

Cal said...

What brilliant ideas to prolong the enjoyment and associations with the t-shirts. Very inventive. Cal x

Vintage Amethyst said...

Aaahhh such great ideas, so lovely.

Tilly said...

I did the t-shirt repurposing with a couple of my daughters old tops. I think they look better as cushions than they did as shirts!