Tuesday, May 6, 2014

New Lives for Old T-shirts {Let's make napkins!}

 I have been mentioning that I wanted to do some re-purposing posts this year. So here we go with a series that I hope to post on every Tuesday. My hope is to have a theme for the month - T-shirts this month-and I will share different ways that you can re purpose them. For the last week of the month I hope to share a post with links to all sorts of projects that use the item of the month. Some links will be to posts of mine but many will be from where ever I might find them on the web. If you have any you would like to share please let me know before the last Tuesday of the month so I can include your link in my list.
I have talked about re-purposing t-shirts before and there is a good reason for that. There is an abundance of t-shirts in our country and sometimes I feel like I am dealing with the majority of them. Actually I know that I am not but still I do have a couple of overflowing boxes full of old t-shirts that I want to make into something useful and I would like that to happen before we move. So time to get busy Abbi!

  Above is the stack of t-shirts that I choose for my project of the day. They are mostly old polo shirts of Ken's, they are a thicker material than most t-shirts and it doesn't work as well for somethings but it works good to make absorbent napkins so that is what we are going to do.

 First step is cutting them up. I cut off seams and such and had some things to throw away. Then I cut out big squares and rectangles for the napkins. I cut out around a dozen today. With smaller pieces and from a badly stained shirt I simply cut them into rag size pieces (no hemming needed). Cloth rags replaces my need for paper towels. With them we clean up messes, dust and stuff like that. With some pieces that I consider to small for even the rag pile I cut some pieces that can work for cloth toilet paper. This is not something we use on a regular basis (and some of the family never does) but some of us like it as an option and when you spray off first and only use it after urinating I don't think it is very gross and I like the idea of buying less toilet paper. Anyway I just thought I would mention the possibility of using t-shirts for that too in case you would like to save some money and waste a little less.

 Also in this photo I have some scraps that I plan to use for another project and the buttons and ribbing I saved from the polo shirts for later projects. Waste not, want not. There is a lot of good you can get from a shirt.
 Next step for the napkins is to hem them. These are not fancy napkins and I generally won't use them when we have company but Ken really likes a big, absorbent napkin and these will work well for that. They tend to stretch a little while sewing but it doesn't affect the serviceability.
 Before I had made some out of white t-shirts and they didn't look good very long. These should stay looking nice longer. Many of our everyday napkins were looking rather old and so it is fun to have some new ones.

Free. Easy. I think I like them!

Have you ever re-purposed a t-shirt? What did you do with it?


The Tripletts said...

I've been wanting to do this for awhile but not quite sure what fabric would work best. Also when you hemmed them did you just serge the edges or fold the edges and hem that way?

Abbi said...

I just folded them a couple of times and then sewed. I did have fun using some decorative stiches on some and then just zig-zag on others. It is very easy!

Manuela@A Cultivated Nest said...

Those are great! I like large absorbent napkins too.


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