Recycled Tee-Shirt Bracelets: Tutorial

After cutting up a bunch of old tee-shirts to make some Li’l Blue Boo tunics for myself, i had a whole buncha scraps….and some shirts i still hadn’t sliced into! So i shredded up a pile of strips and made these super-easy, super-quick, braided summer bracelets.

Here’s how:

Gather some tees, scissors, tape and a needle & thread. i used 3 different colors, one for each of the strips in the braid, but you can use all the same, 2 and 1….whatever looks good.

Cut off the hem of each shirt and then cut a width-wise strip about 1″ wide. Cut the side seams off.

Stretch each strip a bit until it starts to curl into itself and form a bit of a tube. This conceals the cut edges and gives some bulk to the strip of knit. Its key. (my magenta piece is actually one of the drawstrings from my 3rd shirt….why not use it?)

Stitch the 3 strands of fabric together using a simple slip stitch and keeping the end somewhat flat.

Use some tape to hold the stitched end to your work surface. Leave the needle and thread attached for now.

Braid the strips. Try to keep a nice, even width to your braid.When you get to the end, use another piece of tape to secure the ends while you complete the next step.

Wrap the braid around your wrist to determine length. Be sure it fits as you’d like it to. You don’t need to make it bigger to fit over your hand. It will stretch. Grab the needle and thread which are still attached to your first end and begin slipstitching the tail end together also, trying to keepĀ  it somewhat flat.

Then stitch the 2 ends together. You don’t need to be very neat. The stitches will be covered.

Use a scrap of leftover knit to tie a simple knot around the seam to cover your stitches and add a decorative touch. A few stitches will hold it in place.

If you prefer, you can also tuck the tails under and stitch for a cleaner finish as shown in the photo at the top of this post.

That’s it! Try combining prints and solids and patterns. Stack them up your whole arm! Make super wide ones with bulkier strips of knit or dainty, thin ones with little slivers of knit! Sew on a few beads or tie on a few metallic ribbons for sparkle! It’s the perfect summer craft on a budget!



  1. Laura says

    I happen to have T-shirt scraps in a jumbled pile next to my desk, and they are now happy to have a purpose in life. We thank you for this idea and tutorial.

  2. Luvcreatingcards says

    Thanks for sharing this fab idea. I’m sure it is someting that my daughter would love to try with her friends.
    I’ve only just found your blog, via a link from Amazon, where I had seen the chance to pre-order you Doodling Book. Do you know when the book will be available? Soon I hope as it’s on of the stocking fillers I’d like to buy.
    I’ll cerainly be back to visit again and catch up with your earlier posts.
    Best wishes,

  3. says

    Hi su!
    Thanks so much! I think they have the ship date as dec 1 on amazon? Truthfully, I’ve been expecting my copies for weeks. I know they are printed. Always a guess with publishing?? ; ) but Christmas should be no problem!

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