Introduction: How to Make a No-Sew T-Shirt Blanket

Picture of How to Make a No-Sew T-Shirt Blanket

This Instructable will show you how to make a t-shirt blanket without needing a sewing machine. T-shirt blankets are a great way to preserve memories and make use of your old t-shirts. I made my blanket because I don't know how to sew, but I didn't want to just throw away my t-shirts from high school and college. Any skill-level can make this blanket, because it largely involves tying knots. That being said, this blanket does take several hours to make. It is tedious to tie that many knots, but don't let the time requirement worry you! It is a very easy project to work on over a few days or even longer. One of the best aspects of the blanket is that is it inexpensive. The only costs of the project are the plush material for the back of the blanket, and time!

Step 1: Preparation and Cutting

Picture of Preparation and Cutting

1. Gather materials: t-shirts (28 panels), scissors, 12x12 in piece of cardboard, 1.5 yards of plush material, permanent marker

Note: My example blanket is 4x7 panels. if your t-shirts have designs on the front and the back, then you can get two panels out of one t-shirt. If you don't have many t-shirts you can always use the unprinted backs of the shirt, and design a checkered patters for you blanket, in order to create a blanket out of fewer t-shirts.

2. Lay the first t-shirt flat.

3. Place cardboard over logo, or other desired area.

4. Trace the cardboard with permanent marker.

5. Remove cardboard.

6. Cut t-shirt on black permanent marker line

7. Repeat steps 2-6 for rest of panels.

8. Lay our cut panels in desired pattern.

Step 2: Assembling the Rows in Your Pattern

Picture of Assembling the Rows in Your Pattern

1. Take 2 adjacent panels from you pattern. (I would suggest starting with the upper left panel, and the panel to it's right.)

2. Lay one panel on top of the other, with the designs touching on the inside. Make sure the are aligned properly.

3. Cut small strips in both shirts on the right hand side.

4. Tie the stacked strips in a knot all along the side, leaving the first and last pairs untied.

5. Take the next panel in the pattern, and do the same thing. Put it on top of the right panel.

Note: As you tie the knots, your panels will seem to shrivel up. Gently pull the edges of the knotted side to stretch it back out. You will hear a ripping sound, this is normal.

6. Repeat steps 1-5 for all of the rows.

Note: At this point, you should have 7 separate rows of 4.

Step 3: Assembling the Rows Together

Picture of Assembling the Rows Together

1. Cut and tie the rows together

2. This is where you tie the first and last of every panel.

3. Cross the ties, so that you are tying the corners together.

This is the same process as assembling the rows, except you are cutting the tops and bottoms of the panels instead of the sides.

Note: Since you are finishing the front part of the blanket, you would be working with a lot of material. Try your best to match of the material as best as possible.

After you have tied all of the rows together, you should have all 28 panels tied together. The entire perimeter of your blanket should not be cut or tied. Your blanket is almost finished! All that is left is connecting the front and back of the blanket together.

Step 4: Tying the Front of Your Blanket to the Plush Backside

Picture of Tying the Front of Your Blanket to the Plush Backside

1. Lay out plush material on a flat surface, plush-side down.

2. Line up the t-shirt part on top of the backside material. (Plush should be down, t-shirt logos should be up.

3. Cut off the excess plush material at the bottom

4. Cut the t-shirt perimeter and the plush material into strips. (This part gets very messy with plush, don't worry.)

5. Tie the knots all of the way around, just like a tie blanket.

6. Throw blanket into the dryer for 10 minutes to get the plush fuzzies off.

Step 5:

Your blanket is done! It is time to enjoy your fuzzy, personal blanket. Now that you have made your no-sew blanket, you will be able to make use of all of the old t-shirts you have, and make more blanket in the future.

Trouble-Shooting:

  • If you feel that the knots are hard to tie, you can cut them a bit longer or stretch them out a bit.
  • If your plush is too fuzzy to deal with, you can use a lint-roller to manage the amount of fuzzies.
  • Your will have to retie the ties occasionally.

Comments

seratonation (author)2017-05-17

how deep do you cut the strips to tie the shirts together?

PeggyG37 (author)2017-04-05

Makes me wish I had saved more t shirts :(

DebiH10 (author)2016-07-04

I'm actually in the process of moving. I have been going through clothes and have a ton of tshirts from different events over the last decade. Going to put them in a suitcase and make a blanket when I move. What a fun activity to do and its a low cost stay at home project.

Kyleighj2000 (author)2016-02-23

Will I be able to add t-shirts over time?

ariannasofia28 (author)2015-11-06

Hi!! this is beautiful!!! do you recommends something for the knots? to make them very tight and well done

blakfootx12 (author)2015-08-21

Question: So are the front and back only attached around the perimeter? Is it loose in the middle?

JohnC108 (author)2015-08-08

Is there a fabric between the shirts and the plush fabric?!?

Dhopp1 (author)JohnC1082015-08-17

nope! just the two layers! My blanket is actually rather heavy, and for simplicity purposes, I just wanted to the sides.

kr123 (author)2015-06-25

Do I have to use a plush fabric or can I use an old blanket?

Dhopp1 (author)kr1232015-07-25

Hi! I see that this was almost a month ago, but in case you were still wondering, you can use anything for the back. I found the most luck with the plush because fleece backing wasn't quite wide enough for the width of my t-shirts. So I would highly recommend using a fabric that can stretch if necessary!

DianaN3 (author)2015-07-05

Way cool! Even I could do this.

ctice1 (author)2015-05-02

Do the knots hold up if you machine wash the blanket? Thank you! Very cool, btw!

Dhopp1 (author)ctice12015-06-02

yes they do!

MuktaK (author)2015-04-22

awsm !!!

ZakyAlpha (author)2015-04-10

Not sure why I recognized the sarge shirt before the freshman shirt but either way, Go Cyclones!

Dhopp1 (author)ZakyAlpha2015-04-21

I had so many free shirts from Freshman year. I can't wait to do an all Iowa State blanket! Go Cyclones for sure :)

nuthara (author)2015-04-16

its a great idea

Braja69 (author)2015-03-26

Neat idea :-)

nshields5 (author)2015-03-26

I love your idea! What a fabulous way to up cycle and maintain memories!

tomatoskins (author)2015-03-25

That turned out looking really cool! I've never seen anything like that with t-shirts before. Looks awesome!

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