Recycled T-shirt Bracelet





Introduction: Recycled T-shirt Bracelet

This is an extension of my Recycled T-shirt Necklace tutorial. It is much more in-depth than my first one. There are lots of steps to show the process, but it is really easy to do once you know. A bracelet (or necklace) can be made in just a couple of minutes.

What you need:
- The sleeve of a soft, clean cotton t-shirt

- A ruler

- A cutting tool (the best results come if you use a rotary cutter* with a self healing mat but you can also use plain old scissors)

*If you are using a rotary cutter for the first time, be careful! The Purl Bee has an excellent tutorial for how to properly and safely use a rotary cutter HERE.

Step 1: Lay Shirt Out

Lay the shirt sleeve out on a flat surface.

Step 2: Cut Hem

Using scissors or your rotary cutter, slice off the hem. Discard.

Step 3: Cut the Strips

From the hem edge, measure up 3/4" and cut straight across sleeve. Continue up the sleeve until you reach the seam.
For a thick bracelet, cut up both sleeves. You can also use sleeves of an alternating color to mix in.

Step 4: Examine a Strip

Here is a single strip of fabric from the sleeve.

Step 5: Pull Strips Open

You'll notice that each strip is a loop of fabric.

Step 6: Stretch the Strips Out

As you stretch each strip out, it will automatically start to furl into itself, as seen in the picture.

Step 7: Here It Is Stretched

Here is one strip stretched out. It won't curl where the seam is, but don't worry about it.

Step 8: Line Up the Seams

Now put all your loops together. I am only using two as an example, but you will probably have more. Make sure the seams line up as shown.

Step 9: Cover the Seams

Using a scrap piece of the same fabric, loop around the seams to cover them.

Step 10: Tuck the End In

Tuck the end of the scrap under the loops. I have mine sticking out a little to show you, but you can cover it completely.

Step 11: Done!

Now you can loop it around once or twice to wear as a bracelet.



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    24 Discussions

    That is really cool and it uses the scrap that is tossed when making a reusable shopping bag. Thanks! It just makes it that much more environmentally friendly!!

    I'm trying to stop the fabric from leaving lint on everything. Any ideas

    I just made one of these in less than 5 minutes (I'm a little lax in my measuring, I prefer to guess-timate). This also makes a great bun or pony tail holder for thick hair!

    I just made a whole stack of t-shirt infinity scarves for friends and family, and I had all of these left over sleeves. Now everyone will get a coordinating bracelet too! Thanks!

    So, maybe it's just my poor coordination or my lack of craftiness, but I couldn't quite get the wrapping to work out. Whenever I thought I had it firmly secured, I couldn't find a way to tuck the end back into the piece. However, after a few tries and near the giving-up point I knotted around the seams a bit and tied a dainty little bow and made a stringed headband. I actually almost like this way better, although I think instead of using a left over piece to secure the seams, it would look better to use a cute little ribbon. Maybe i'll possibly make the ribbon go all the way through the headband to give it more variety. But thanks for the photo-tutorial! I never would've thought of this!

    I tried this tutorial last night. I failed LOL The strips came apart, but I found a way to alter the tutorial, using the strips ripped as they were.
    So, here is my result using this tutorial:

    I also wanted to say that this tutorial is really easy to understand (English is not my first language and tutorials often frustrate me because of the lack of clear instructions!) and very easy to follow :) Thanks for sharing!

    I just made one in 10 minutes from some extra sleeves I had from another project... your instructions were very clear, thank you! I've been seeing these necklaces in a lot of gift guides, and I figured I could make one myself but couldn't figure out how.

    My strips also came apart at the seems, but I just gathered the ends and sewed them together flatly, then used one of the discarded sleeve hems as an extension to make a necklace so that it lays flatly on the back of my neck. (I'm uploading a pic... sorry for the bad cell quality!)

    Susie Q says to finish the t-shirt necklace or bracelet,  use the macrame knot called "hangman"s knot - both the start and finish ends
    are hidden within the knot!

    You may want to watch him with the scissors, and he might need help wrapping in step 9, too, but otherwise it should be fine for him.

    When I made this, regular scissors didn't cut through the fabric very well at all. I was simply suggesting that if the same situation arose for him, he might try to hack away at the cloth and may cut himself.

    When I tried this, the "rings" I had cut just ripped apart at the seams. I'm thinking i need to cut them thicker or use a heavy duty t-shirt.

    This is perfect for us that have a loved one that passed away. I take a shirt that belonged to them and made a bracelet from it and wear it in the Cancer walks, I know that they are near me when I walk on their behalf.

    Hooray! These are the kind of instructions I was looking for on the necklace tutorial. Now I get it. Thanks!

    2 replies

    Exactly. I couldn't picture what was going on with that other insctructable - this is very clear and good-looking.

    Oh. Erm. That other instructable was done by you also.

    Just had a go at this, works well :) looks awesome! be carefull with the glue idea...mine reacted with the material and got VERY hot. some kind of exothermic reaction, produced allot of fumes! cracking instuctions t-shirt is safe!