Recycle Old T-Shirts Into Classroom Seat Covers




About: Technology teacher

I have too many t-shirts. Most of them simply sit in a drawer. But what if they were converted into seat covers for the classroom? Depending on your familiarity with a sewing machine, this could be a quick and easy way to reuse all those old t-shirts.

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

First, collect everything you need: sewing machine, thread, fabric marker (pencil or chalk), coffee and of course several t-shirts.

Step 2: Mark the Shirt

Turn the t-shirt inside out and lay it flat. Note where the printing is located and center your chair back pattern over the shirt design. I made a pattern with brown paper traced around the chair back. The bottom of the t-shirt will remain open to slip the shirt over and simply hang down, well, like a shirt tail.

A real seamstress would probably pin the pattern and trim off the excess material. But I decided not to totally ruin my t-shirts, I may need to wear them again. So instead of cutting out the pieces, I left the sleeves attached. This will leave them bunched up inside the seat cover.

Step 3: Stitch It Up

Take the marked shirt over to your sewing machine and stitch around the mark. I used a simple single width stitch, instead of a proper seam stitch. It's easier to undo if I ever need to put the shirts back into service as clothing.

Once the seam is done, turn the shirt back to right side out. It should roughly resemble the shape of the chair back.

Step 4: Cover the Chair

Take the finished cover and stretch it over the chair back. It felt a bit like dressing an unruly toddler because I made the opening a bit small to stretch over the top of the chair. Be sure to adjust the sleeves underneath so the chair back does not feel lumpy.



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    5 Discussions

    I used a t-shirt to cover my office chair, except i didn't sew anything. i made an instructable for that.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Dang it. I could have done that at work.
    Now I'm retired. Too late! Ah, this is better.


    5 years ago

    This is so ghetto. No wonder why kids are not learning anything in schools anymore.


    5 years ago

    I love this idea! A great way to encourage individuality in the classroom.


    5 years ago

    is this what the school system kids coming to these days?