You know we’ve got a weakness for repurposing just about anything. Today’s foray into style hackery comes in the form of t-shirts! With help from a bit of copper tubing, a few brass rings, and our trusty needle nose pliers, see how we turned 3 t-shirts into 15 pieces of jewelry, perfect for everything from summer festivals to fancy springtime soirees.
- copper tubing
- t-shirts (the soft ones work best)
- brass rings of various sizes
- copper chain
- gold chain
- gold key rings
- cord ends
- gold clasps + jump rings
- tubing cutter
- hand saw
- needle nose pliers
- fabric scissors
- fine sand paper
For materials, we hit up the hardware store to stock up on copper tubing and these cool brass rings. We recommend taking a picture of these things to your hardware store if you want to get the same goodies. The rest of our materials are pretty standard issue in the jewelry department.
Old worn out t-shirts work best for jewelry-making as they aren’t as stiff as brand new ones. We went with navy, gray, and black.
1. Flirty Fringe Necklace
To get your t-shirt fabric to curl, cut it into 1/2 inch strips and pull to stretch. When you let go, your t-shirt material should curl into a cord-like shape. You’ll use this method in just about every piece on this list. For this necklace, simply fold a piece of material in half, loop around the chain, and pull through. This type of knot is technically called a Lark’s Head but we always refer to it as topsy tail.
This would be a great finishing touch to a maxi dress.
2. Tiered Copper Necklace
First, we’ll show you how to properly cut your copper tubing. Place a piece of tubing in your tubing cutter to score your copper. Then use a handsaw to cut. Sand the edges smooth and you’re done.
To create the necklace, we stretched out 5 pieces of material, varying in length by about an inch. String the copper pieces on like beads and center them on each strand of fabric. Use a cord end to secure both ends of the fabric, then attach a jump ring and keychain as a clasp.
We love the linear look of this piece.
3. Deco Dangly Earrings
For these little beauties, we cut a two pieces of material a chain about 6 inches in length. Loop them together and pull them onto two brass rings, topsy tail style. Use needle nose pliers to attach earrings hooks and you’re good to go.
These have such a great simple silhouette.
4. Fringed Pipe Pendant
For some reason, this reminds us of a little jellyfish or something. Loop short pieces of fringe onto a piece of copper tubing, string chain through the tubing, and you’re done!
We love the long pendant style for a smaller piece like this.
5. Brass Ring Statement Necklace
We used all three t-shirts for this one. The method of putting the rings on is just like our washer bracelets. You loop one ring through, then the second one. Then you pull your fabric over the second ring and weave it through the first one. Pull it all the way through, then weave back through your second ring. Pull tight and repeat until you get a pattern that looks like ours. Braid the excess material and clasp at the end using cord ends and a clasp.
How awesome is this piece?
We have to admit, it might be our favorite one of the bunch!
6. Triangular Dangly Earrings
These kind of look like a triangle instrument with pigtails! Pull a piece of fabric through a small piece of tubing (a little less than an inch). Use a small cord end to create a triangle shape and snip of excess material. Use pliers to attach earrings hooks and pull a bit of chain through the tubing to finish the look. We recommend squeeze a little bit of glue into the tube to keep the chain in place.
These would look great with a high sock bun and simple black strapless dress.
7. T-Shirt Friendship Bracelet
We’ve always gotta return to the friendship bracelet. For this one group a bunch of skinny t-shirt strands with one braided piece, secure with cord ends and wear!
This is definitely a classier take on the friendship bracelet.
8. Braided Chain Necklace
Taking a cue from a chunky braided necklace, this slightly tiered number is a breeze to make. Make five braids using chain and two colors tf t-shirt material. Clasp them on both ends using cord ends. Attach jump rings to the ends of each braid and attach to gold key rings. Add another length of chain and that’s it!
Okay so maybe this one’s our favorite?
Looks pretty darn cute with those feather earrings, no? We’ll show you how to make this right… now!
9. Fabric Feather Earrings
Cut two pieces of t-shirt material into the shape of feathers. Use scissors to snip along the edges to give a more feathery vibe. Attach cord ends to the top and use pliers to attach to earrings. Done son!
It might be cool to try making a layered pair with all three colors of t-shirt fabric.
10. Chunky Brass Ring Bracelet
The method for this is the same as our Brass Ring Statement Necklace (#5 on this list). Loop rings through and then secure with cord ends and a clasp.
The rock seems to like it, don’t you think? ;)
11. Minimal Copper Strand Necklace
This one is definitely on the more subtle side, and would look great layered with a pendant necklace or two.
12. Gold Cuff
We used one of our trusty brass rings for this one! Simply loop two pieces of fabric through the ring, secure at the ends with cord ends, and clasp.
13. Chunky Braided Necklace
Similar to the braided chain necklace, this one is made of three black fabric braids. Secure with cord ends and use a jump ring to pull them together. String a few brass rings over all three braids and add chain to finish it off.
This looks like a piece straight from TopShop or H&M and cost less than $1 to make!
14. Flouncy Jersey Necklace
This flirty number is bouncy, flouncy, and such a fun piece to wear. Cut 10-20 strands of t-shirt material to the same length. Secure with as many cord ends as you need and use a jump ring to attach each cord end to a key ring. Add enough chain so that it fits over your head, and you’re done.
15. Mega Fringe!
Last up, mega fringe! This is just like the first necklace but with much longer pieces of fringe. We. Love. It!
Have you turned old t-shirts into new things? Tell us about it in the comments below.