Welcome to Frugal Friday! Today we are exploring our frugal CRAFTY side with the help of Britta Marie! Britta writes: I was recently inspired by the Spring 2014 issue of GreenCraft magazine to make a t-shirt necklace. There are several things I like about this particular project. The FIRST is that I didn’t have to sew anything. I don’t own or even know how to use a sewing machine (sorry Mom!), so that was a relief. The SECOND thing I liked is that it was CHEAP! The only materials you really need for this are a t-shirt and a pendant of some sort, both of which you may already have at home! The THIRD thing I liked about it is that it only took me about 20 minutes to do.
The first step to making a t-shirt necklace is to make some “t-shirt yarn.” I found a really good tutorial showing how to do it on Mollie Makes.
To make the “yarn,” you’ll need a plain t-shirt with no seams on the sides. You’ll be turning the t-shirt into one continuous “thread,” so having seams on the sides would be problematic. A word of caution here: if you purchase a NEW t-shirt for this project, take the time to wash and dry it before starting! I did NOT wash the shirt I bought for this, and ended up with fluffy t-shirt dust everywhere. Not great.
To start, cut the top portion of the shirt off under the sleeves, as well as the bottom hem.
Fold the remaining section in half, leaving an inch of space at the top.
Cut into 1-inch strips, making sure to NOT cut the extra inch at the top.
Then, unfold it along the part you didn’t cut (as best you can).
Starting at one end, make diagonal cuts to the next strip. Continue until you have one continuous strip of t-shirt.
Finally, pull the strip tight so that it rolls into a tube. Keep pulling along the length until the whole strip is tube-shaped.
Step 1 is done! Now you have some really cool t-shirt yarn that you could use for a million different projects.
But we’re still set on making that necklace, so on to Step 2.
Cut 3 long-ish strips from your length of t-shirt yarn. I guesstimated the length by going necklace length, plus several extra inches for some wiggle room.
Make a knot at one end of the 3 strips.
Next, pretend you’re a preteen girl in summer camp and starting BRAIDING! Do your best to keep the braid consistently tight.
Once the braid has reached your desired necklace length, make another knot to tie it off, and you’re done!
While I was doing the braiding portion, I noticed that Katara, my cat, was watching me from under the coffee table with great interest. As it turns out, t-shirt necklaces also make great cat toys! We played with it for a bit and she really liked it, so I decided to be a nice cat mom and just give it to her.
Once I was done with necklace #2 (black this time), I added the pendants. I found this great skeleton key at George’s Architectural Salvage in Salt Lake City, and I found the coat of arms pendant at Walmart in the craft aisle. All I had to do to make them necklace-ready was create a jump ring using copper wire and epoxy. (Obviously, if you have some jump rings already, or can find some easily enough, I would just use those instead. Epoxy is messy.)
I really like how this necklace turned out! I love how unique it is, both because it has a thick “chain,” and because you can make it your own it with whatever pendant you decide to put on it. You can also wear it without a pendant, if you want to! And when you’ve got people lining up to ask you where you got such a cool necklace, you can say, “I made it myself!” (And feel free to leave off the part about it costing pennies to make if you want to!) :-)