DIY scarf and headband from old shirts (no sew!)

These are my most recent crafty projects: a scarf and a headband made from old shirts

These two shirts of Michael’s are too short for him now and had been riding around in the back of my car just waiting for me to take them to Goodwill.  I’ve seen all sorts of t-shirt scarves on Pinterest but this particular one caught my eye and I decided to rescue and repurpose these shirts to try it out. So using this tutorial I set out to make some scarves; I changed what she did a little bit so I’ve made my own step by step instructions.

I started by cutting strips of the shirt – cut through both sides of the shirt so you have one big loop

Each strip was about 1″ to 1.5″ wide; I just guessed as I cut because they don’t have to be perfect

Here’s one loop cut out

And here’s a bunch from the other shirt.  Notice that they aren’t all tubular and neat like the picture at the top of the final product.  This was the only part of the project that was confusing for me.  I thought that by just running the loops through my hands they would roll up on themselves but that wasn’t happening for me.  I cut all these loops but couldn’t get them to look like the picture I saw on Pinterest.  Through trial and error I realized that you have to really pull on each loop to get them to roll up.  I pick up each one and stretch it out like a rubber band.

this is what those same loops looked like after being stretched (really give them a good tug!)

I cut the strips from this shirt just a little bit wider so the loops are a little thicker

Now if you are using a plain t-shirt with no seams (which I highly recommend now that I’ve done this project and had to deal with side seams) your scarf is basically ready to go unless you want to add some embellishments.  Since the polo shirts had seams down the sides I had to do something to cover up the seams.

I cut two pieces from the remaining fabric

gathered all the seams from one side together and wrapped one of the pieces around them

and hot glued the sides together

so it looked like this

and there it is with the seam on the underside

with the orange and blue shirt I covered the seams on both sides using a piece of fabric like I just showed you.  The second one, after I glued the piece of fabric to cover the seams, I also added a decorative flower.

I cut two more strips of fabric

I tied a knot in the end of one, started rolling and twisting the fabric around the knot, gluing periodically.  When that piece ran out, I added the second piece and continued rolling and gluing until it was big enough (you can read more about these flowers here).

then I hot glued the flower on to the scarf

ta-da!  I don’t love how the little pieces of fabric used to cover the seams show but since this project was free using materials I already have, it’s good enough.  I can also wear this only wrapped once as a long scarf/necklace.

The blue scarf was a little longer (since I cut the strips more narrow, they stretched out more) and I knew I would only wear it wrapped around my neck so I only covered one set of seams (I know I can hide the other set behind my neck).

This was a really easy project that would have been even easier and quicker had I used a t-shirt with no side seams.  This tutorial is the one I originally used but I also found this tutorial that does basically the same thing (the method is a little different) and is really good, too.

After I made the scarves I had some fabric left over.  I’ve seen a bunch of people make braided headbands on Pinterest so I decided to try one of those, too.  I didn’t really use a tutorial, but this is what I did.

I cut three strips of orange fabric and braided them (I had Michael hold one end while I braided – you could safety pin it to something to hold it together while you braid).  then I tied of each end with a little scrap of fabric.

I cut a matching piece of fabric

laid the ends on it

and glued it together like I did with the scarves – voila! headband!

(I made sure to hold it to my head and measure to see what size to make it)

I love how it turned out.  Most of the headbands that go all around your head are super tight and hurt, or roll themselves off through the course of wearing them.  This one was incredibly comfy (because I could make it any size I wanted!) and stayed in place (although I think the ponytail helped keep it from moving).

I am definitely going to make more of these in other colors.

Linking up to



  1. These are really cute! I especially like the flower on the scarf.

  2. Very Cute. I’ve “rescued” clothes from going to goodwill before too! Never know what project you’re gonna need them later!

  3. Wowie!!! Those came out awesome! Thanks for linking my tute ;)

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