how to make a t-shirt bracelet

how to make t-shirt bracelet diy tshirt bracelet

It’s time to get your craft on! These re-purposed t-shirt bracelets are fun, quick, and pretty kid-proof! Remember the finger-knitted yarn garland from Christmas? Well, these t-shirt bracelets are made the same way.

First off, this project is totally a modified version of V and Co.’s Jersey Knit Bracelet tutorial. She is a crafting genius, and she gets all the props for this great idea. What I’m going to talk about is how I made it work with an old t-shirt – Vanessa is way more classy and actually uses jersey material strips.

1. Okay, so first go get your t-shirt and cut it down the side seams so you can lay one side flat. Obviously I didn’t bother to iron mine, so neither should you.

how to make a t-shirt bracelet

2. Next, you are going to take your rotary cutter or scissors, start at the bottom of your t-shirt and cut a long rectangle that is about 3″ wide and however long your t-shirt is. Don’t worry about being super precise. I don’t even use a straight edge to cut mine. As for length – you’ll probably be fine as long as you’re using an adult t-shirt. Mine was about 22″ in length, and that worked fine.

diy t-shirt bracelet

3. Trim off any seams. Now you have a long rectangle of fabric just waiting to become a bracelet!

tshirt bracelet

4. So this is the part where we make the rectangle into a longer strip. Vanessa talks about joining her jersey material strips by using a slip knot method, but I found that the cotton t-shirts were just too bulky for that. So I came up with this method – it’s not perfect, but it’s pretty good (and after all, this is a re-purposed project!).

Our strip is going to be about 1″ wide. Starting at the bottom, measure about an inch from the right and start cutting up the rectangle. (Again, I just eyeball this. Any notions you might have had about me being a perfectionist can be thrown out the window).

The important thing is that you stop cutting an inch from the top of your rectangle.

how to make tshirt bracelet

5. Great. Now you are going to start at the top and measure about another inch across and cut down. So it will look like this:

tshirt bracelet

6. Again, don’t cut all the way down; stop an inch from the bottom. When you are done, you will have a big zig-zag strip of fabric!

diy t-shirt bracelet finger knit

7. Now we’ll trim up the turns. I just round them out a bit. Don’t make them too thin so that they’ll break, but by rounding the corners, it blends into your bracelet a little better.

8. Okay – now we actually make the bracelet! It’s finger-knitted, so if you don’t know how to do that, check out V and Co.’s tutorial (you have to watch her video, it’s great – there’s even a bathroom break for her toddler involved), my finger-knitted yarn garland tutorial, or knock yourself out with tutorial videos on youtube. I’m not going to fully explain it here again.

I make my bracelets with the 2-finger method. You’ll see that I used 3 fingers with my yarn garland. I like the size (chunkiness) of bracelet that 2 fingers produces. If you want to use 3 or 4 fingers, I suggest making your strip longer (maybe cut a 5 or 6 inch rectangle).

finger knit tshirt braceletfinger knit diy tshirt bracelet

9. I tie mine off when it is about 6 inches long. Yeah, it only took like a minute, right? That’s why this project is sweet.

repurposed tshirt bracelet
10. Knot that puppy and you’re done!

re-purposed tshirt bracelet upcycled tshirt bracelet
Now, you may notice the places where the fabric had a corner – little pieces sticking up like this:

I think they add a little character, personally, but feel free to tuck them in a little better, or even trim them a bit so they blend in nicely.

repurposed tshirt bracelet
Yes, that is a flattering shot of my son’s leg…

These are fun stacked together, given away as gifts, and they even take a beating from grabby little hands…

As always, I suggest tailoring this project to fit you best – try cutting the strips more narrow or wide for a smaller or chunkier bracelet. Try using 3 fingers to see how it turns out. I like the look of a solid color, but it’d also be fun to try a t-shirt that has pattern on it (if one ever ends up in my recycle stash).

There you have it, a fun and free project. Won’t these be fun to wear this summer?


One thought on “how to make a t-shirt bracelet

  1. This was perfect timing! I need a how-to activity for my ESL class tomorrow, and my brother just found a bunch of camp t-shirts he wanted to get rid of. Thanks, Sara! I will have to let you know how the activity goes 🙂

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