A Reuse Recipe for T-Shirt Jewellery

Thanks for choosing to reuse your old t-shirts!

Most of our recommended construction techniques won't require sewing. However, if you'd like to have a clean finish to your jewellery and accessories, then a needle and thread will come in handy.


Binding is a handy technique to taper off chunky pieces, join loose ends together or add a block colour accent to your jewellery. Technique-wise it is very easy to master - it's quite like wrapping a bandage on a limb. The tighter you bind the yarn, the stronger it will be. The tighter you knot it off at the end, the longer it will stay in place. Binding is a good example of where a quick stitch will neaten off the finishing to your piece.


As t-shirt fabric is typically stretchy, the best plait is a tight plait. Another point to note is that the more colours you'd like to add, the thicker the plait will be.


There are a number of basic knots you can do for macrame jewellery. We’ll be showing you the square knot. In our online workshop, we used only 2 pieces of t-shirt yarn to create the macrame key ring, which was created using the square knot technique:

Thread 1 was tied off with a lark's head to the key ring base.

Thread 2 was looped around the back to represent to two outside threads (green & blue lines from the square knot diagram)

For one colour, both outside threads should be the same colour

For two colours, the outside threads should be different colours. The two middle threads will slowly be covered in a square knot pattern.

(Images from https://www.thepapercraftpantry.com/blog/tag/macrame)


Up-cycled t-shirt tassels can be turned into earrings, a pendant for an existing piece of jewellery, or embellishment to your accessories.

To make your tassel:

  • Cut shorter strips of yarn approx. 5-10cm

  • Fold the strands in half

  • At the fold point, take another strand (ideally in the same colour) at tie the bundle at the fold.

  • To form the 'key hole' at the head of the tassel, take another strand (again, in the same colour) and tie it at the base of the 'key hole'.

  • To make a continuous thread of yarn:

  1. Open up shirt at the side, which now looks a bit like a paper lantern

  2. Start the yarn by cutting the first row diagonally across to the raw hem.

  • Move the cut line from opposite row to opposite row so that one continuous strip is created.

  • Once your shirt is cut into a continuous length, pull the strip, grabbing in foot-long lengths, so that it curls on itself.

Your t-shirt yarn is complete!

We recommend watching this short step-by-step tutorial by needlepointers.com on DIY t-shirt yarn - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqyhNDSXEfg