Upcycle An Old T-Shirt To A Headband: No Sew DIY Tutorial

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While I was making dog toys out of my husband’s old, ratty, white t-shirts, I only used the body of the t-shirts. I had ALL the arms left over and had no idea what to do with them. I hate wasting anything that could one day come into good use, so I saved them. And then, I had an idea! Turns out these arms can make super easy headbands to hold hair back. Another fun way to upcycle old t-shirts!


  • Old t-shirt (really only the sleeve)
  • Scissors

How to Make T Shirt Headbands:

Cut off the very end of the sleeve of the shirt (the thick part) so you only have the single layer of cotton to work with.

Cut wide-ish strips of the sleeve parallel to the hem that you just cut off. The bigger the shirt, the bigger the arm hole, so the more fabric you have available. As you cut wider and wider strips though, the headband will become smaller in circumference once stretched.

Pull the strip tight holding each end to stretch the fabric out. It is kind of like making t-shirt yarn, just in a circle.  The fabric will roll in on itself.

It took a little bit of trial and error—but heck, I had 14 sleeves!—to come up with a good size. Once I did, though, I was able to make tons of headbands.  And yes, if you look close…you can see the grey hairs my sweet tiny dictator has given me!

I really didn’t need tons of headbands, so I put some of them to good use in other ways.  Here I use the headband as a ponytail holder.

Also, I used some of the headbands as rubber bands to organize a messy box of cords.

What other ways do you upcycle old t-shirts?