Library Blog

Upcycled T-shirt Craft

Spread the love

Hello, crafty teens!  Do you have that one t-shirt that you just love, but it’s starting to fall apart?  Maybe it has some holes or stains that make in random spots leaving the picture on the shirt intact.  Don’t worry…we can reuse that t-shirt to make a fun bit of décor!  We’re going to frame a t-shirt to become wall art! 

Here’s what you need: 

  • an old t-shirt 
  • picture frame 
  • scissors 
  • stapler, glue or other way to secure the shirt 
  • cardboard 
  • marker or pencil 

Step 1: 
Cut the cardboard to fit snugly inside the frame.  Use the backing of the frame to trace the size, then cut it out.  Make sure you take a minute to check if the piece of cardboard fits inside the frame.  I ended up making a little adjustment to mine, and you don’t want to find out too late that it doesn’t fit. 

Step 2:  
Using the cardboard piece, figure out where you want to cut on the t-shirt.  You can use a marker or pencil to trace the outline of the cardboard.  Make sure you cut at least an inch outside the line, though.  This will allow you to wrap the shirt around the cardboard snug enough so there are no wrinkles.  (Just like with clean laundry, wrinkles won’t look as nice with this project.) To make this step easier, I cut the shirt in half along the side seams and then traced the cardboard on the wrong side of the shirt. 

Step 3:  
Place the cardboard to line up on the square you drew on the wrong side.  (The picture should be facing down.)  Glue or staple the excess material to the cardboard.  Be careful around the corners.  You will either need to cut them or fold them to make them tight. If you’re using a stapler, make sure you check where to staple so it doesn’t show when framed. 


Step 4:  Put the frame together!  You can choose the leave the glass in or leave it out.  I’ve done it both ways over the years, and I prefer the glass.  It’s easier to clean that way and it protects the shirt.  Don’t forget to clean up all the scraps, too! 

Note that my cat is only a fan of dogs when it means he gets extra treats. 

Happy Crafting!


Sarah is a youth services librarian in Canfield. She pretty much only reads YA books, but she is easily distracted by a good picture book or anything Doctor Who related. Sarah loves to crochet and knit and can usually be found with a pile of yarn in her lap with one of her three dogs nearby. Originally from Texas, she still says “y’all” all the time and refuses to call carbonated beverages “pop.”