TIP Tuesday {Packaging}: Recycled Shirts into 5 Packaging Accessories!

       There is just something about using fabric when gifting.  It seems to give it a more sophisticated touch of texture and style.  But instead of always purchasing this fabric,  consider salvaging pieces from your closet that were destined for the thrift store.  Blouses, sweaters, t-shirts, any type of cloth can be up-cycled into some great packaging accessories such as homemade ribbon, garland, a fabric pom, a fabric flower, or even a little cloth gift bag.



{Fabric Ribbon} can be beautiful and dainty and depending on the texture of your up-cycled material, you can get a variety of appearance.  Before you cut your ribbon, pay attention to the type of material you are working with and determine if it will be able to be cut without fraying too much.

To cut fabric ribbon, I found it works best if you cut it in a spiral, that way you get a lot of natural length.  Start out with a square of fabric, fold it twice rounding the loose corner so that when you open it up you have a circle.  Start cutting your desired width of ribbon in a spiral around and around until the entire circle is one long ribbon.  A bonus to cutting your ribbon this way is that it will have a natural twist {especially towards the ribbon that was the center of the circle} to it which adds a fun, whimsical appearance when you use it.


{Packaging Garland} is a great accessory to simple, plain packaging.  By just knotting strips of cloth to a string, ribbon or in this case Jute, you can very easy create a fun length of garland.  Because the strips of cloth do not need to be very big, this is a great project to use up all your little pieces.   You can either wrap your garland around your package or just tie it at the top.  Using a contrasting color of string, ribbon or Jute will also give the look some depth and sophistication.


{Fabric Poms} are a great way to use up left over strips of fabric.  The sleeves of the shirts were easily salvaged for this project.  Using different textures of the shirts as well as other left over pieces, these poms were created in a monochromatic scheme.This Pom has layers of a window curtain, a woven shower curtain, cream burlap and of course the upcycled T-shirts.  The Fabric Pom - depending on the fabric you use - can be whimsical, romantic or elegant.

StyleMePretty did a BEAUTIFUL job explaining this process.  Hop on over to see the simple directions.


{Fabric Flowers} are simple and fun. Fabric that slightly frays adds some interesting detail to the edges.

DIRECTIONS:  This flower was the result of 4 strips of fabric criss-crossed in the center and then sewn together with a button in the middle.  It can easily be hot glued to the top of a box, on a bag or even sewn to a gifting cloth bag.


{Cloth Gift Bag with a cinch} is easily cut from the sleeve of a long-sleeved shirt.  This little bag is a gift all its own.  Think about using a Fabric Pom or Flower that coordinates to give your little bag some detail or let a tag tied at the top be the star of the show.   

DIRECTIONS: The advantage of using the sleeve is that one side is already sewn.  By flipping the sleeve inside-out and sewing one side, the bottom of the bag can be formed.  To add the cinch, just snip a vertical cut long enough to accommodate a length of cord to pass through for the cinch times two (it will be folded over and sewn).  Then, still leaving the sleeve inside-out, fold the top down and sew leaving a gap where the vertical snip was made.  Flip it right-side, add your cord (tie your cord to a closed safety-pin to help guide it through).  And there you have it...a simple little bag that can hold a little gift.  


These 5 simple up-cycles using a T-shirt are a great way to not only recycle, but give your packaging a creative sophistication.  The texture you add by using fabric is not only visually appealing, but also gives the package depth and elegance.

Happy Tuesday and Happy Gifting!


  1. I love the recycle idea! How clever! Adding more texture by using fabric genius!!!

    1. Well, you know...I just can't let a favorite top go. Why not savor it for as long as I can, right? =)


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