May 29, 2010

DIY recycled t shirt braided neckpiece tutorial

This tutorial will teach you how to make your very own homemade recycled t shirt braided neckpiece!

For this project, I used XL t-shirts I got from a local thrift store but you can also use store bought jersey fabric as well. Let's get started!!


- Cotton fabric OR two XL used seamless t-shirts (no need to buy new)
- Fabric scissors

That's it! WOW!


Go to your local thrift store to find mens or ladies XL cotton t-shirts. I say XL because the width of the t-shirt will determine how long your neckpiece will be and the length will determine the thickness. As inspired by pixie market's braided neckpiece I chose black and white as my color palette but you can choose any color combination you crafty heart desires!
Also, avoid using t-shirts with seams sewn on the sides as they will look unsightly when braided. No no no to seams.


If you are using a t-shirt first you need to WASH it....who knows where it's been or who's been doing jumping jacks in it. Yucky. Next you want to lay it flat and cut out the body of the shirt by cutting off the hem on the bottom as well as the top portion of the shirt by cutting right under the armpit.

Ok here we go! weeeee!

Cut 1/2 - 1 inch strips along the width of the fabric creating loops. I cut out the strips do not need to be exact, but try to make sure that the strips are about the same size. If the edges are jagged it's ok...they will be rolled up anyways.

You will end up with something like this:

Once all the strips have been cut out, gently tug along the length of the strips to curl the edges under. Make sure to stretch each loop out evenly, otherwise you can end up with some longer than others.

If you used a t-shirt for this project, cut through one end of fabric so you have long strands of cotton instead of circular loops. Leave two or three strands aside, as you will be using it to secure the braid later on.

Next you need to divide your strands into groups of three to prepare for the braiding. Make sure to have both white-white-black and black-black-white to give your neckpiece more dimension.

You will need to find something to anchor one end of the fabric to keep the strands in place while you braid. The only thing I could think of using was one of the table legs from my coffee table! haha. It worked really well! Leave a small amount of fabric at the top to be unbraided as this will be used to tie the two ends of the braid together. I will now leave you to your search of something to anchor your scarf. Good Luck!

Now it's braiding time!!! Yahoo!! I believe that most of you know how to preform a simple braid, but just in case you don' this video here. Braid down the length of the fabric again leaving some of fabric unbraided at the bottom. Make sure you braid a small section at a time as the strands below the braid get tangled fairly quickly. Brush through them every so often to prevent this from happening.

You'll end up with something like this: Here's what black-black-white and white-white-black looks like when braided, looking good eh?

Once the braid is complete, gently remove it from whatever you used to anchor it and tie the two ends of the braid together with a double knot.

One down!! Keep up the great work!!

Repeat the above steps for the remainder of the stands. NOTE: As seen in the final neckpiece the length of the braids are varied, some shorter than others. To achieve this, simply leave more of the fabric unbraided at the top and bottom. You'll have to eyeball the braids to make sure you have an even distribution of lengths.

1 braid, 2 braids, 3 braids.........about 12 braids later your neckpiece is finally started to take shape! Aw, hi friend, you're looking swell :)

Trim off the excess fabric around the knots so you're left with enough to make sure your knots don't come apart. This step could be optional if you like the look of some strands hanging loose.

Almost there! You can do it! Now gather all your braids together at the knots. Spread the knots out a bit so it won't be too thick to cover up. Using the strands you set aside in the beginning, wrap them around the all the braids near the knots once and secure with a double knot. With the remaining fabric, gently wrap it around the knots until they are completely covered up....again secure with a knot and tuck in the ends.

Yipee! You're finished! Enjoy your new homemade recycled t shirt braided neckpiece!

Aw, I like.

Comment below if you have any questions, thanks for reading :)


  1. fab blog! x


  2. So easy to do yet I would never think of that great looks!

  3. hey connie! love your blog take a look to my myspace if you have the chance, cheers from colombia :)

  4. Wow, this is such a simple project and looks brillliant x

  5. I love this tutorial! I've been wanting to try something like this!

  6. I just made one and adore it--thank you!!

  7. I'm glad you like it!!! It's so fun to wear :)

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. great blog, greetings from Lithuania ;)
    i think i will use this tutorial

  10. Connie you are a fabric genius. I found this blog through another blog last night and I must say I am definitely addicted. I make similar necklaces to this but mine are collage necklaces from different types of fabric. You have given me a much cleaner, neater looking way to cover up the backclosure though!!!!

    Thanks a million!!!!

  11. The most dramatic improvement you can make in your style is to,make sure everything fits. Most guys wear clothes that are too large. Make sure everything you wear is almost hugging the curves of your body
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  12. Wow, this looks awesome! i definitely want to do it myself :) just a question: doesn't it get too heavy on your neck?

    i loved your blog <3

  13. love your blog take a look to my myspace if you have the chance, cheers from colombia :)

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  14. YOU are a genius ! I have been looking into upcycling t-shirts and your necklace idea is the exact unique-ness I have been looking for! I will be trying this! I am now following =) feel free to check out my blog.

    xoxo - Katie

  15. Wow! Thanks an amazing necklace you have made.
    T-Shirts can be re-used very effectively.

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