Thursday, September 27, 2012

threadbare memories


As a mother of three boys I have come across two dilemmas.  Yes, only two.  What to put on their bedroom walls that both they and I will like?  and What to do with all of those threadbare t-shirts?  You know the ones--the this is my favorite shirt so I'll just put it on the end of my bed instead of in the laundry so I can wear it again tomorrow shirts.  They're worn so much that they become a sort of uniform for an age.  Those shirts used to annoy me but now just the sight of them brings back so many memories. Kind of like seeing my old 10th grade KFC uniform and the memories that it brings back.  Ok, not like that at all. The truth is, I miss some of those little pieces of knit.   
Enter the t-shirt canvases...

I began making these when my boys were little. It takes about 5 minutes and can be an easy collage to add to as shirts are outgrown. I don't use all of their t-shirts, just the ones that spark a memory. 

Begin with a canvas and a well-loved shirt.
  
The canvas I used today is 6x6 but you can use any size.  I had to go small because this shirt is so small.

 Put the canvas inside the shirt and wrap the shirt around it. 
You have to finagle it a bit to get the graphic on the canvas evenly. 

Grab your trusty staple gun and begin stapling around the edges. 
It works best if you staple opposite sides first. 



Once you've stapled the shirt enough so that it isn't pulling, cut off the excess.


 
All done.
   

You have now become an official t-shirt canvas artist.

Here's a link to another kid-friendly diy.

40 comments:

  1. Ive been trying to figure out for 10 yrs what to do w my old college tshirts!

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    1. I'm impressed that you still have them after 10 years! You could also hang them on the wall with no spaces in between--would give it a completely different look!

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    2. Another great idea is to hang up an extra curtain rod and make a set of 'curtains' from old t-shirts. I did this with extra t-shirts with the 'old' logo when our school redesigned its logo a year or so ago. Makes a fun, bright set of curtains. Also, since I have a little girl who has those sparkly/gaudy dance recital outfits (which are about $60/each!), I make them into an extra set of 'curtains' in her room too. Cute way to display them. Love the t-shirt canvas idea...

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    3. You can also cut the square out and then sew them together to make a t-shirt memory quilt.

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  2. A good idea for souvenir t-shirts too!

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    1. Oh, yes! That would definitely be a wall full of memories!

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  3. Dang, so simple and yet so cool! Could also do with men's tshirts for "man-cave" setting. I love it!

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  4. Is there any way around the cutting? I don't think the guys would be happy with me cutting their shirts even with the coolness of this project.

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    1. Years ago I did this with an acrylic box that comes with a white insert, cut extra holes in back of white box carefully shove tshirt inside, put acrylic over picture side and hang up. Also avoid cost of frame with canvas stretched on it, just buy frame put cardboard on one side, stretch tshirt on it staple then fold shirt in back and cover back with another piece of cardboard then staple cardboard to back cut small hole in top center of cardboard to slide on nail and hang up.

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  5. I used record album frames from Target for t-shirts!! Great way to decorate a dorm room!!

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  7. Very Cool! I've been saving my kids shirts thinking when they are grown, I'll make them one of those t-shirt quilts. But I can already tell they'll have too many to use for that! I'd love to use my son's soccer shirts to decorate his room like this. Thanks so much for sharing this tutorial!

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    1. I was thinking the same thing about the quilt....except I cant sew a straight line to save my life, so this works out so much better!

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  8. where do you get the canvas at and is it expensive?? :)

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    1. Lori, any craft store like A C Moore, Michael's , Hobby lobby,etc will have the canvas on frames.Depends on the size and where you go, but usually not too expensive.

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  9. Awesome idea! Being a Diamondbacks baseball season ticket holder for the past 13 years, I have so many t-shirts but never knew what to do with them. This is easy and anyone can do it -- thanks!

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  10. Sure wish I would have seen this before I started quilting one that will probably, more than likely, never get finished.

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  11. Awesome idea for some of the favorite tshirts! Love quilt idea as well since I have 4 young adults & many, many shirts.

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  12. Or use shoe box lids!

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  13. Love this! I think it will work well for my husband's college shirts that he won't get rid of either! Boys of any age! ;)

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  14. Love this! So many Girl Scout and travel shirts would find a fabulous home like this, and much quicker than me making the quilt I want to out of them. But then there's the figuring out of where to display them. Hmmm....

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  15. Wow! Those are unique canvas shirt decorations to your kids' room. Thanks for sharing this idea to fellow homemakers. More power!

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  16. Love this idea! I will be doing this with 3423432 shirts we have lying around.

    Great idea! Thanks :)

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  17. Going to do mine in Pittsburgh Steelers, Pirates, Penguins and Pitt. Could get shirts from yard sales or 2nd hand shops. Can't wait, what a cheap way to do a sports themed basement. Thanks.

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  18. Excellent idea! I am doing this for my husbands "man cave". What do you do to keep cloths moths and other pesky insects from eating the tees?

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  19. I love this idea!! Question, these are hanging on the wall, they are bound to get dirty/collect dust/ect...do you have this problem or suggestions as to cleaning them? Ultimately they are t-shirts, but it is still art that you want to preserve.

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  20. I've been looking for a way to display all the former t-shirts from my team at the middle school where I teach...wanted to hang them from the ceiling tiles, but I guess it's a fire-code violation. This may be the solution :)

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  21. This is an interesting and so well maintained blog. Whole article is too good and well written.

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  22. I am doing this for my little boys super hero themed room! Great way to repurpose his shirts and have inexpensive wall art:)

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  23. so nice collection of T-shirts designs you have wow
    so interesting

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  25. Made a tee shirt quilt using gridded interfacing with slashing etc. used 22 shirts cut into 10'' squares. sewing from back to catch 1/4 seam... worked like a dream!

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  26. Nice post! I used this pattern to make a bathing suit cover-up for my daughter. I did not cut down the middle of the front. Instead of a vest it is a dress. The way it gathers in the back allows for a little flair at the bottom. Super easy and super cute.

    Vintage Rock T Shirts

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  27. I think I saw a lot of unused jersey shirts in my brothers room. Anyway, thanks for giving me this wonderful idea in your post. I am sure can put it in practice.

    Cheap Canvas Prints

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  28. Hi hope you doing great. This is an amazing post for me. I have lot's of t-shirts in spare because of small size and am big now. This is very creative. I will try this.
    wholesale Blank T-shirts

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  29. Hi, I'm so happy with your blog site, it contains all the matter which i was searching for. It looks like you spend a large amount of time and effort in writing the blog. I am appreciating your effort.You have a very nice collection. Design of t-shirt also impressive. There are many websites who famous for graphic t shirts online.
    Thanks for sharing such a nice blog..

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  30. That is a great idea! Since kids tend to outgrow their old clothes and jerseys pretty fast, it seems a waste to just leave them at storage, especially the ones that are vintage and really popular prints. And it's certainly not a good idea to throw them away! At least by turning them to canvass, you can convert them into additional displays for their room, or even in rec rooms. Cheers!

    Jennine Stalder @ Uniform Express

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  31. Great Design! forest and lakes offers free blank t shirts for fashion designer to DIY or Screen Printing! If intested, please contact with nina@forestandlakes.com

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