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KIWI magazine

tshirt crafts

Celebratory T-shirts spring up at every childhood milestone—summer camp, third-grade graduation, soccer tournaments. What to do with them, though, once they don’t fit anymore? Give ’em away? Absolutely not! The solution is simple: turn them into a keepsake quilt!


  • 6-12 T-shirts (depending on whether they have both front and back designs)
  • 1 ½ yards fabric
  • 1 ½ yards bamboo batting
  • 2 packages (of about 170″) of double-fold quilt binding
  • Rotary cutter or scissors
  • Ruler or quilter’s 12″ x 12″ square
  • Sewing machine and thread
  • Sewing pins
  • Safety Pins


  1. Cut 12″ x 12″ panels from center of T-shirts.
  2. With the designed sides facing up, use a ¼” seam to sew panels together into 4 rows of 3 panels each. Sew rows together, edge to edge, to create quilt front.
  3. Cut prewashed fabric and bamboo batting about 2″-3″ larger than quilt front.
  4. On a large surface (the floor works fine), layer the fabric (with designed side down), batting, and quilt front (with design side up).
  5. Attach layers together with safety pins, every 6″ or so.
  6. Leaving the outer edges unseen, topstitch along the inside lines created by the columns and rows of T-shirt panels (there should be 2 column seams and 3 row seams).
  7. Using a rotary cutter and straight edge (recommended) or scissors, trim the edges so they’re even.
  8. Take the quilt binding from both packages and sew them together, end to end, so you have one long, continuous strip.
  9. Starting at the center of one side of the quilt, unfold one side of binding. With wrong sides facing, pin the binding (raw edge to raw edge) around the perimeter of the quilt, folding it at the corners so they’re mitered. Overlap beginning and end pieces. With a machine, sew on binding.
  10. After you’ve sewn the binding onto the front of the quilt, fold it over the edge to the back of quilt and pin. Using the whipstitch, hand-sew the other edge of binding to the back of the quilt.

Want even more cool, fun things to do?

Check out our KIWI Fun Pages section for printable mazes, coloring sheets, and more.
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