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Ask Rain: What Do I Do with these Old T-Shirts?

Turn Old T-Shirts into a Quilt


what to do with old t-shirts

Jan Rodgerson models the perfect t-shirt clinging husband attitude.

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Dear Rain,
My husband is in love with another woman. She’s only about two feet tall, and her face is cracked and wrinkled. Her left leg appears to be permanently stained from the chili-dog eating contest last summer. I’ve talked to my family about it, but no one can make him part with the Betty Boop t-shirt we got ten years ago on vacation in Jamaica.

Or any of his other old t-shirts for that matter, most of which are from souvenir shops. He wants to preserve his vacation memories… but does he have to do it in public? What can I do with these old t-shirts that are worn, ill-fitting, and even stained? Throwing them away is out of the question. -Jamaicin' Me Crazy

A wise man once said 'I’m hanging on to this t-shirt until it crumbles off of me while I’m walking down the street.' And that’s the wise man. Your everyday run-of-the-mill man will cling to an old t-shirt like a fallen comrade in the throes of battle. Why is there a fisherman’s net round your neck? Oh, that’s your trusty Lynard Skynard concert tee. I see.

Just like male dogs pee on fire hydrants, their human counterparts also want everyone to know where they’ve been. He saw Pantera on tour; he had a cheeseburger in Key West. "Big freakin' deal" we ladies say. But guys? I can’t count the number of times that my husband has tugged on my sleeve and hissed in my ear, ‘Did you see that guy’s shirt?’ No. I was busy looking at his girlfriend’s shoes. They, unlike his old shirt, are new, cute, and remind me of candy.

So if you’re like me, and you find yourself one day as the diligent curator of a closet full of decade-old threadbare shirts, I suggest you start the following sales pitch:

‘Honey, your 2007 Bonnaroo shirt is getting sort of worn (cue the sleeve falling off). We should do something special with it so we will never forget that Flaming Lips performance we shared. Remember how we danced together?’

Note: You did not dance together, but he doesn’t know that. Believing he’s forgotten something important, he will be more than eager to listen to the following suggestion. ‘Deer in headlights’ eyeballs and profuse nodding is normal at this point.

Continue with, "Let’s take this shirt… and some of your others (this means all of them) and have a t-shirt quilt made out of them. Then we can snuggle with your favorites on the couch! I bet they would last longer, and we can enjoy them every day…"

Now you’ve successfully transitioned from an enemy of The Shirts, and positioned yourself as an advocate for the preservation of his cherished memories. Follow up by getting him into the car and whisking him off to get a nice set of fashionable V-necks.

T-shirt quilts are a great way to save those old t-shirts by compiling them into a mosaic of memories. You can send your t-shirts to a quilt making service, or make one yourself with my easy T-Shirt Quilt Tutorial.

You can also turn the old shirts into new clothes and accessories with these Ways to Recycle T-Shirts...

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