T-Shirt Necklace Tutorial: 5 Variations

The gals from Everyday Art are here to share their awesome T-shirt Necklace tutorial! They show you how to do 5 different variations of the t-shirt necklace. Enjoy! -Linda

Hello fellow Craftaholics!

It’s Jaime and Emily again over from Everyday Art. A few months ago we shared our rag rug with you fellow Craftaholics and today we have another fun project to share with you.

T-Shirt Necklace: 5 Ways

t-shirt necklace

Clearly, I couldn’t stop with just making one! In fact, I had a rather difficult time stopping after 5. :) These tee-shirt necklaces are super fun to make.

They were very easy, kind of a fun no-brainer craft, and yet they were also engaging and allowed for endless amounts of creativity. I had fun whipping out my old beads and rummaging through them, thinking of things I could do. I had been saving both my kids’ old tee-shirts and my old tee-shirts and had lots of crafts in mind, but I’m glad I finally settled on these (for some of the old tees…there are still a lot saved up for other fun crafts).

I’ve worn them a few times now and received a number of complements on them. I think they are the perfect look for summer–kind of funky and fun, casual yet capable of jazzing up an outfit lickity-split.

Have any old shirts laying around? If so, you should make yourself a necklace! (or in my case, five necklaces).

Here’s a visual step-by-step for how to make your own tee-shirt necklace by using one of my daughters stained knit turtlenecks (which, by the way, I found that children’s knit shirts were a better size to use than adult shirts–I prefer the length of necklace they produce):

how to make a t-shirt necklace

How to Make T-shirt necklaces:

1) First, cut off the bottom hem and the top of the shirt just under the armpits, leaving just the tubal part in the middle.

2) Cut about 3/4-inch strips from one side of the shirt to the other. You can cut them completely through or leave them connected at one end as shown in the image. I did it both ways; both work perfectly well.

3) Stretch the fabric as shown in the image.

4) Embellish as desired! You can add beads, tie knots, cut some and braid them together, wrap scrap tee-shirt fabric around to make fabric “beads.” The possibilities are endless.

One “problem” I came across was the seams that are present on the sides of the shirt body. They don’t stretch and curl nicely like the rest of the fabric and just plain look bad. It was a little tricky at times to hide these seems, but mostly what I did was to take scrap tee-shirt fabric and wrap it around the area with the seam. It worked well to hide the seem and it looks kind of cool. :) To secure the fabric, I used fabric glue or a good all-purpose glue.

Here are the necklaces I made:

diy t-shirt necklaces

1. For this necklace, you can see where I hid the seems by using fabric wrapped around the strands (on either side of my neck). Before wrapping the seams up in the fabric though, I cut 3 strips and braided them together. I secured the free end of the braid to the seam-area of the other fabric loops with some glue and then wrapped the whole area with a piece of scrap tee-shirt fabric.

I also made a matching bracelet by using the sleeve of the shirt in the same way I did the body.

t-shirt necklace tutorial

2. This necklace is one of my favorites. For this one, I used a shirt where the knit is going in the opposite direction (non-standard direction). When you cut it, it doesn’t stretch so you get these wider strips that were kind of ruffly. I added some old recycled-glass beads to it.

diy t-shirt necklace

3. This necklace was kind of fun too. You can see near the bottom where I wrapped the seams up with the scrap fabric. This time though I added these brushed-gold metal loops to the side for some variety.

t-shirt necklace tutorial

4. For this necklace, I tied lots of knots into each loop of fabric then tied them all together at the top. I purposely left this necklace extra long so you could wear it long or wrap it around your neck twice for a different look.

diy t-shirt necklace

5. And, last but not least, the red necklace. Also one of my favorites. For this one I tied three different braids, each a different length. Then, with the rest of the strips of fabric I made them all different lengths to create kind of a cascading effect. It seemed too plain still, so several times along the length of the necklace I wrapped (and used glue to secure) a piece of tee-shirt fabric around it to make a fabric “bead” or lump or whatever you want to call it. Either way, I like it. :)

And there you have it! A really fun craft to do that results in something fun to wear.

Thanks for having us, Linda!

Lots of love from the gals at Everyday Art,
Jamie & Emily

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  1. 1

    very cool use of old tshirts. thanks for sharing .

  2. 3

    if you use men’s T-shirts, they do not have seams on the sides. Check it out!

  3. 4

    Email comment: I’ve made many of these necklaces- I noticed in your tutorial- you mentioned having to cover up the seams of the t-shirt strips. I always use 100% cotton t-shirts that have no seams. This will eliminate the need to wrap the seams. Also- I tried one t-shirt w/seam- and found when I stretched the strips- sometimes they ripped where the seam was- this eliminates that problem as well- Just a tip I thought you might like. See some of my necklaces I’ve made- love your site!!!

  4. 5

    I seen these T shirt necklace in stores. tried myself to make them but you gave me alot of help. i will go on this Craftaholics Anonymous alot. sure glad i found it. Thanks a bunch

    1. 5.1

      Thanks for stopping by, Rosanne!

  5. 6

    Can you explain how you add the beads?