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How to Make Fabric Flowers From Old T-Shirts

Flowers made from an old red t-shirt.

Flowers made from an old red t-shirt.

For a while now I've been making these pretty fabric flowers out of old t-shirts. They are super easy, so I couldn't resist sharing here. If you have an old shirt or any old piece of clothing that you don't mind cutting up (even jeans or old pair of slacks), give it a try. I bet you will love it! You don't have to have a special creative talent to make these—anyone can do it. They are very simple to create!

Once you have the shirt or piece of fabric cut into strips, there are basically just 3 steps and that's it. What I love the most is how versatile they are. You can use them to make lots of pretty things. Here are a few ideas:

  • Make them into hair accessories like clips, headbands, barrettes, etc.
  • Make a brooch to accessorize hats, scarves, sweaters
  • Embellish another t-shirt with them by hand sewing them to the shirt
  • Use them to embellish a tote bag or purse
  • Cover a wreath, make garland, embellish other home décor pieces and lots more!
make-gorgeous-fabric-flowers-from-old-t-shirts

Materials Needed:

  • Old t-shirt or other piece of old clothing or scrap fabric
  • Scissors
  • Needle and thread
  • Glue gun
  • Circle cut from the same fabric or felt


make-gorgeous-fabric-flowers-from-old-t-shirts

Plug in your glue gun and let it start heating up.

Cut a strip out of the t-shirt. I usually lay the shirt out nice and straight and starting at the bottom of the shirt, I cut the strip. Sometimes I cut right above the bottom seam and sometimes I include it in the strip and use it to make the flower. If you prefer not to use the seam, cut right above the seam and discard it, then cut your strip.

I usually cut it about 1.5 to 2 inches wide and try to use the whole girth of the shirt, cutting off one of the side seams to create one long strip. This creates a little bit fuller and larger finished flower. The width and length of the strip depends on what the finished flower looks like. You can experiment to find the look that you like. After you have cut the strip, make sure to smooth out any jagged edges.. at least on one edge of the strip.

old shirt

old shirt

bottom of shirt

bottom of shirt

cut strip and be sure to even out any jagged edges- at least on one edge of the strip

cut strip and be sure to even out any jagged edges- at least on one edge of the strip

make-gorgeous-fabric-flowers-from-old-t-shirts

Thread your needle with a good bit of thread and take the t-shirt strip and make a running stitch all along one of the edges, staying as close to the edge as you can, gathering a bit as you go. Once you are at the end, cut your thread and knot it with a good, thick knot. I usually knot it where I give myself a little bit of room to lengthen the ruffle if I need to. You can always go back and tie a new knot for a shorter ruffle if you need to. Gather your ruffle as tight or as loose as you want. Once you have it ruffled they way you like, it's time to roll it.

stitch the length of the strip

stitch the length of the strip

stitched and knotted- evenly ruffled

stitched and knotted- evenly ruffled

make-gorgeous-fabric-flowers-from-old-t-shirts

Starting at one end of your ruffled strip, start rolling it up. Keep rolling, keeping the stitched bottom as level as you can. When you get to the end, it should be all rolled together evenly as possible, sort of like a cinnamon roll. You can roll it tight or roll it kind of loose... each way will produce a different look.

start rolling the ruffled strip- one end toward the other- just like a cinnamon roll

start rolling the ruffled strip- one end toward the other- just like a cinnamon roll

all rolled up- back side of flower

all rolled up- back side of flower

make-gorgeous-fabric-flowers-from-old-t-shirts

Once your flower is all rolled up, glue it onto a circle cut from the same fabric or a piece of felt. I prefer to swirl hot glue around on the back of the flower, just to make sure the whole area is covered and stick the circle on... but you can put the glue on the circle and stick the flower on if you want- as long as it's completely attached, that's all that matters.... and that's it!! Turn it over, fluff it up and look at the pretty flower you just made!

Glue a pin on the back, glue it to a headband, make a wreath, etc. There are so many different things you can do :) Also, if you want to make one or a few of these to embellish another t-shirt with, you could use a needle and thread to sew the rolled flower together (by sewing as you roll) and then attach it to the shirt with the remaining thread. That way you can run it through the washer with no problem.

glue the circle to the backside of the flower

glue the circle to the backside of the flower

Finished! Just FYI- This one is large- measuring almost 5" across... the strip I used was a little over 1.5 inches wide.

Finished! Just FYI- This one is large- measuring almost 5" across... the strip I used was a little over 1.5 inches wide.

make-gorgeous-fabric-flowers-from-old-t-shirts

Create Different Looks of Fabric Flowers

You can change the look of the flowers by shaping one edge of the strip before you make your stitch. For example, if you do it with just the plain strip, it will come out looking similar to a carnation. If you cut scallops along the edge of a strip, the finished flower will look more like a rose.

Here are some illustrations:

Examples of edges to make different looks of fabric flowers

Examples of edges to make different looks of fabric flowers

make-gorgeous-fabric-flowers-from-old-t-shirts

You can make these flowers out of lots of materials and fabrics! Not just old clothes.. here are a few more things you can use make into these gorgeous flowers:

  • old curtains
  • old shower curtains
  • scrap upholstery fabrics
  • fabric remnants
  • old sheets and pillow cases
  • old blankets
  • old towels, wash clothes, hand towels
  • old tablecloths
  • old Halloween costumes, old wedding dresses, etc.
make-gorgeous-fabric-flowers-from-old-t-shirts

In addition to fabrics, you can use this tutorial to make flowers out of other materials as well. Here are a few examples of other materials you could use:

  • crepe paper
  • garbage bags
  • grocery bags
  • plastic tablecloths
  • old plastic tarps, plastic coverings etc..

A strip of anything that will hold a stitch will work!

Thank you for dropping by to learn how to make pretty fabric flowers from old t-shirts. I hope you found the tutorial useful for you!

Have fun and happy fabric flower crafting :)

Comments

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on April 01, 2016:

breathing-Thank you for all of your wonderful comments. You are very kind.

TANJIM ARAFAT SAJIB from Bangladesh on February 11, 2016:

What a post on the effective usage of old t-shirts! Simply brilliant!! Most of us either use the old t-shirts for cleaning our households or give it away to our relatives. But the author has shown an effective use which will ultimately benefit us. Also the fabric flowers shown in the hub can be a great resource of income! Yeah, it is true. I’m quite sure that people will love these fabric flowers greatly. This is also a great way of utilizing your leisure time. In any sense, the post has launched various dimensions that we can think of in today’s monotonous life.

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on April 12, 2014:

Fabric1869- You are welcome! Thank you for dropping by.

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on April 12, 2014:

tlpoague- You are welcome.. glad you enjoyed the hub!

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on April 12, 2014:

Icenefield- Thank you so much! Glad you liked this :)

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on April 12, 2014:

ologsinquito- Thank you so much! So glad you enjoyed the hub!

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on April 12, 2014:

RTalloni- Aww... thank you so much! I really appreciate that. Sorry I've been missing for a while... have so much going on but I do plan to be back and writing some day, hopefully soon. I hope you are doing well and thank you for your kind comment!!

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on April 12, 2014:

VVanNess- Thank you so much! Glad you enjoyed the hub :)

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on April 12, 2014:

DeborahNeyens- You are welcome! So glad you liked this and thank you so much for the pin :)

Whaleys Bradford from Leeds, Bradford on February 26, 2014:

These look great. Thanks for the great instructions and pictures

Tammy from USA on February 01, 2014:

What a simple idea to do. I will have to try this out on my t-shirt necklaces I have been making. Thanks for sharing these easy steps.

lcbenefield from Georgia on February 01, 2014:

Thanks for the really cool idea. I absolutely love using old clothing to make craft projects with. I am excited to start adding these flowers to some of my creations.

ologsinquito from USA on February 01, 2014:

These are really pretty and a good way to reuse old fabric. I'm pinning this to my Things You Really Need to Know board.

RTalloni on February 01, 2014:

Am back for two reasons:

1) Am on Pinterest now and pinning this to my Sew and No Sew: Handbags/... board.

2) Am today working on repurposing fabrics for projects and your DIY ideas posted here are still some of the best I've seen all in one post, with photos that make me want to do more making… :)

Victoria Van Ness from Fountain, CO on February 01, 2014:

I learned how to make these when I got married and loved it! This is such a great idea, and you've explained it well!

Deborah Neyens from Iowa on February 01, 2014:

I am obsessed with making things from old t-shirts now after completing my most recent hub (about making a scarf from old t-shirts). This looks like a fun and easy project. Thanks for the idea! Pinning.

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on February 26, 2013:

Wow, Vinaya! What a super nice compliment... thank you! Creativity is my passion... I would be lost if I couldn't do my crafts. I hope all is going well for you and thank you so much for dropping by!

Vinaya Ghimire from Nepal on February 24, 2013:

Jamie,

Your DIY hubs are awesome. Though I will never be able to do what you teach, I'm sure many creative genius will benefit for your hub.

Cheers

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on February 13, 2013:

RhondaHumphreys1- You are so welcome. I'm glad you have found this hub useful... thanks so much for dropping by and for the votes up :)

Rhonda Humphreys from Michigan on February 11, 2013:

What wonderful ideas.thank you. voted up and useful

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on December 17, 2012:

That Grrl- I'm glad you enjoyed this... I am obsessed with making flowers especially ones made from old shirts and other materials. I too love that these can be made using thread and can just be thrown in the washer to be cleaned. Hope you get around to making some after all the Christmas hustle and bustle dies down.

Laura Brown from Barrie, Ontario, Canada on December 16, 2012:

I really love these. It helps that you used red, my favourite colour. This is something I want to do after Christmas winds down. I really like making something beautiful that you can also throw in the laundry to clean. Practical and pretty.

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on December 08, 2012:

stricktlydating- Thank you :) I love doing this sort of stuff.. I will never throw out an old t-shirt again. Thank you for dropping by, I'm glad you enjoyed the hub :)

StrictlyQuotes from Australia on December 08, 2012:

That's awesome, you are so crafty! What a simple way to turn a T-Shirt in to a designer piece! I can't wait to try it!

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on November 15, 2012:

teaches- It was hard to get a decent pic of the black ones..I must have done OK. Glad you like them! I know what you mean, black usually isn't the preferred color for a rose but they do look nice made with t-shirt fabrics. Thank you for stopping by!

Dianna Mendez on November 15, 2012:

The black rose looks so striking and I'm not one who usually likes that color in a rose! This a great way to recyle old T's and it will make very nice updates to any sweater or blouse.

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on November 13, 2012:

rebeccamealey- Oh yes, I bet they would too! Glad you found this useful :)

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on November 13, 2012:

LauraD093- Thank you for dropping by.. I'm glad you like the flowers :) Do give these a try... these are so easy, I just know they will turn out fabulous for you! Thank you for the votes up :)

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on November 13, 2012:

Rose Writes- I'm glad you will be giving these a try... you will be surprised just how easy they are! Thanks so much for dropping by :)

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on November 13, 2012:

ElleBee- Thank you, I hope you do! They are so easy and fun. Thanks for dropping by!

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on November 13, 2012:

Crystal T- Thank you... I'm glad you enjoyed it! Also, thank you bunches for the votes up and for sharing :)

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on November 13, 2012:

livingsta- You are welcome..glad you enjoyed it and thank you so very much for the votes up :)

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on November 13, 2012:

This is so neat! We have plenty of old Tshirts and stuff around. The kids will love this!

Laura Tykarski from Pittsburgh PA on November 12, 2012:

I love this I am not really a "crafty-type of person," at least in the Martha Stewart sense but this I am going to try...the results are lovely and what a cool way to recycle. Thanks noted up and interesting.

Audrey Surma from Virginia on November 12, 2012:

These are really cool! You make it appear so easy. I will definitely be trying this out.

ElleBee on November 12, 2012:

these are so cute! I'll have to try them out when i get back to sewing :)

Crystal Tatum from Georgia on November 12, 2012:

Wow - what a creative and fun idea! And the flowers look beautiful. Voting this one up and sharing!

livingsta from United Kingdom on November 12, 2012:

Thank you Jamie! Another interesting and useful hub!

Voted up and interesting!!!

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on November 12, 2012:

Glimmer Twin Fan- Thank you for the votes up and for pinning!! I'm so glad you enjoyed the hub :)

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on November 12, 2012:

Suzie HQ- Wow, thank you so much for the super nice comment!! I love that this hub has inspired you... definitely give these a try.. they are so much fun but beware- you may become hooked! I have a couple plastic bags full right now LOL.. and I'm raring to make more! Thank you so very much for the votes up, for sharing and for the pin. I really do appreciate that!

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on November 12, 2012:

alissaroberts- Wow.. thank you bunches for the votes up and pin :) I'm so glad you found this useful!

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on November 12, 2012:

Nell- Thank you :) I did put a little extra time in on this one..glad you enjoyed it! Also, thank you bunches for the vote up!

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on November 12, 2012:

lemonkerdz- You are welcome.. I am glad you enjoyed it :) Funny you mentioned the winter hat, I am actually planning on purchasing a few winter hats and pinning flowers on them to give away as Christmas gifts this year!

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on November 12, 2012:

ChitrangadaSharan- Wow.. thank you for the vote up and for pinning... so glad you enjoyed the hub!

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on November 12, 2012:

Rose- Thank you :) It is so much fun... I have a couple large bags full of these flowers now LOL! Thank you for the compliment on the photos... Most the time the lightening isn't sufficient and I can't really tweak them enough with photo editing software. Adding some fluorescent lighting and taking them on a white background helped tremendously. Thank you bunches for dropping by!

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on November 12, 2012:

pstraubie48- You are welcome.. and thank you for the pin :) I love the flower embellished t-shirts that are so popular now... I have always wanted to buy 2 of the same shirt and make flowers from one to attach to the other... I may do it yet! Thank you bunches for dropping by!

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on November 12, 2012:

HoneyBB- You are welcome! I'm so glad you enjoyed the hub... and that maybe I've inspired you to get a glue gun :)

Claudia Mitchell on November 12, 2012:

Awesome, voted up & pinning. I love anything fabric and these are too cute! Thanks.

Suzanne Ridgeway from Dublin, Ireland on November 12, 2012:

Hi Jamie!

Another epic idea, so inventive in your usually classy way! Loved your rosette hub too and this is such a great way of using t-shirts and other fabrics that can "take a stitch" - awesome, definitely giving this a go.

Your presentation and layout is superb, so creative and engaging.

Ticked every box with me and then some -

VU across the board, shared and pinning to my crafts board!! :-)

Alissa Roberts from Normandy, TN on November 12, 2012:

Love these flowers! I have started getting into making lil girl headbands so I am definitely going to have to try this out. Thanks for the great directions - voted up, useful, and pinning!

Nell Rose from England on November 12, 2012:

Really clever, and I love the way you wrote and presented this, it looks great! voted up! nell

lemonkerdz from LIMA, PERU on November 12, 2012:

Thanks for the hub, I enjoyed it. These are great for making a plain winter hats look really cool! cheers.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on November 12, 2012:

That's so creative and useful. Very well explained and illustrated. I am definitely going to try it. Thanks for sharing. Voted up and pinning.

Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on November 11, 2012:

Great photos here! This is such a fun project, and there are so many possibilities for these little flowers.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on November 11, 2012:

O these are very clever. These cloth flowers are showing up on shirts all over so we could create our own now thanks to this hub. You have shown great steps through the photos and filled in the blanks through your explanation. thanks for this excellent hub. Pinned

H Lax on November 11, 2012:

Those are awesome flowers...I might have to go get me a glue gun! Thanks for sharing!

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on November 11, 2012:

kashmir56- Thank you kindly :) As always.. I appreciate you stopping by!

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on November 11, 2012:

holyjeans30- Don't feel bad...I do the same! If I see something I love, I'll pin it... just in case :) Thanks for dropping by.. glad you enjoyed the hub :)

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on November 11, 2012:

eHealer- You are welcome! Thank you so much for sharing this with your nieces :)

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on November 11, 2012:

Helena Ricketts- You are welcome... glad you enjoyed the hub :) Thanks for dropping by!

Thomas Silvia from Massachusetts on November 11, 2012:

Great hub and idea to make these flowers and very well explained step by step ! Well done !

Vote up and more !!!

Amy D. from Mostly in My Own Little World on November 11, 2012:

These are so cute. I love looking at ways to reuse clothing items....I confess that I Pin more than I actually attempt lol. Great tutorial and love the section dividers.

Deborah from Las Vegas on November 11, 2012:

Jamie, you are a genius! This is a great idea and I am sending it to my nieces immediately. Thanks!

Helena Ricketts from Indiana on November 10, 2012:

What a fantastic idea! I love recycling things so this is right up my alley. I'll have to try it, thanks for posting this.

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on November 10, 2012:

My2GreenBeans- Wow, thank you! It's funny you mentioned the thrift store.. After I had used up all my old t-shirts, I was tempted to go to the thrift store to buy a few more just for this project!

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on November 10, 2012:

K9keystrokes- I am so happy to hear this hub as inspired you! They really are super easy to do. Have fun making your t-shirt flowers! Thank you for dropping by.. hugs :)

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on November 10, 2012:

Diana Lee- Thank you for the vote up :) I agree.. so much better than ripping them up to use for rags!

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on November 10, 2012:

FreezeFrame34- Thank you, glad you enjoyed the hub :)

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on November 10, 2012:

Cathy Fidelibus- How kind of you to say, thank you.. and thanks for stopping by :)

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on November 10, 2012:

RTalloni- I am so happy to hear that you have found this useful and it has given you an idea....I love doing these flowers because they are SO easy. In fact, I'm hooked! I have been making them ever since :)

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on November 10, 2012:

carol- Aww.. thanks :) Recycled type crafts are my favorite ones to do. Thank you so much for the vote up and for sharing!!

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on November 10, 2012:

donnah75- Thank you! I'm glad you found this useful.. and thank you for the vote up!

Jamie Brock (author) from Texas on November 10, 2012:

Peggy- I am glad you enjoyed the hub! Your husbands old undershirts will make some very pretty flowers for sure. I love the idea of dying them different colors too.. If you are into the "vintage" look, you could die them using tea bags and water. Thank you so much for dropping by and also for the vote up and for sharing :)

My2GreenBeans from Tennessee on November 10, 2012:

What! This is seriously awesome thanks! Also a good way to use up small scraps of fabric from sewing projects! Or that you find in the thrift store... avid thrift store hunter that I am!

India Arnold from Northern, California on November 10, 2012:

Crazy cool project! They turn out so pretty, and your instructions are brilliantly explained and pictured. I can't wait to give this a go.

HubHugs~

Diana L Pierce from Potter County, Pa. on November 10, 2012:

Reclaim old t-shirts and make something pretty from them, what a good idea. It sure beats using them for a cleaning rag. Voted up.

FreezeFrame34 from Charleston SC on November 10, 2012:

Interesting concept-I would never have thought of that! Great descriptions and pictures to go with it!

Ms. Immortal from NJ on November 10, 2012:

Great idea, very pretty and imaginative.

RTalloni on November 10, 2012:

A super flower making tutorial! Thanks bunches and bunches for I am looking forward to using these techniques to make embellishments. If what I am thinking about works I'll try to let you know. :)

carol stanley from Arizona on November 10, 2012:

You are so imaginative and creative. What a fun idea. I love when you can recycle something that you may have thrown out into something really beautiful..Great Hub..Voting up and sharing.

Donna Hilbrandt from Upstate New York on November 10, 2012:

What a great idea. The step by step photos are really helpful. Voted up!

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on November 10, 2012:

Hi Jamie,

What a clever idea to turn old clothing into something so decorative. I was thinking of my husband's old cotton undershirts. They could be dyed any color desired prior to using in such a manner. Will be passing this idea on to others I know who do a lot of sewing for charity purposes. They just might want to add this to what they are already doing. Up votes and sharing!

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