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How to make Fabric Flowers from Old T-shirts

Updated on November 10, 2012
Flowers made from an old red t-shirt.
Flowers made from an old red t-shirt. | Source

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- clips, headbands, barrettes, etc.
  • Make a brooch- accessorize hats, scarves, sweaters
  • Embellish another t-shirt with them- hand sew them to the shirt
  • Use them to embellish a tote bag or purse
  • Cover a wreath, make garland, embellish other home d├ęcor pieces and lots more!


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


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 | Source
bottom of shirt
bottom of shirt | Source
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 | Source

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 | Source
stitched and knotted- evenly ruffled
stitched and knotted- evenly ruffled

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 | Source
all rolled up- back side of flower
all rolled up- back side of flower | Source

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 | Source
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.

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 | Source

More t-shirt flower photos:

Blue flowers made from an old t-shirt
Blue flowers made from an old t-shirt | Source
Made from an old corn blue colored t-shirt
Made from an old corn blue colored t-shirt | Source
Black flowers made from 2 different black t-shirts
Black flowers made from 2 different black t-shirts | Source
red t-shirt flowers
red t-shirt flowers | Source
another red t-shirt made into flowers
another red t-shirt made into flowers | Source

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.

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 :)

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    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      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!

    • donnah75 profile image

      Donna Hilbrandt 4 years ago from Upstate New York

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

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      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.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

      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. :)

    • Cathy Fidelibus profile image

      Ms. Immortal 4 years ago from NJ

      Great idea, very pretty and imaginative.

    • FreezeFrame34 profile image

      FreezeFrame34 4 years ago from Charleston SC

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

    • Diana Lee profile image

      Diana L Pierce 4 years ago from Potter County, Pa.

      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.

    • K9keystrokes profile image

      India Arnold 4 years ago from Northern, California

      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~

    • My2GreenBeans profile image

      My2GreenBeans 4 years ago from Tennessee

      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!

    • Jamie Brock profile image
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      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      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 :)

    • Jamie Brock profile image
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      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

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

    • Jamie Brock profile image
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      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      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 profile image
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      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      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 profile image
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      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

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

    • Jamie Brock profile image
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      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

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

    • Jamie Brock profile image
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      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

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

    • Jamie Brock profile image
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      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      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 profile image
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      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      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!

    • Helena Ricketts profile image

      Helena Ricketts 4 years ago from Indiana

      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.

    • eHealer profile image

      Deborah 4 years ago from Las Vegas

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

    • holyjeans30 profile image

      Amy D. 4 years ago from Mostly in My Own Little World

      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.

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 4 years ago from Massachusetts

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

      Vote up and more !!!

    • Jamie Brock profile image
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      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

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

    • Jamie Brock profile image
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      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

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

    • Jamie Brock profile image
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      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      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 profile image
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      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

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

    • HoneyBB profile image

      Honey Halley 4 years ago from Illinois

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

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      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

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 4 years ago from New Delhi, India

      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.

    • lemonkerdz profile image

      lemonkerdz 4 years ago from TRUJILLO, PERU

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

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

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

    • alissaroberts profile image

      Alissa Roberts 4 years ago from Normandy, TN

      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!

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      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!! :-)

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

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

    • Jamie Brock profile image
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      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

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

    • Jamie Brock profile image
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      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      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 profile image
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      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      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 profile image
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      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

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

    • Jamie Brock profile image
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      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      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 profile image
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      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      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 profile image
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      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

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

    • Jamie Brock profile image
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      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      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 profile image
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      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

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

    • livingsta profile image

      livingsta 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thank you Jamie! Another interesting and useful hub!

      Voted up and interesting!!!

    • Crystal Tatum profile image

      Crystal Tatum 4 years ago from Georgia

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

    • profile image

      ElleBee 4 years ago

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

    • Rosie writes profile image

      Rosie writes 4 years ago from Virginia

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

    • LauraD093 profile image

      Laura Tykarski 4 years ago from Pittsburgh PA

      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.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

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

    • Jamie Brock profile image
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      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

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

    • Jamie Brock profile image
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      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

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

    • Jamie Brock profile image
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      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

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

    • Jamie Brock profile image
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      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      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 profile image
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      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      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 profile image
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      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

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

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      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 profile image
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      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      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!

    • stricktlydating profile image

      StricktlyDating 4 years ago from Australia

      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 profile image
      Author

      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      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 :)

    • That Grrl profile image

      Laura Brown 4 years ago from Barrie, Ontario, Canada

      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 profile image
      Author

      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      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.

    • RhondaHumphreys1 profile image

      Rhonda Humphreys 4 years ago from Michigan

      What wonderful ideas.thank you. voted up and useful

    • Jamie Brock profile image
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      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      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 :)

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

      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 profile image
      Author

      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      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!

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 3 years ago from Iowa

      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.

    • VVanNess profile image

      Victoria Van Ness 3 years ago from Prescott Valley

      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!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 3 years ago from the short journey

      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… :)

    • ologsinquito profile image

      ologsinquito 3 years ago from USA

      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.

    • lcbenefield profile image

      lcbenefield 3 years ago from Georgia

      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.

    • tlpoague profile image

      Tammy 3 years ago from USA

      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.

    • Fabric1869 profile image

      Whaleys Bradford 3 years ago from Leeds, Bradford

      These look great. Thanks for the great instructions and pictures

    • Jamie Brock profile image
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      Jamie Brock 3 years ago from Texas

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

    • Jamie Brock profile image
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      Jamie Brock 3 years ago from Texas

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

    • Jamie Brock profile image
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      Jamie Brock 3 years ago from Texas

      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 profile image
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      Jamie Brock 3 years ago from Texas

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

    • Jamie Brock profile image
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      Jamie Brock 3 years ago from Texas

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

    • Jamie Brock profile image
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      Jamie Brock 3 years ago from Texas

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

    • Jamie Brock profile image
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      Jamie Brock 3 years ago from Texas

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

    • breathing profile image

      Sajib 16 months ago from Bangladesh

      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 profile image
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      Jamie Brock 15 months ago from Texas

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

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