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RECYCLE T-Shirts into DIY Potholders

April 11, 2022

Contributed by: Denise of Thrifty by Design and Salvation Army Thrift Store Creative Expert.

Nothing says #EarthLovesThrift like an earth-friendly upcycling project. Grab some cardboard from your recycling bin and thrift some t-shirts from your local Salvation Army Thrift Store and you are all set. This DIY is easy peasy and can be modified to craft potholders, dish towels or placemats.


– cardboard
– ruler
– pencil
– X-Acto knife or scissors
– t-shirts

STEP 1: Thrift your desired potholder tees

Collect a few secondhand t-shirts of different colours and patterns. Wash then cut into strips. The strips for this DIY will be 6 inches in length and 2 inches in width. Each strip will be folded in half and then you cut a 2-inch slit down the middle.

STEP 2: Prep your DIY loom

I made one out of cardboard, but you can buy these in your local craft store which will also include a hook.

Note: if you want to make dish towels or a placemat then you can adjust the measurements for your t-shirt’s strips and your DIY loom to accommodate the size of your project.

STEP 3: Create your DIY loom

I measured and cut the piece of cardboard into a 7×7-inch square. I then marked slits at a half inch in distance and a quarter of an inch in length on all sides of the cardboard. This is your DIY loom.

STEP 4: Add the tees to your loom (first round)

Start adding your t-shirt strips to your loom. First on one side of the cardboard, then on the other; like flossing your teeth! Stretch the t-shirt strips then work them into the slits on one side then stretch them into the slits on the other side.

STEP 5: Add to the remaining looms (last round)

Now you can start working on the other 2 sides. This is when you’ll weave the strips under then over to create potholder. You may want to do a tester potholder to finesse the tightness of the weave or maybe you’ll need to adjust the length or width of your strips.

STEP 6: Remove your potholder from your loom

When you finish weaving all your strips, you’re now ready to close the ends and remove the potholder from your loom. I went end by end to close out the potholder by pulling one t-shirt strip end through the adjacent end. You can use a hook or your fingers to do this.

Take one strip off its slit and pull it through the opening of the strip to the immediate left. Release the first strip and then pull the next t-shirt strip through the one you just pulled through the original strip and continue doing this until you’ve removed all the strips from your loom.

STEP 7: One final knot, trim and voila!

At this point you can knot the final t-shirt strips and you’re done. Trim the ends of your potholder, stretch it to make it more square or leave as is.