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Saturday, 5 May 2018

No Sew Tutorial: T-Shirt to Blinged Up Infinity Scarf

Blinged Up Upcycled Infinity Scarf by eSheep Designs
Close-up of the beaded fringe on my upcycled t-shirt scarf...
A couple weeks ago, I shared some nifty t-shirt upcycling projects and promised to come back with one of my own designs.

It's based on the "instant" infinity scarf that you can make by simply cutting out the middle of a large t-shirt (for this purpose, the larger the better), which is a 30 second project that yields a perfectly functional scarf.

This idea kicks it up several notches by adding bling with a partial fringe highlighted by pony beads. It's still all "no sewing required", something that we all can appreciate every now and then.

The concept actually came from a combination of the two infinity scarves that I previously converted. I liked the fringe on the lacy cowl, but wasn't crazy about having it go all the way around. So, in much the same way as the strand scarf was only partially sliced, I decided on some carefully placed cuts to create a partial fringe.

Blinged Up Upcycled Infinity Scarf by eSheep Designs
Blinged up infinity scarf worn double-wrapped with fringe along the top...

My original t-shirt was given to me by friends who had traveled through Utah. However, it never resonated with me ("proud to be from St. George"... uh, not really) and the large size meant that it was really only good for sleeping in.

Fortuitously, in not having been worn much, it was in almost new condition in terms of its vibrancy (it's black), so it was a great choice for this project. Also, the graphics were located high on the chest, so the middle part that was cut out did not have any printing on it. (Which is not to say that you can't use a printed t-shirt for this project; that's totally up to you.)

This scarf allows you to be uniquely creative through the versatility of pony beads. They come in all colours, materials and sizes, so you'll have no problem finding something to make your scarf specifically yours. (You might even have some at home that are suitable.)

In my case, my crafting stash was low on beads, so I popped out to a local dollar store and picked up this bag for $1.25. These are .3" or 8mm in size. Half are smoky black and the other half are clear/silver. I used thirty-eight of them and still had many left. (In fact, I ended up putting some on my other scarf projects... you'll see the photos at the end of this post.)

So if you've got a t-shirt to sacrifice and some beads to glam it up, grab a ruler, a rotary cutter and cutting mat and let's make this!

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1. Flatten and smooth out a (preferably men's) large t-shirt and then cut away the top (just under the sleeves) and bottom of it (the hem).

Blinged Up Upcycled Infinity Scarf by eSheep Designs
Slice the top and bottom off a large t-shirt...

2. Along one of the folded edges, in an area approximately 5" high by 10" wide (13cm x 25cm), measure and cut one single 5" long strip, 1/4" (6mm) wide (shown in pink in the drawing below). Because it's on the fold, you'll wind up with a strip that's actually 1/2" or 12mm wide. Continue cutting 1/2" wide strips, 9 times (which gives you 18 strips; again, because the fabric is folded).

Blinged Up Upcycled Infinity Scarf by eSheep Designs
Cut strips in an area measuring 5" high by about 10" wide along one side...
the pink strip is the one that should be 1/4" wide, all the rest are 1/2"

3. At this point, start staggering the height of the remaining strips (you should be able to get 8 cuts in the space remaining) so that they get gradually shorter. Mark or fold a reference line if needed.

Blinged Up Upcycled Infinity Scarf by eSheep Designs
Stagger the height of the remaining strips...

4. Tug on each strip to transform it into a rounded fringe (this is actually known as t-shirt "yarn")... beware of the resulting little particles!

5. Thread pony beads onto the fringes as desired. (I put double beads on the 19 middle fringes and left the others "as is".) A simple toothpick is a great help with this. Tie a knot underneath the bead(s) to secure them.

Blinged Up Upcycled Infinity Scarf by eSheep Designs
Add your desired level of bling with pony beads...

And that's all there is to it! You should end up with something that looks like this, once you shift the cut area to the front.

Blinged Up Upcycled Infinity Scarf by eSheep Designs
Finished scarf in less than 30 minutes...

The t-shirt that I used resulted in a tube that was approximately 21" wide (folded) by 15" high. So my goal was to "fringe up" about half of that width, with fringes that were roughly one third of the height.

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Here is the scarf worn as a single loop. (This is just one variation; the fringes also look nice hanging asymmetrically on one side.)

Blinged Up Upcycled Infinity Scarf by eSheep Designs
Blinged up upcycled t-shirt infinity scarf...

My favourite option is wearing it double-wrapped, as it can look different depending on how the fringe is positioned. Here it is in the middle.

Blinged Up Upcycled Infinity Scarf by eSheep Designs
Worn double-wrapped with fringe in the middle...

And here it is along the bottom.

Blinged Up Upcycled Infinity Scarf by eSheep Designs
Worn double-wrapped with fringe along bottom...

From old t-shirt for sleeping in to something that can jazz up a cocktail dress... not too bad of an upcycle, if I do say so myself!

Oh, and here's what I did with my previous scarves in terms of blinging them up with my leftover beads.

Upcycled t-shirt and tank scarves crafted by eSheep Designs
A little bling goes a long way...

And the bonus thing about this process? It's not permanent. If I want to change it up with different beads (or no beads), it's relatively easy to do so.

By the way, Mother's Day is next weekend. If you're running short of ideas (and time), this is one that can definitely do in pinch!


  1. A great idea ... I could try that on a shirt for my daughter. :) I think the beads spice up the fringe again.

    Have a great weekend and greetings the Nähbegeisterte

    1. Thank you so much for the greetings and kind words. I hope your daughter likes what you end up making.

  2. The scarf looks so pretty with the beads.


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