An Repurposed Infinity Scarf Tutorial

It seems like scarfs are the hot accessory item this year. And of course this year the new “thing” is the “infinity scarfs”. Yeah, it’s a fancy name for what amounts to a circular scarf, (no fringed ends).
But here’s the deal. I don’t knit…. and I don’t crochet… but as you know,
I do know a thing or two about sewing…
so when I recently saw a couple of fabric “infinity” scarves in a magazine, it got me thinking about how I might could duplicate that look for myself by making use of a little of that ever-growing fabric stash in my closet!

This scarf was repurposed from an old black T-shirt

So I did some thinking and a little sketching, and was ready to try my hand at sewing up my first scarf and then one evening when I was folding a stack of T-shirts it hit me …. EUREKA!!!

A T-shirt is THE PERFECT choice for an infinity scarf because;
a) it’s already sewn together in a circle
b) cut T-shirt edges NEVER have to be hemmed, and
c) there is no right or wrong-side to the fabric

For these reasons and especially since we must have no less than 50 T-shirts upstairs in a wide variety of colors, most of which we NEVER wear…

Let me show you a really simple (no-sew) way to repurpose an old T-shirt into a fashionable Infinity Scarf!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • an old t-shirt- it doesn’t matter if it has printing on it, you’ll only be using it from the armpits down anyway
  • masking tape 
  • a yardstick
  • textile paint-I got a little 2.25oz bottle from Amazon. (and FYI, I pretty much used ALL of it on this project.)

Flatten your t-shirt onto your cutting surface and secure the edges with masking tape.
Place your yardstick onto your t-shirt somewhere under the armpit area, so that it’s parallel with the bottom edge of the t-shirt .

    I used a roller blade to separate the top half of the shirt from the bottom half, but I think scissors would work just as well as long as you cut carefully and as straight as possible.

    Now move your yardstick down to the bottom edge of your t-shirt and cutaway the hemmed area,

    Here’s my cut-away t-shirt, all secured and ready to decorate.
    *Please note- if you intend to use fabric paint on your t-shirt, you’ll need to place some material INSIDE your shirt between the layers to keep your paint from seeping thru to the back layer. I used some old magazine covers, but cardboard would work well too. 
     (You can imagine how I found out that this was necessary.)

    Since I wanted to make a polka-dotted scarf, I set about searching for something that would make consistent circles on my t-shirt, and voila, this old used mini-roller (used on end) fit the bill perfectly!

    So now it’s time to start placing my polka-dots. I chose to employ a linear design, but i could have painted them in a totally random fashion if I had preferred.

    Here’s my second row of dots. I purposely off-set them to provide some visual interest.
    And here’s how it looked when it was completely covered, but wait, this is only ONE side. Now I’ll let this paint completely dry, then I’ll flip my scarf over and repeat this procedure on the other side.  
    Think we’re done? NOPE! Because if you lift up your scarf and check out the side-crease areas on each folded edge (at left), you can see that there is a couple of BIG bare areas that need filling in. (But don’t forget to re-position your magazine or cardboard under this area before applying your paint.)

    Now after a thorough drying, it’s done and ready to wear! With NO sewing, and very little effort or expense I have a cool accessory item that goes with almost everything I wear (PLUS- it addresses my black & white obsession quite effectively!) 

    Of course this project does little or nothing to help resolve  my ever-mounting fabric stash problem…..but that’s another problem, for another day, right?

    So what do you think?
    Got an old t-shirt you can try this out with? 
    What color combo will YOU try?
    We actually LOVE comments, so we invite you to leave yours in the space provided below!
     Did you enjoy this post? If so, please feel free to share it via FaceBook or Twitter! 

    10 Comments So Far, You're Next!

    1. Thanks for sharing this great idea. I’d never have guessed it came from an old T-shirt. Lovely results!!

    2. I think you are brilliant! Love the dots too.

    3. Quite creative! I love it and I shall try it.

    4. Very clever. Is there really enough fabric to go round your neck twice?

    5. What a great look..I wouldnt of guessed how you had done clever you are.A really versatile piece Carol Erskine NZ

    6. Is the paint a little rough to the touch or does if soak in smoothly?

    7. I think this is a terrific way to use up some old tees. I have some dressier tees with fun designs, that I don’t wear. I’m gonna be making some scarves for me!

    8. Love this, thank you!