How To Recycle an Old T-Shirt into a Bikini

Get creative when recycling your old T-shirts. Consider making that worn shirt into a sexy new bikini. Use a long shirt to create a skimpy bikini with a band style top. Follow these instructions and you can have new beach attire in less than an hour.

Old T-shirt
Chalk or fabric pen to mark the pieces
Needle and thread
Stick pins
Measuring tape

  1. Measure your hips and chest. This step is especially important if you are using an old T-shirt that was tight fitting to begin with. You may want to avoid too much exposure.
  2. Lay the shirt flat onto a table. Cut the bottom three inches off the shirt. This piece will be used later to create the top. Cut one of the side seams to create a long strip of fabric. Wrap the strip around your chest so that the fabric ends meet. Cut off any excess.
  3. With the shirt still flat, draw the shape for the bottoms. Take the measurement you found for your hips and divide it in half. That measurement is the length of the top and bottom of the hourglass shape you are drawing on the shirt. Use the chalk or fabric pen to draw an hourglass shape on the shirt. You will need to have at least two inches of fabric left over on each side of the hourglass. If you don’t then you need a bigger shirt or a skimpier look.
  4. Cut around the hourglass shape. Cut outside the lines by at least a half inch. Also at this time with the left over side pieces of shirt, cut straight up from the bottom to the armpit area. You are cutting thin strips that will form the straps and ties of the bikini.
  5. Fold, then sew, the seams of the top and bottom. Start with the bottoms. Take one of the long strips you cut in the fabric and lay it on top of the first end of the bikini (the straight side). Lay the strip close to the edge then fold the edge over the tie toward the chalk line. Pin the edges so the fabric doesn’t slip. Sew the seam so that the tie can still be moved under the seam. Repeat with the other straight side. Fold the seams on the curved part and sew them. There are no ties used for this part. For the band top, use a strip of the shirt for the top and bottom of the band then sew a seam on the top and bottom similar to the bottoms.
  6. Finish the top. Keeping the original shirt seam in the center of the band, use another long strip to create a V shaped tie. Gather the center seam and loop a strip around it. Tie a knot so the loop holds the gather tight. The remaining strip of fabric will be tied around your neck to wear the suit. Wrap the band around our chest with the V and seam in the middle. Then use the ties on the top and bottom to tie the suit top together at your back.
  7. Pull on the bikini bottoms, tie each side together and head to the beach.

Using an old T-shirt for a bikini is a great way to recycle your old clothes. It also helps if you want to head to the beach on a day when you can’t get a bikini or you are strapped for cash.


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