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How to upcycle a tshirt into a DIY Christmas ornament

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How to upcycle a tshirt into a DIY Christmas ornamentI had so much fun making these ornaments. I love get allll my material options out and play with them, placing and swapping, snapping pictures to see how it looks later until it finally feels “right”! I sewed two DIY dinosaur ornaments from a worn out baby shirt and now I’m sharing a tutorial for how to upcycle a tshirt into a DIY Christmas ornament so you can try too!

upcycled tshirt ornament craft

You should check out these posts while you’re here!

diy triceratops ornament tutorial

Here is a closeup of 1 method, with a sequined triceratops. You can add hand embroidery, beads, sequins, applique, stamping, confetti, etc. Get creative and dig up all your craft stash to play around and get crafty embellishing!

diy trex ornament tutorial

Here’s a closeup of the T-Rex version! There wasn’t a full dinosaur so I instead cut it off at the waist and put it on to a felt circle instead. I originally had the lights on their original garland and wrapped around its neck but decided it was funnier for it to look like the T-Rex was trying to put up lights!

diy sentimental ornament tutorial

Here’s another version I stitched up recently!

old tshirt into christmas ornament

A onesie into a sentimental keepsake! I used 10mm scalloped scissors around the edge here.

old tshirt into ornament sentimental diy christmas project

Here is another fun one – kitty pants upcycled into a holiday cat ornament!

I already have a few other ideas in my head to use this method and upcycle some old tshirts! This would also be a really sweet sentimental gift if you made it from your baby’s clothes once they’re grown up but I purge clothes way too quickly for that and had to buy this cute little tshirt from the thrift store instead.

I’ve had a few emails about *where* to buy fussy little things to add as accents, so here are some ideas!

where to buy beads for christmas ornaments

Beads! Beads can be used by themselves or on top of sequins to keep them in place.


where to buy trim and ribbon for christmas ornaments

Trim & stitching supplies! You can think about fancy ribbon or ric rac for the hanging tie, mini pom-pom trim around the edges, hand stitching details with fancy embroidery thread.


where to buy miniature christmas craft supplies

Fancy little trim can be used around the edges or on top.


where to buy sequins for christmas ornaments

Lastly, sequins & charms! These are so much fun and I have way more options than are pictured here.


Pin this tutorial for how to upcycle a tshirt into a DIY Christmas ornament with this link or collage image:

upcycled ornament sewing tutorial

Ready to make your own?

How to upcycle a tshirt into a DIY Christmas ornament



heat n bond lite ornament

Step 1- Cut out a piece of heat n bond slightly larger than the image you want to cut out. Apply it to the wrong side, adhere with the iron and cool. Cut around the image and peel the paper backing off. If you are planning on doing the circle be sure to trace that curve or leave overlap and trim it once it is adhered.

tshirt ornament tutorial

Step 2- Press the design wrong side down to the wool felt, cover with the presser cloth (which protects your iron from any ink or decals coming off the tshirt) and press to adhere. Let cool and then stitch around the edges.

embroidered sequin dinosaur ornament diy

Step 3- Time to add embellishments! Sequins with tiny seed beads on top, ribbon, whatever suits your fancy.

couching stitch

I used a couching stitch for the t-rex Christmas light strand, see below for an example, you come up on one side and go down on the other side of the line, making little tiny loops to secure the curve.

aleenes craft glue diy trex ornament

Step 4- After stitching is done, add any glueing! Let dry completely before moving on, because its apt to get bumped.

Step 5- Layer your ornament top on the backing felt and trace, cutting out a mirrored image for the back.

mini pom pom trim ornament

Step 6- If you’re adding any trim around the edges, now is the time! I used a glue stick lightly to get it situated and then let it dry before sewing.

sewing felt ornament together

Step 7- Glue your ribbon loop for hanging at the top, then pin all the way around, leaving a small gap.

stuffing a felt ornament

adding stuffing while sewing

Step 9- Sew around the edges and either pause to shove some stuffing in while sewing, or leave a gap, add some stuffing and then sew it shut! Trim any weird overlaps around the edges and hang that pretty ornament up on the tree!

felt dinosaur ornament diy tutorial

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Wednesday 11th of December 2019

This is such a clever idea, and the ornaments are so cute and colourful. I love them!

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