Race t-shirts are taking over my dresser. If this continues, I might just need to call for back-up!
Over the last 6 or so years of running, I have amassed a ridiculous, disgusting number of race t-shirts. Since my husband runs just about every third race with me, there are many race t-shirts that we have at least two of. Oh, and then there are the shirts that come along with volunteering too!
When I first started running, I thought the shirts were kind of cool. I felt like every time I wore a race t-shirt it was like I was sending this beacon out into the world that screamed, “That’s right, people! I ran a race! I earned this t-shirt, buddy!” It made me feel proud. And then I got my first tech tee from a race…and suddenly, the t-shirts did not seem nearly as cool. I felt like I had sort of graduated, if you will. I know, I know…just writing that makes me feel like such a snob.
As my collection of race t-shirts multiplied like bunnies, I have had to draw a line somewhere. Here are the shirts that definitely fall into the “keeper” category:
The shirts above make up probably less than 10% of all race t-shirts that I get. So, what am I supposed to do with all the rest of them? I can’t just throw them away. That would be wasteful, right? Here are 10 fun things to do to help you clear out the race t-shirt clutter.
If the shirt holds no or very little sentimental value for you, please consider donating it. Goodwill is perfect place to start. If you prefer, consider your local shelter or mission. Please be sure that all clothing is either new or has been laundered before donating and that it is free from holes or stains.
Make a t-shirt quilt!
If you have the extra funds and want to hang on to those shirts, consider doing something practical with them if you know you aren’t going to wear them. Send them off to have a quilt made of your race t-shirts! There are lots of companies that can do this for you, but of the ones I have seen in person, I think Campus Quilt Co. and Too Cool T-Shirt Quilts do the best job. My host could never have too many cozy blankets!
Help make headscarves for chemotherapy patients!
You can donate your clean and unused race t-shirts to a group called Halos of Hope, which makes headscarves call Bal-Dannas. A cotton race tee is a perfect way to gently cover a tender head that has lost hair as a side effect of chemo treatments. Colored race t-shirts are used just the way they are and white race t-shirts are dyed or tie-dyed after sewing!
Make a laptop sleeve!
Hello Rewind sleeves are taken from the design and material of the t-shirt you send to their headquarters. Once received, it is cut up, sewn up, batted, felted, secured with a bit of Velcro and sent right back to you in brand new form. From the looks of things, these sleeves can withstand some abuse, and will slip snugly into any backpack or purse sans the compromise of style.
Make a t-shirt cardigan!
If you are feeling super crafty, try re-purposing your favorite race t-shirts into a fancy t-shirt cardigan. This is a really good idea for those oversized race t-shirts that you can’t fit into anyway. The instructions can be found here.
Make a t-shirt shag rug!
This is a new one for me, but I totally LOVE the idea! This looks like a good project for a rainy day spent inside! I like how the finished product looks, and the reviews say they are super soft and make interesting conversation pieces! You can click here for the instructions.
Turn them into a T-Shirt Bean Bag Chair or Pet Bed!
Again, this is a really good idea for the crafty folks out there! I love the idea of making a dog bed out of my old t-shirts. I know my pup loves curling up on my laundry, so this way I could trick him into thinking he was doing it all the time! Then, maybe, just maybe, he would stay away from the clean clothes.
Make bean bags for a game!
This is a great project for kids. You can either turn your old t-shirts into a bean bag alphabet game or just make extra bean bags for a fun game of cornhole! When tailgating season rolls around, you’ll be glad you had the extra bean bags. I always seem to lose one at each game!
Turn them into dust rags!
This is probably the simplest and easiest thing to do with them. Besides, you know you’ve probably got some cleaning up you need to be doing anyway. I know I do! Cotton t-shirts make FANTASTIC dust rags. Cut them up into large squares, bust out the Pledge furniture polish, and get to cleaning!
Make a super cute diaper cover for your favorite baby!
Seriously, extra super huge bonus points if you have the skills to pull this one off. I love the idea, but I know that I, personally, do not have the talent required to make this. But the *idea* is awesome! With Baby Key on the way, I would love to make some cute diaper covers out of my cool-looking race t-shirts! Just one more subtle way to push my boy into becoming an Ironman! :)
What do YOU do with all of your old race t-shirts? Do you have some other creative way of recycling or re-purposing them? If you do, please share!