Since my recent trip to PAX Prime was my first time attending a convention where I wasn’t working the exhibitor floor, I was able to amass quite the collection of con loot. However, as is often the case, by the time I’d gotten home I realized that I didn’t actually need most of my hard won booty.
What to do with all this free swag?!
Well, it turns out the answer was really quite simple: make things with my swag then give them to other people.
For this first edition of Swag Hacker I decided to focus on some DIY Gifts I made using free t-shirts.
DIY Tote Bag
This was probably the easiest out of all my t-shirt projects. All I needed to do was cut off the sleeves and the collar to create the handles. I just kind of kept trimming until they looked thin enough to be comfortable, but still sturdy. Then, turn the shirt inside out and sew up the bottom. I also added a few stitches at the top of the handles to reinforce the seams and make them more durable. Martha has a perfect step-by-step tutorial.
DIY Racerback Workout T
This one was definitely the most difficult to make. It would probably work best with one of those “one size fits all elephants” type t-shirts, but I’m pretty happy with what I managed with a men’s small. I cut off the bottom hem, the sleeves and the collar, significantly enlargening the arm holes. Then I made three cuts in the back, one horizontal and two vertical. This left me with three strips that I braided together and sewed back onto the upper strip. If I was giving this as a gift I would hand sew in a strip to cover the stitches where the braid meets the rest of the shirt. I used this tutorial as a guide, but it seemed to be missing a couple steps.
DIY T-Shirt Cat Tent
The most involved of all my t-shirt projects, but definitely the most fun, I just followed this tutorial from Instructables to the letter. I like the fact that there’s no sewing or cutting involved (of the t-shirt, anyways). The t-shirt is actually held in place using safety pins, meaning is can be taken apart at any time to clean. The only things you need other than the shirt are a couple of wire hangers, like the ones you get from the dry cleaner, masking tape, pliers and some cardboard.
The best thing about all of these gift ideas is that they can all be whipped up in 10 minutes or less. In fact, I did all three in less than an hour.