How to Make a Shrug from a T-Shirt

by contributing writer Jackie

Have you seen all of the cute little shrugs that people are making out of T-shirts?  I knew I wanted to make one, but I decided to create an even simpler version than the tutorials I was finding.  What I came up with literally took 10 minutes to make.

How to Make a Shrug from a T-Shirt | The Happy Housewife

How to Make a Shrug from a T-Shirt

Supplies Needed

  • T-Shirt (see notes below)
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Rotary Cutter & Mat (optional)
  • Sewing Machine
  • Thread
  • Pins

T-shirt Shrug 1

I chose a T-shirt that was fairly thick with not a lot of stretch compared to some of the T-shirts in my closet. Because of this fact this large sized T-shirt was a little snug on me so my daughter is the one wearing the shrug in the first picture.

I think a good rule of thumb would be to pick a T-shirt that is at least one size larger than you normally wear if it doesn’t have a lot of stretch.

If you choose a T-shirt that has a more stretch you should be able to use a T-shirt that is your size.


1. Lay out the T-shirt so that the hem (the bottom of the T-shirt) is even and the T-shirt is fairly smooth.

2. Place the ruler across the T-shirt just below the sleeves.

T-Shirt Shrug 2

3. Using scissors or a rotary cutter cut off the top of the T-shirt.

4. Turn the T-shirt wrong side out.

T-shirt Shrug 3

5. Place a pin 6 inches from the right side and another pin 6 inches from the left side of the T-shirt.

6. Add a few more pins in between to hold the fabric together.

T-shirt Shrug 4

7. Sew from the first pin to the last pin using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Be sure to backstitch at the beginning and the end.

T-shirt Shrug 5

8. Turn the T-shirt right side out.

9. Give the fabric at the 6 inch openings a little tug so the edges curl under.

10. Put your arms through the openings so that the fabric is at your back.

T-Shirt Shrug Side

Here is what the shrug looks like from the back.

T-Shirt Shrug Back

This was such a fun project I think I am going to have to make some more in different colors.

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About Jackie

Jackie is a wife and mom of 5.  You can find her writing about family life and all things crafty at Blessings Overflowing.  If you are looking for activities to do with young children be sure to stop by her other blog, Pocketful of Posies. All images by Jackie.

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.


  1. This is what I’ve been looking for! Cannot wait to try it!

  2. I don’t get this are you sewing the top or bottom half? or is it top to bottom half ? this looks way confusing >.>

  3. You are only using the bottom half of the T-shirt. After you cut the top part off you don’t use it at all. I am sorry if that wasn’t clear. I was hopeful between my pictures and instructions it would be. When you sew the seam you create two holes that become the arm holes. Then you slip your arms through the holes and the bottom hem of the T-shirt is what wraps around you. Please let me know if I can answer any more questions for you. This really is simple, so I hope I didn’t confuse you too much. Thanks for asking for clarification. 🙂

  4. Rachel Smith says:

    Just what I was looking for! This will let the summer dresses last through fall! And allow my girls to wear theirs at school where tank tops aren’t up to dress code!!! Can’t wait to pull out my sewing machine!!!
    What a great tutorial and fantastic idea! Thanks so much for sharing.

  5. This project just got me out of a craft rut. I’m in school and work full-time so I haven’t had time to do anything, let alone sew. But I had a solid 5 minutes for this baby! It was so fast. The one I made was a little too small but since you’re basically just sewing a rectangle I’m going to try it again with some different fabric. I’ve been looking for a little shrug for when I do aerial silks to protect my armpits from silk burns. I haven’t found anything that I like yet, but I think if I pick up some little jersey knit fabric or something at the store this will be perfect.

    Anyway, thanks a lot for help with my rut. I really missed my sewing machine.

  6. Christine says:

    So easy!!! It’s perfect. Was panicked to find something fast for daughters recital. Thank you

  7. Your shrug is so pretty and directions so easy and clear. Thank you so much. Just what I was looking for.

  8. This is a really cool idea! Although, I did have to read the comments to understand that the top half is not used in this. I was like, “Wait…whaaaat!” Lol I’m glad someone else already asked what I wasn’t even sure what I was confused about. Thanks for this adorable idea. Great beginner’s project! My daughter and I are going to love making these! Now, what to make outta the top half….maybe an upcylce t-shirt dress. 😀

    • Thank you! Please let me know how it works for you. Yes, using the top for a T-shirt dress would be a great idea. Happy sewing!

  9. I found this totally amazing. Like seriously 🙂

    Quick question: does the back part of the shrug slowly go up as you move around? Because I’m planning to wear it to prom and of course, there will be a lot of dancing.

    • Thank you, Clariza. I am sorry I am just now getting back to you. I am not sure how much it will ride up while dancing as I have never tried it. 🙂 I guess you will just have to dance around at home to see what happens. 😉 Enjoy your prom.

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