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Do YOU have extra t shirts?  Cleaning out recently I was surprised at the amount I found squirreled in the bottom of drawers, or the back of closets a host of t shirts that we will never wear again.  I have a great way to upcycle those useless shirts into something useful and FUN!  You can repurpose T Shirts into Jump Ropes!  Our friend Linda shared these easy directions.

How to Repurpose T Shirts into Jump Ropes:

  • lots of old colorful t shirts (the larger the Tshirts, the fewer you need)
  • good pair of scissors
  • (optional) cutting mat and rotary cutter (from Amazon)

First gather your all t shirts.  You can even ask your friends!  AND you can even use shirts that have rips or stains. They can have any amount of pictures and printing on the front.  It won’t matter at all when the t shirts are all cut in pieces!  Then wash and dry all the shirts (it will get rid of any musty smells from storage).

Easy DIY tutorial How to repurporse t shirts into jump ropes

  • Lay the t shirt out on a flat surface or cutting mat.
  • Start cutting a 1.5 inch strip horizontally across the body of the shirt starting from the very bottom hem of the shirt.  Go around and around, cutting one continuous length of t shirt “rope”
  • Continue cutting until you reach the armpit. Optional: You can cut shorter strips from the sleeves, if desired!
  • Once the full t shirt strip is cut, run your hand along the entire length of the t shirt strip, stretching it.  The “raw” edges begin to curl in on itself.
  • Tie three strips together in one big knot (this will be your first handle!).  It makes a more interesting rope if you pick 3 different colors to start your jump rope.

How to braid and repurpose t shirts into jump ropes Easy DIY Tutorial

  • Then begin to braid the t shirt “rope” together.  If they are not long enough, you can attach additional lengths.
  • Once your t shirt jump rope is as long as you would like, tie the three strips together to make a final large knot (your second handle!).


Easy DIY tutorial How to repurporse t shirts into jump ropes Here is a printable instructional picture to include

(Suggested lengths:  7-8 feet for the younger ages 5 through 10, then 9-10 feet for 10 and up)  These jump ropes are easily altered to be longer or shorter. Try making a really long jump rope to jump with a friend.

If you are sending these repurposed t shirt jump ropes in an Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift, or other overseas donations, the children may never have jumped rope before!  Therefore,  I’ve have a graphic that you can print out and attach so that child will know just how to play with your gift!

CLICK HERE to download the instructional picture; there are 12 to a page.  I would suggest printing on cardstock.  You can use a hole puncher corner, and attach with string or yarn to the t shirt jump ropes.

If you find the instructions confusing at all, I found a great YOUTUBE video of 2 young girls explaining just how to make these ropes!

you can upcycle and repurpose t shirts into jump ropes

This is a wonderful craft to do with large groups of kids (perhaps in VBS or Sunday School).  You can even enlist your youth groups to collect T-shirts to repurpose.   The more T-shirts the group collects, the more varied and colorful the jump ropes will be!  This could be a terrific project for scout or 4 H groups as well.

Kids love to jump rope you can repurpose t shirts into jump ropes

This is a wonderful way to upcycle and repurpose t shirts into jump ropes and make a free or inexpensive item to donate!

Check out all my easy and fun CRAFTS HERE!

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25 Comments on You Can Repurpose T Shirts into Jump Ropes

  1. Our church makes these jump ropes and I would like to know where I can buy the little tags I see attached.

    • You don’t have to buy them Beverly. In the post itself, it says to “CLICK HERE” to get the picture and print it yourself. There are 12 pictures of that little boy jumping rope to a page. Just cut apart, use a hole puncher to punch a hole, attach some string and tie it onto the rope. Easy

      • Is there a printable of the little girl tags also? We pack all girl boxes and I’d love to have these to print.

    • Hi Linh! Are you talking about Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes? You can gather all kinds of donations and bring them during National Collection Week (always the third week in November). You would pack them in a bag or carton (NOT a shoebox) and CLEARLY mark on the outside “FILLER ITEMS”. Then you can drop them off at any drop off location (many near you I’m sure). They would then go with the shoeboxes to the processing centers. During processing inspection, sometimes they have to remove liquids or war toys and that leaves an empty spot in the shoebox. Then the inspectors will place a donated “filler” item into that space! Your donation would be perfect! BUT know that Operation Christmas Child will never turn away a shoebox if it didn’t have the full or any shipping money included. They encourage, but they will accept any and all shoeboxes.

  2. I want to thank you SO MUCH for posting this!! I’ve been seeing all the things people are making to include in their OCC boxes and I always wanted to make something too…but I’m not crafty and I’m not very good at sewing. I’ll soon be 67 and learning new things is sometimes not easy for me. But when I saw your post with the video that was made by some young girls, I thought “If they can do it, I can do it!!”

    I started out by going to Michaels when they had their t-shirts on sale for $2. I bought 3 x-large brightly colored shirts and made 3 jump ropes. I was surprised how fun & easy it was. Even though they were very nice, I really didn’t want to spend $2 on a jump rope! So I went to a thrift store and bought about 15 more shirts…but they, too, were $2…but they were bigger and I had lots of fun coming up with the different color combinations. But I still felt like I was spending too much. So I asked for donations of used t-shirts on my facebook page and I got maybe 30 shirts :). Fun, fun, fun!! But I soon used those and wanted to find more.

    That’s when I decided to call a big thrift store to see what they do with t-shirts that are donated that are stained, maybe with holes…not really in good enough condition to sell. I told him what I was doing with them and he told me he’d call me back. About an hour later he called and said they could give us 10 large boxes of t-shirts, and he’d call me when they got them ready for us to pick up! After I got off the phone with him, I thought “did he really say TEN?? Maybe he said TWO??” Either way, I’d still be getting a LOT of t-shirts!

    A couple weeks later, he called to tell us they were ready for us…and we should bring a pickup! OH MY, OH MY, OH MY!!! My friend picked them up and they filled the back of her pickup!! These were BIG HEAVY boxes!!!

    My friend’s elderly mom lives with her, and she & myself have been busy washing the shirts. Many of the shirts were BRAND NEW!!! Those that aren’t too large, we’re just putting in the OCC boys boxes (as shirts)…and there’s a TON of them!!! So far, we’ve had two jump rope making classes with the ladies from church. I must say, this has been a very successful venture for us!! The ladies are LOVING it!! At the class, everyone has a job…some are cutters, some are stretchers & rollers, and some are braiders. Several of the ladies are older and their hands don’t work so well anymore, so they enjoy stretching the strips & rolling them into balls. Some have a problem braiding, so they enjoy cutting.

    Those who enjoy braiding are taking a bunch of rolls home with them to make the ropes at home. One older lady took a bunch of rolls home with her after our class last Saturday and gave me a bag with 6 jump ropes the next day at church. And she wanted more…I happened to have another big bag of balls with me, so she took those home. And then she called me the very next day to tell me she had 16 more jump ropes made. And she wanted more! I told her I’d bring them to church with me on Sunday, but she said, “Ohhh, but that’s so long to wait…can I come over tonight & pick some up?”

    Today I was at the home of couple’s house from church…his elderly mother recently moved in with them. This couple has two young girls and they and their mom came to our class last Saturday and she brought home several balls with her to make more at home. Well, while I was there, the elderly lady (who is wheelchair bound) asked if she could make some jump ropes too!! Next thing I knew, she was sitting in her chair making jump ropes!!!

    I tell you, this is the best project ever for a group of ladies…young & old! We all have a goal of being a blessing to children around the world. We have made close to 150 so far…and we have lots more shirts to continue making them for quite a while!!

    • OH MY PENNY! What an amazing and wonderful story. Hey I’m 62 and learning new things is a bit hard for me too! I’m so excited by your story. That really is what my page is all about – finding JOY in a purpose to help others. My Aunt was 98 and still excited to get up every morning to see what God had planned for her – she made over 3000 hats before she passed away. I love your story and will definitely share it. God bless you Penny!

  3. Loved the ease of making these jump ropes. Just wondering where I can get a printable picture of the little girl you have on your jump ropes instead of the boy.

  4. I am really a dunce when it comes to crafts. If someone shows me, I can usually get it. That being said, I am already confused by these instructions. This is a really stupid question, but to get the 3 strips, you would use 3 tee shirts and cut EACH into 1 continuous strip…correct? Then you pull them to stretch them and then you braid them (after tying the knot)? Is that it? Then you would tie a knot at the end of the braid. I think these are super cute. I think I will put the word out for church friends to donate old tee shirts and work on these this winter! Thank you!!!!!

    • Exactly! some like to make large balls of “t-shirt yarn” first – from long strips of the t-shirts and at the ends sewing them together. It might be easier that way to start because some shirts yarn might be longer than others and so frustrating if you are short one color or strip.

  5. Is Operation Christmas Child still an organization that is taking donations of jump ropes even with the pandemic? Do you have any information on how to do this?

    • OCC has never stopped taking in shoebox gifts. If you want to donate only jumpropes, they would be considered a “filler item” to add to existing shoeboxes if there are gaps. Those can be donated during collection week (Every third week in November) at one of your local drop off locations.

  6. Thank you for the details! Our church does jump ropes every year! Do you have any good ideas on what to do with the rest of the tshirt? There is a lot of materials in the remaining shirts, and it seems like there is something we should be able to do with it! If anyone has any ideas, please let me know!

    • I understand that people take the sleeves and sew the cut armhole up, then use the seam on the end to run a drawstring – to make small drawstring bags for marbles, jewelry, etc.

  7. We are trying this with our middle school students to get ready from OCC next year. We were wondering if you have ever used fleece? Just wondering if that would work if we don’t get enough t-shirts

    • fleece would not work – the t-shirt material is very stretchy and thin, so it braids well and ties well. You would have bulk and difficulty with fleece. You can get alot of donated clean used t-shirts – plus thrift stores have alot you could use.

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