How to make a Buff from an old t-shirt

Are you ready to get your crafty side on? Keen to recycle your favourite old t-shirt and learn how to make a buff … without the trade-marky bit but loads of enviro-goodness?

I’ve recently been inspired by Fashion Revolution and their commitment to spreading the word about the negative impacts of fast fashion on not only our environment, but on the social impacts that it can have. They’ve inspired me to think twice about how I can buy less, waste less and re-use more.

Now it’s no secret that I love wearing merino. It’s great as a base or mid layer in both the active outdoors and urban environments and I’m happy to pay for quality that I wear over and over again. I’ve been holding onto a favourite old merino t-shirt that I’ve had for about 10 years. I just love the gorgeous cornflower blue (or is it purple?) colour but due to bad stains all over it from too many off-track, mud sliding, tree sap dripping adventures, it wasn’t fit for wearing in public anymore.

I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with it as the fabric was still pretty good. Solution? Slice and dice it into a Buff (or snood or neck gaiter depending on what you call these things!).

Step 1

Lay t-shirt flat. Measure 41cm (16”) from bottom hem towards armpit and mark line with pins.

How to make a buff
Step 1: Lay flat and measure

Step 2

Cut along 41 cm line.

How to make a buff
Step 2 : Cut

Option A

If you want a larger neck gaiter that wraps twice around your neck, all you need to do is hem the raw edge and voila!

Step 3

Cut along both sides of the tube and open out flat.

How to make a buff
Step 3 : Cut along side seams


Step 4

With right sides facing, sew up the side seam. (If you’re being particularly Knitting Nancy about the whole thing, you can even finish your seam with zig zag stitch or an overlocker!)

How to make a buff
Step 4 : Join the side seam

Step 5

Hem the top and bottom of the gaiter.

How to make a buff
Step 4 : Hem top and bottom

And welcome to slow fashion. Re-purposing, re-using and re-loving.

How to make a buff
Voila! 1 Buff, 4 ways… well, maybe only 3!

Writer, producer and content creator by trade, search and rescue volunteer by passion, Caro Ryan started to inspire, teach and encourage people to get into hiking and the outdoors safely.

It’s all about connecting people to wild places in meaningful ways, so they can look after themselves, their mates and these precious places we visit.

She teaches wilderness navigation, authored the book, ‘How to Navigate’ and hosts, ‘Rescued - an Outdoor Podcast for Hikers and Adventurers.

In the bottom of her pack you'll find coffee grounds, instant noodles past their used by date and an insatiable curiosity.

Bushwalking & Hiking Tips from an Unexpected Outdoors Chick

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