If you've completed lots of races, you're probably like most runners and have a bunch of race numbers and cool race t-shirts laying around. I have worn out some of my old cotton race t-shirts but can't seem to part with them. They all have meaning behind them. Some are very special, like my Boston Marathon and Ironman t-shirts that are all faded now. So what do you do with all of your cool t-shirts and race numbers? I have a couple of fun ideas for you.
I made a great quilt for a friend out of 25 of his marathon t-shirts and it turned out awesome. If you sew, you can make yourself a really nice quilt out of your t-shirts and display them all that way. I have been saving all my t-shirts for such a quilt, but decided that they were pretty worn and faded so I would use them for something else and keep my newer ones for making myself a pretty quilt later on down the road. If you don't sew, you can have a quilt made by someone who does. There are lots of people who would be happy to make one for you, though plan on spending some money to have it done, it is a lot of work. It is worth it though if your running shirts are very meaningful to you and have sentimental value.
A few years ago I made a giant flag out of my race numbers for my flag pole that hangs on my house. I'm a good seamstress so I took them and laid them all out (like the picture above) and stitched them together and made a flag out of them. The flag lasted for many years before it finally became faded from the sun and weather. It was a great way to admire my accomplishments and made for a good conversation piece when visitors came. One thing I always do with my race numbers is write my race time, where I placed in the race and sometimes my split times for longer races, on the back of them. Then I keep them in a file in my file cabinet for when I have enough to make something with them. I've been saving for a long time and I've also been saving my t-shirts. I cut all the t-shirt race logos and emblems off and have been waiting for a rainy day to make something with them. Yesterday, it rained and stormed...so I took all my race numbers and t-shirt logos and made a really cool thing with them.
Since I already made a flag once, and I'm proudly displaying the American flag on my pole now, I didn't want to make another flag and since the majority of my running t-shirts that I have set aside for something are pretty worn looking, I decided to use them for something other than a quilt. I love shoulder bags, hand bags or purses...whatever you want to call them and I would consider myself a purse hog! So, I made myself the most bitchin' big....shoulder bag out of my race numbers and lined the inside with my faded running t-shirts. It is truly a one-of-a-kind, unique item!!! I love it! It took me about 10 hours and I used 31 race numbers and 18 t-shirts to complete it. (See the pics below).
Carol's bag...The finished product.
Complete with an outside pocket for keys and 4 inside pockets, plus 2 slots for pens or pencils.
Me and my cool new shoulder bag!
There are lots of different things you can do with your race numbers and running t-shirts. I once saw a guy at a race that was wearing a pair of running shorts made of race numbers. They were awesome. That might be my next project! I'm sure you have also seen running jackets made of the same kind of material that race numbers are made of (tyvek) and they are very durable and make great wind breakers. I have three Hood to Coast Relay jackets that are made of it and they've lasted me for forever and a day. With some imagination, you can make yourself something neat or have someone else make it for you!
Some other ideas are: car seat covers, table cloth, sew race numbers together and frame them with a nice frame, a throw rug, or some curtains for your workout room. The ideas are endless! The great thing about it is that whatever you make or have someone make for you...is unique...because no one else has your same race numbers (some races put your name on them too) or t-shirts that you would use for your special something. Hope you come up with something neat and you'll display your race accomplishments proudly like I do. Happy running everyone :)
January 23, 2010 Update: I've gotten such a great response from my race number/t-shirt bag, I decided to start a business making them. If you'd like to have your own custom bag to show off all your race accomplishments check out my website . Product line and shopping cart are under construction, but will be launched in about two weeks and ready for your orders!
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