Please upgrade your browser

Sign up for our daily email newsletter:

Sign In:

  View changes →

Happy Friday: Giving Back By Making Frugal T-Shirt Dresses

7:12 PM MST
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the full disclosure.

Sent from reader, Kristen:

Hi Collin! I’ve emailed you before about how I had couponed for my trip to Honduras. Well, I finally got to go and it was awesome!!!! While I was down there I saw where a lady had made 200 of these t-shirt dresses (along with a few pillowcase dresses) to give out. How cute and simple could these be? And how happy these kids were to get them! So we started making them!

I used Kohl’s email coupons to get free little kids t-shirts and we used scrap fabric on the bottom. We found some plain shirts at Michaels and made the pocket tee dresses! Our church has started making these now and taking up little girls clothes (used or worn!) to make them. Here’s a picture of a little girl in Honduras holding her dress and then a picture of the 7 dresses we’ve made! :)


Do you have a funny, “Hip”, or unique photo to share?! Email us at happyfriday@hip2save(dot)com. Every Friday, I will post one photo, submitted by you and/or another Hip2Save reader, that gives us a glimpse into your frugal lifestyle or simply makes us smile. If your photo is published on Hip2Save, we’ll email you a $10 Amazon e-card!

** Check out all of the previous Happy Friday pictures here.

Join the Discussion

Post Your Comment
  • Caryn F. says:

    I would like to know if there is a place to send this if I got people here where I live to make them!!! I hope to find out :) If I cant find out here I will try calling places :)

  • Ashley57 says:

    These are wonderful. Bless you for your hard work.

  • Sarah says:

    Very, very sweet. You’re a good person. :)

  • Kristen says:

    You can send dresses to “Little Dresses for Africa”. has all of the information!

  • justme says:

    what a cute and thoughtful idea to give back!

  • Em says:

    This is the main reason I coupon- to give out to the real less fortunate people. I send 24x24x24 boxes to the Philippines once a year (shipping is flat rate $75, by ship, no weight limit as long as everything fits in the box!) The Vo5 shampoos that most of use hate? The free bars of soap and tubes of toothpastes that we get for free? The free snacks and canned goods? I send them all to the Philippines! I rarely send clothes because they mostly care for food only that health & beauty products are “blessings” to them=)

  • VictoriaBF says:

    These dresses are so cute! What a great idea! :)

  • Kristen says:

    Hey guys!!! Thanks for your interest in the dresses! If y’all want to make some id pay shipping if you’d like to send them too me! I’m trying to get as many as possible for my trip next year! :) :) thanks soooo much!!! (I’m not familiar with the dresses for Africa)

  • Catie says:

    How sweet! God Bless all your hard work!!

  • Sue says:

    Love this, the dresses are so cute.

  • Deana says:

    This is so INSPIRING!

  • Caroline says:

    There is a similar organization located in west TN that takes tshirts of any kind and turns them into little girls/tween dresses and sells them. The purpose is to help women who have been marginalized from the mainstream workforce by bringing them into a positive, life changing environment and give them a true purpose in life. Their website is
    They are always accepting t-shirt donations :)

    • Cara says:

      That’s a great idea — these are really cute, but anytime clothes are donated, it takes away from the local economy and the seamstresses there. Donating shirts to a place that helps women make a living by seeing them themselves is an excellent option!

      • frugalforyou says:

        You are probably right. I would like to comment that sometimes though, just the act of getting something from someone far away carries a bigger message than the cost of the item (or loss to the local seamstresses). It sends the message that someone they don’t know cares about them, that they are worth caring about. And usually, these girls are poor and their parents would not buy them extra clothes.

        I know when I sew something for a child, I pray a blessing for them and their family as I am sewing.

        Also, when I lived in Manila, my mother would send lots of boughten clothes for my cousins in the countryside even though all my aunts are awesome seamstresses! They didn’t mind.

        Just my opinion and personal experience.

        • Cara says:

          I totally agree about giving them things showing them that someone cares — it’s just clothes specifically that most organizations that work in country actually ask not be sent because of the huge impact it has on local economies. We sponsor kids in Haiti and Kenya and regularly send them letters and things like puzzles, stickers, bracelets, pencils, paper, etc. There are a lot of things we can send other than clothes.
          Again, I love the thought behind this absolutely! It’s just one of those areas to be big picture about and consider the long term impact on an entire economy when by giving out clothing, you take away the entire work of a group of people:(. And maybe one dress per kid won’t do that, hopefully? But in an impoverished area it might…

        • Jodi says:

          I clicked on Caroline’s link. The organization hires defranchised women in the US to make clothes from t-shirts and then they sell them. The product is similar, but the purpose and beneficiaries are different.

          Both sound like great programs!

  • Amanda says:

    Love the smile on her sweet face! What a great idea!

  • Casey says:

    This is beautiful! What a great way to use your gifts!

  • Tonya says:

    That is wonderful and inspiring! Thanks for your contributions!

  • Kerri S says:

    This is super cute and sweet. But what about little boys? As a mother to only boys, twin boys, its sad that they are often left out. There is another organization for cancer, that does bows for little girls. What about boys with cancer? I guess dresses and boys are easier to make than say ball caps or capes, etc. But don’t forget the boys too! I don’t sew, so I don’t have a dog in that fight, but little boys want that just as much, even if they act like they don’t! I do OCC for that reason and only do boys. If anyone knows of an organization that does boys only or boys along with girls, I’ll happily donate funds, not sewing, since I don’t do that!

    • Kristen says:

      I don’t know what they do for little boys but the team leader of our group called me yesterday and asked would I be interested in making the cloth diapers for all the little kids? Because some have the dresses but nothing under them :( I remember because we had a little girl pee on the floor during church’s sad tho

      • Kristen says:

        and I forgot to mention they had thousands..literally thousands of baseball caps to give out to everyone down there. The women would ask for them for working out in the sun but we made sure they went to all the little boys and men first

  • Jennifer says:

    That little girl is soooo happy with a simple dress shirt… Kids these days are just not happy unless its some type of $$$ electronic. So sweet! God bless your hard work. Something so simple. Her smile says it all.

  • nel says:

    Precious! She will never forget the day she received that dress!

  • Jessica says:

    Stories like this are the type of things I like to read about. This should be on my Yahoo news feed instead of stories about celebrity weight loss/gain and “who wore it better stories” Thank you to the people who post these stories and thank you to the people who think about others and take time out of their day to help others!

Comment Here:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Want your own personal icon next to your comment? Head over to

Related Posts