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Jenelle with TNT: TrashN2Tees

I first “met” Jenelle through this blog. She contacted me because she was excited to show off her products from her store TrashN2Tees. She knew that I would love her ideas and concepts and what she has built for herself. And you know what? I do!

What does she make? She creates clothing and other misc items using upcycled materials. But what does Upcycled mean you ask? Let’s find out what my favorite Urban Dictionary has to say:

The process of converting an industrial nutrient (material) into something of similar or greater value in its second life.

Or in simpler terms:

using ordinary objects to make something extraordinary – which is exactly what she does!

She only uses reclaimed materials out of tees, sheets, blankets, towels, dresses, pants, curtains or any other fabric that catches her eye. She has even cut up a pair of shoes! She finds items at thrift stores, yard sales, ebay, some of her friends even donate their old stuff.

She makes appliqued tees for anyone from itty bitty babies to big burley men. She makes lounge pants, skirts, tee totes, reusable grocery bags, produce bags, and she recently made herself a hobo bag. And from all from the scraps that are left over when she’s done hacking up tees, she make fuselets (bracelets) and those can be custom ordered in any colors (lets say Hawkeye colors or the Cubs or whatever!). She can also made some for Halloween with spiders!!

As I was checking out her new online store – http://www.trashn2tees.com/ – I knew I wanted to get P’Diddy a Halloween shirt to wear for the month of October. Jenelle was awesome enough to send one to me…look at how cute it is…

That werewolf is made from the inside material of a sweatshirt. It’s fuzzy and soft!

All of her designs are original hand cut and no two will ever be the same! Jenelle says “I have alot of fun upcycling. I love that there are no rules or boundaries. It doesn’t have to look perfect or even make sense. Whatever it looks like, it’s better than it would’ve looked in the landfill” ~ totally agree!

Thinking about something custom? Go ahead and ask for it – I did! She is going to make me a Knight/Dragon shirt for O’Bear. Can’t wait to see how it turns out!

I wanted to ask Jenelle some questions ~ you’ll see what a fun silly mama she is!

Tell me about yourself and your family

Hi! I’m Jenelle. Though these days I am most frequently referred to as Mommy, I used to hold such titles as President, Waitress, Preschool Teacher, College Student, Mud Bog Racer, and I even donned a big furry cat suit in high school as Suzy Stateliner- the school mascot! Between crushing cars with Monster Jam trucks, judging silly dance contests, and those other less fun household chores… I hack up clothes that have been thrown away, I also love sports, nature, and long walks on the beach. (and I have no time for any of them) We call Kentucky home sweet home, but I am still a Jersey Girl at heart. Imagine horses, cattle, tall trees, front porch rocking chairs and strangers who always wave- that’s my town. I live here with my hunky soul mate, Nick, who is a washed up BMX rider and genius metal fabricator. Together we have two charming and mischievous little boys (Sam 4, Tristen 17m) , who will always be my greatest creations.

How did you get started doing this?

Have you seen boys clothes lately? I think that clothes should be a reflection of your personality. Year after year I would hunt down original and cool clothes for Sam leaving no stone unearthed. Sure I would find some awesome stuff from time to time with price tags more than my monthly electric bill! So one night I decided to cut out a monster truck and attach it to a shirt. (This is called appliqueing- though I didn’t know it at the time) I used some old clothes that were laying around the house- stained onesie, thermal, and a pair of boxers (unworn I promise)! No template, no stencil just me and my pair of hair stylist snippers. A friend saw the picture I posted on my facebook page and suggested that I make custom shirts for other people. So I did. TNT emerged from my thriftiness and desire for awesome clothing- and I continue to hold true to that. More importantly, I am given the opportunity to share with others the benefits of recycling/repurposing/reusing to make sure we leave a clean, safe world for the future.

What items do you want to do in the future

Great question! With upcycling the possibilities are endless. I have a long list of things that I can’t wait to try but there aren’t enough hours in the day. I hope to get some more items out there for adults- Yoga pants are #1 on my list as well as a couple appliqued tees. Skull caps, purses, dresses, raglans are just a few other ideas I have floating around.


My items arrived in an upcycled bag, ribbon & this cute beach card on recycled cardboard – does she know me or what!

Are you a Crunchy Mama?

I’d say I’m pretty crispy! I am a cloth diapering, sometimes still co-sleeping, retired baby wearing mama who breastfed for a total of 32 months. I support my local organic farmers. I am very passionate about environmental issues and I do a little recycling from time to time (in case you haven’t noticed)

Isn’t she great?
Another great item that I want to give a HUGE shout-out about is Produce Bags! I got a pink one!

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