As a human being, you are inevitably going to have some old clothes that you either don’t want or physically can’t wear anymore throughout your life. You have options for what to do with these old clothes: donate, trash, sell, or upcycle! Why not clean out your closet while simultaneously creating new decor, outfits, and accessories? That sounds like a pretty good deal to me. There are so many ways you can repurpose old clothing to give it new life and new functions. I’m personally a fan of a good old t-shirt upcycle, especially if it’s a no-sew project. Check out these 18 great upcycling projects to help you recycle worn out, unfashionable, or too-small clothes into something new that you will love.
18 Ways to Upcycle Old Clothes
Maybe you went through a country phase, or maybe you just appreciate how comfortable it is, but now you have too much flannel and too few country nights to wear them to. What better way to use them than for an adorable, rustic table runner?
Everyone has too many t-shirts. You can use them for more than taking up space in your drawers. Sew up a darling stocking for your Christmas decor!
You finally have something to do with all those socks without matches! Don’t just leave them to waste away in hopes that their twin will one day turn up (it won’t). Instead, make some adorable stuffed lambs that will make you forget all the other lost socks.
Use an over-sized sweatshirt or sweater to make a cool wreath to welcome people into your home. Use an old Christmas sweater for a holiday wreath or make an anytime wreath with something less seasonal.
Not enough Valentines decorations and too many red, pink, or white sweaters? Not a problem! Sew up these lovable stuffed hearts to decorate for the holiday of love!
Similar to the Valentine Stuffies, you can make old orange, brown, or yellow sweaters into perfect plush pumpkins to decorate for Halloween or Thanksgiving. Just leave them out for all of October and November. Bam, house decorated.
Upcycled Clothing Ideas
No need to spend money on an apron. Just grab an old button down shirt that no one wears anymore and upcycle it into this fashionable and, most importantly, free apron.
You’d never guess this top started as a simple v-neck t-shirt just like the one you probably have in your closet. With a little sewing, a shirt that was less than $10 can look like something straight out of a fashion magazine.
We’ve all got that dress we never wear, whether it was a well-meaning gift, it went out of fashion, or the top just doesn’t fit quite right and we can’t lie to ourselves about it anymore. Grab that dress and run to the sewing machine; you can make it into a skirt!
I have a weakness for dresses. Somehow, I keep myself from buying every one I see in the store, but there’s no need to resist this shirt-to-dress upcycle! Grab a shirt with a promising bodice and sew on a cute skirt.
That super comfortable sweater that’s kind of plain? Add some lace accents to spruce it up a bit! Dress it up, dress it down, this sweater now has so many possibilities (and is just as comfortable).
Jean jacket? Boring. Sweatshirt? Yawn. Jean-sweatshirt jacket? Fabulous! You could buy one of these at a store, but you can make one for free if you already have a jacket and sweatshirt, or for just a few bucks if you go to a second hand store.
This purse is so unique and adorable. Get crafty with an old floral skirt to make one of your own. What girl doesn’t love anything with pockets?
Cut those t-shirts into strips and braid them up into cute headbands instead. Talk about an easy upcycle.
This skirt upcycle has such a vintage look to it, and vintage is so in right now. Are you really going to wear that plaid school-girl skirt again? No, you aren’t. But you’ll always need a purse!
Those favorite t-shirts that don’t fit but your kids aren’t ready to let go of can be used to carry their lunch to school each day. Check out this lunch bag tutorial to see how.
I really shouldn’t need to explain why you should make this. I mean, just look at it. You know.
Can you say functional and fashionable? This furry hat will keep you warm and foxy (that’s right, I went there) through those colder months.