7 Unique Ways to Upcycle Your Family’s Old Clothes
7 Unique Ways to Upcycle Your Family’s Old Clothes
You’re probably tired of looking at unused clothing hanging in your or your child’s closet right now. We’re sure the initial plan was to donate these items, but when you really stopped to take a look at everything, you suddenly realized you couldn’t part with them. Is it because you plan to wear these garments again? Unlikely.
What you saw in those pieces was a lifetime of memories so vivid you could have sworn they happened yesterday. This kind of sentimentality and nostalgia makes it challenging to clear out the clutter when you know it’s time to make room for new things.
We completely understand the need to hold on to clothing from the past, especially when they involve your children. But you don’t have to keep those memories stuffed in a bag or folded in a box for safekeeping. Instead, you can proudly display and repurpose old clothing and give them a new lease on life.
What is the Environmental Impact of Repurposing Clothes?
In 2018, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported that over 146 million tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) were currently in landfills. Over 11% of that is leather and textiles. Can you imagine what would happen if everyone took at least one article of clothing and repurposed it into something useful again? It would definitely reduce the amount of MSW currently sitting in landfills across the country and give us all a proactive and unique way of saving the planet.
7 Upcycled Clothing Ideas
1. Patchwork Memory Quilt
Making a patchwork quilt isn’t reserved for your lovely, charming grandmother. You can get in on the act by gathering up all your unused clothing with interesting or colorful patterns and putting together a color scheme for a personalized patchwork quilt. Normally, these types of quilts can cost upwards of $300 or more, depending on the size. You can get started creating your own custom memory quilt by following Craftsy’s simple beginner’s guide.
2. Stuffed Animal
Before you throw out those old pairs of faded, ripped, or ill-fitting socks or give them to your dog or cat as a chew toy, turn them into a stuffed animal your child (or pet) will cherish. You don’t even have to be a sewing guru to complete this project. Handmade Charlotte has a no-sew sock instructional guide (with adorable pictures) to help you clean out your sock drawer once and for all. Plus, this activity is so easy, you can get the entire family involved.
3. Baby Hats
We’re pretty sure you have a stash of leggings that you’re no longer wearing but still unwilling to part with. That’s perfectly okay with us! You can turn those leggings into baby hats instead of spending a small fortune at your favorite retail store to replace them. What’s great about this upcycling idea is that you can use this for your own infant or share the love and give it as a gift for an expectant parent. Artist Alisa Burke’s blog has a no-sew upcycled baby hats tutorial, with the newly minted hats being modeled by her beautiful infant daughter Lucy.
4. Braided Rug
You can never have enough rugs in the house. However, finding the right color and style to match your décor can sometimes be tedious and expensive. Fortunately, Instructables has a braided t-shirt rug that will make you wonder why you didn’t round up your kids’ old tattered shirts a long time ago.
5. Tote Bag
Can you have enough tote bags to cart around all the important items you’ll need when you venture outside? We think not. Most times, your purses and handbags become survival kits, full to the brim with all the essentials required for a successful trip to the store with your family. When you need a quick tote that you’re unconcerned with getting a little dirty, follow Sew Guide’s instructions to make a cute blue jean tote bag you can take on-the-go.
6. Infinity Scarf
We have a hunch that there’s a section of your closet dedicated to just sweaters and that you haven’t worn in years. So, before you decide to give them away or throw them out, turn them into infinity scarfs for the entire family to wear this winter. Amy at A Blossoming Life put together an easy DIY guide to turn an old sweater into a chic cold-weather fixture. You can also shoot on over to Brit + Co’s blog and find out how to turn an old sweater into a matching infinity scarf and leg warmers set.
Personalized headbands don’t require a lot of pomp and circumstance. With your DIY prowess, we know you can make a one-of-a-kind accessory for all the lovely ladies in your life. After all, one girl’s tattered leggings are another girl’s chic headband! We’re pretty sure that’s the saying. Rachel of Fromrachel.com would probably agree, as she has easy-to-follow instructions to turn ripped leggings into a trendy headpiece.
Now that you’re ready to delve into your creative DIY side with these seven upcycled clothing ideas, let our cleaning experts help you get organized so you can discern what you still wear and what can be transformed into something more useful.