Recycled & UpcycledTextile & Fabric

From Bags to Bookmarks to Table Runners – Upcycle your Old Stuff!

Here’s 15 ideas to get you started.

By Staff Writer

T-shirt Tote Bag:

Transform old t-shirts into reusable tote bags. Simply cut off the sleeves and neck, reinforce the bottom, and add fabric handles for a stylish and eco-friendly accessory.

Patchwork Quilt:

Combine fabric squares from various old clothing items to create a cozy and sentimental patchwork quilt. This project allows you to cherish memories while keeping warm.

Denim Shorts from Jeans:

Give new life to worn-out jeans by cutting them into stylish denim shorts. Add decorative elements like lace or fabric patches for a trendy twist.

Sweater Pillow Covers:

Old sweaters can be repurposed into cozy and textured pillow covers. Simply cut out squares or rectangles from the sweater and sew them together to fit your pillow inserts.

Baby Clothes from Adult Garments:

Upcycle larger adult clothes into adorable baby and toddler outfits. The fabric from old dresses or shirts can become onesies, rompers, or baby pants.

Fabric Scrunchies:

Use fabric scraps to make colourful scrunchies. Sew a strip of fabric into a loop, then turn it inside out, and thread in an elastic band. Scrunchies are a stylish accessory and an excellent way to use up small fabric remnants.

Rag Rugs:

Braid or crochet strips of old clothing to create rag rugs. These rustic and durable rugs are perfect for adding a touch of warmth and nostalgia to your home decor.

Embellished Denim Jacket:

Jazz up a plain denim jacket by adding embellishments like patches, studs, or embroidery. Old brooches or pins can also be repurposed as jacket adornments.

Headbands and Hair Accessories:

Use the fabric from old shirts or dresses to create stylish headbands or hair ties. Add decorative elements like bows or beads for extra flair.

Reusable Produce Bags:

Turn old sheer curtains or lightweight dresses into reusable produce bags for grocery shopping. They’re eco-friendly and a sustainable alternative to plastic bags.

Fabric Wall Art:

Frame or stretch old fabric pieces over canvas or wooden frames to create unique wall art. Vintage scarves or colourful fabric remnants work well for this project.

Oven Mitts and Potholders:

Old denim or thick fabrics can be repurposed into oven mitts and potholders. Layered fabric adds heat resistance, and you can personalize them with colourful stitching.

Scarf from a Sweater:

Unravel a sweater to harvest its yarn and knit or crochet it into a cozy scarf. This is a great way to repurpose wool or cashmere sweaters.

Fabric Bookmarks:

Small fabric scraps can be sewn or glued into attractive bookmarks. These make lovely gifts and are a simple way to use up tiny remnants.

Placemats and Table Runners:

 Old tablecloths, bed linens, or curtains can be upcycled into placemats and table runners. Customize them with fabric paint, stencils, or embroidery for a personalized touch.

These examples illustrate the versatility of upcycling old clothes into a wide range of useful and decorative items, offering both environmental benefits and opportunities for crafters to express their creativity.

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