Creative Ways To Upcycle Clothes
For the craftiest of those among us, a pile of old clothing can look like a treasure trove of supplies and ideas. The clothes you happen to buy or receive as gifts might not work perfectly with your style and wardrobe. Rather than considering these articles of clothing a lost cause, you can think about upcycling them rather than discarding them in the trash.
If you’re new to the idea of upcycling, we can provide an easy definition. Upcycling refers to taking something undesirable and transforming it into a higher quality piece. To help you out, we’ve come up with some creative ways to upcycle clothes that should help you make your wardrobe more useful.
Use Old T-Shirts To Make Pillows
The great thing about old clothing is that those pieces can function as free materials for crafting projects. You may own a shirt with a phrase or image that you enjoy, but you can’t see yourself actually wearing it around anymore. If that sounds familiar, this simple project could be perfect for you. All you need to do is cut out the part of the shirt you want to use as a pillow, and substitute it for the pillow covering you normally use. Now, you can enjoy the shirt without having to wear it on your body.
Combine Sweaters Into a Sweater Dress
Who doesn’t like to be extra comfy during the colder months? If your closet seems to be overflowing with more sweaters than you know what to do with, you can easily pare them down by combining them. A couple of snips here and there and a little bit of sewing can have you set for a cozy winter in a new sweater dress. Just make sure the sweaters you use match in some way unless you’d rather have a dress with a wacky pattern. Choose sweaters that feature complementary colors or patterns.
Use Fabric Paint for Effects
If you didn’t already know, some paint works perfectly on many kinds of fabric. You can use it to great effect with a little creativity. This project is great for the person that has a ton of blank shirts with no patterns on them. The more creative folks have full range to go wild, since they essentially have a blank canvas. For those with less-than-spectacular art skills, you can still enjoy this. Splatter on some paint for a unique design or use a black shirt as a base and turn it into a portrait of the night sky.
Turn Sweaters Into Cardigans
One of the more creative ways to upcycle your clothes, this technique requires you to get a little craftier. If you own a lot of sweaters but need something lighter and breezier, this project can really make a difference. A cardigan conversion involves cutting a sweater down the middle and then cladding the edges with more fabric. Add on a few interesting buttons or clasps near the top, and you have yourself a totally unique article of clothing that people won’t be able to find anywhere else.
Use Cotton Shirts To Remove Makeup
If you own a lot of extra cotton shirts, you have a lot of possibilities for different projects. Cotton is a very versatile material. Rather than spending money on tons of special makeup removing wipes, you can make your own reusable ones from cotton that you harvest from shirts you no longer need. Simply cut them into squares or rounds, sew the edges down if you like, and you’re already done. You can throw these wipes right in your washing machine, and they’ll come out fresh and ready to use once again.
Transform Any Fabric Into a Hair Band
It’s always sad when one of your favorite shirts gets ruined or damaged somehow, but it also presents an opportunity for creativity. If you really like the material or design, there are plenty of ways to turn old, stretched-out clothing into accessories that give them new life. If you want to turn fabric into a simple hair band, try cutting along the elastic neckband of some shirts. You should never look at any piece of clothing as completely useless. Everything can serve a new purpose, both for your wallet’s sake and for the sake of the environment.
Add Lace for Extra Elegance
People often see lace as a luxury, but you can obtain lace as a crafting material if you know where to look. Lace is very light and looks wonderful without being too difficult to add to clothes. Have a shirt that is too short? Lace along the bottom can class it up and create a unique look. You can add lace to the bottoms of shirts, sleeves, and pockets to give the article of clothing a brand-new, elegant feel.
Add a Side Stripe To Jeans
This is a very simple project that adds a subtle splash of color to otherwise plain and boring jeans. You can make a stripe out of anything you like; we suggest a nice velvet or something with a little more texture. A small amount of sewing along the seam of your jeans will turn the pair into a bold and stylish fashion statement.
Give Embroidery a Try
While the idea of sewing freehand onto a piece of clothing might be intimidating, remember that you’re doing it on clothes that you weren’t going to wear anyway. Embroidering a simple phrase can be a simple and surprisingly soothing way to spend an afternoon. Trace out the phrase on the shirt before you begin and follow the lines. When you finish, you’ll have some new clothes to wear and a new hobby to enjoy at the same time.
At 2nd Avenue Thrift Superstores, we love that we can provide our customers with exactly what they need to upcycle their own clothing. Whether you come in to wear something right off the rack, or you’re looking for interesting materials, come check out our thrift store in North Wales to see what we have on offer. Our stock changes daily, so make sure you visit as often as you can!