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DIY Ideas for Reusing Old Clothing

Nowadays, many people are realizing the benefits of repurposing old clothing. You’ll find there are a number of uses that old clothing can serve, and it just takes a bit of imagination to find new uses for old clothing. Rather than spring cleaning your closets and throwing worn and torn clothing out, consider some DIY uses to help give old clothing a different use.

Reusing Jeans

If you’ve come to grips that your favorite pair of jeans has seen better days, you have a few options. To start off, consider cutting them off and turning them into shorts. Do they have holes in the knees? This can be an easy fix. Buy some colorful patterns of fabric and make patches.

If you have cut them into cut-off shorts, you can take the legs and turn them into gloves to use for gardening. Take each leg and trace your hand in it. Cut out two pieces, stitch them together, and voilà! New gardening gloves!

You can also turn them into convenient little bags to keep for many uses around the house. Once you cut the legs off, cut two squares from each leg. Sew the squares on all but one side, and on that last side, sew it up about halfway. Fill these little bags with homemade potpourri or even detergent and place around the house for a subtle, fresh scent. Also, these little bags can be great for playing games with the kids. Put sand in the squares with a funnel and finish sewing it up. Once they’re sewed up, they make great bases for a summer baseball game.  Maybe you’ve got a favorite pair of jeans that you can’t let go of yet, despite the obvious wear they have. Have you considered turning it into a handbag?

Reusing Vests and Coats

You’ve come to grips with the fact that you’ve got a coat or a vest that you simply cannot use another winter. However, there’s no reason to throw it away just yet. Your coat has filling inside of it that still has a lot of use left to it. It’s still just as valuable as it was the day you bought your coat if you clean it first.

You can reuse old down from coats. All you need to do is give it a quick wash and it’s ready to go! You can use it to make new throw pillows for your bedroom or your living room. You can get patterns to make a new vest with it as well. There are some people that use it to make themselves a lap robe or even baby bunting.

Over time though, down can lose its buoyancy, so until it’s washed and dried it’s going to be hard to know how much you really have. To wash it, you simply put the article of clothing in some warm water and wet it really good. You can then make a cut in the clothing and start removing the down and placing it in pillow protectors. Don’t fill the protectors all the way so the down has room to expand. Zip up the protectors and wash them in the washing machine with a mild detergent. Dry it on low as this allows the down to come back to its original volume and will give you a better idea of what you have to work with.

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Uses for Old Sweaters

If you notice your sweaters have become a little too snug around your stomach or your chest, you can easily turn them into a new favorite cardigan! Cut the sweater right down the middle and bind the cut edges together with bias braid. This gives that old sweater an entirely new look that you’ll continue to love!

You can also cut the sleeves off your sweater and wear them as leg warmers. The bigger part works great for going over your knees while the banded part works great around the ankles. You can use a whipstitch to help avoid any runs on the part that was cut.

You can also turn your old sweaters into a new quilt for your home. You take the sweaters and cut them into squares. Get out your sewing machine and arrange the squares to your preferred patterns and sew them together. You can find some backing and sew it to the back of the quilt, and you’ll have a beautiful blanket that will be great for guests or to add a touch of color and personality to any room in your home.

If you’ve got old tank tops that you can’t wear anymore, consider turning them into totes. This is a quick and easy fix that anyone can do. All you do is sew the bottom of the tank top together. Decorate the top to your liking with fabric paint and other embellishments. You’ll soon have a tote that is unlike any other one you can buy in the stores.

Reusing Your Old Socks

Even socks can be reused and made into something else useful. If you have knee socks, you can use these as leg warmers too. Simply cut off the foot part of the sock and stitch the cut end. These are great for adults as well as kids the next winter season when they decide to go sled riding.

Placemats from Sheets

You’ve lost the flat or fitted sheet to your favorite sheet set. Perhaps it’s seen better days and has started ripping at the seams. Perhaps you might want to add them to your dining room décor. You can transform old and worn sheets in minutes. Measure and cut them into the preferred size. Use some bias tape for the edges where your cuts were made, and you can even add a layer of backing onto them.

Reusing Old Belts

So, the holiday season wasn’t too nice to you: you gained a little weight and managed to bust a few belts. Happens to the best of us! But, you can always find a purpose for these old belts as dog leashes. These are great uses for belts since leather is stronger than fabric leashes anyways.

There are many other ways to repurpose old or worn items in your home! Be creative, and you’ll be surprised at all you’ll come up with!

©2012 Off the Grid News

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9 comments

  1. critternursecook

    I cut squares from old jeans, sew them together, back them with the appropriate size bed sheet. What a great quilt! They’re heavy enough that no batting is needed.

  2. critternursecook

    We also use old belts for goat, calf and cow collars. We use childrens shirts for “goat coats” for kids born in the winter.

  3. I use the pockets from glitzy jeans to make small purses.IMake sure to leave enough room at the top to turn over and sew to the top of the purse to make a finished edge. You can usually pick up small belts at thrift stores and use them for shoulder handles.

  4. This isn’t an idea for using old clothing but I thought I would tell everyone they can re-cycle the large juice bottles or honey bottles from Sams Club for storage containers. I clean them with soap and water, then rinse with vinegar and water and rinse again to get the smell out. Then I use them to store sugar for long term storage-works great!

    Other preparedness tips can be found at

    http://www.smokeymoutainprepper.blogspot.com

  5. Another possibility is to unravel the sweaters and use the yarn to crochet or knit new items.

  6. You can also turn your jeans into a jean skirt.
    You can turn the legs into the holder for your plastic trash bags.

  7. Old socks are great for cleaning windows and mirrors. Turn it inside out and slip your hand inside. Perfect cleaning mitt!

  8. anything cotton can be reused to make TONS of charcloth, jeans work great.

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