10 Amazing Ideas to Upcycle Your Old Clothes

Striving to be more aware of what and how much you buy is a good thing, but just buying sustainable apparel is even better. But, there seems to be one thing that cannot be disregarded: the clothes that are already accumulating dust in your closet. 

Instead of tossing it away or reselling it for cheap, why not upcycle them and give them a second life?

Upcycling is the artistic conversion of a useless product into something useful once more. You can prolong the life of your present wardrobe by learning how to upcycle clothing.

There are many ingenious ways to upcycle old clothing and some of them listed here for you:

Food wrap

Any type of old cloth can be used as food wrap. All you need is a suitable piece of fabric and some beeswax. You can buy grated beeswax or beeswax pastilles at your neighborhood pharmacy or supermarket shop. 

Simply melt it in a measuring cup placed on a pan with some jojoba oil and pine resin, then spread the melted liquid evenly over your cloth with a spatula. Then, hang the wrap to dry in a cool, dark room.

Tote bags

This will not only offer your worn-out shirt a second chance at life, but it will also save you money on a new bag. With some techniques only requiring a few minutes, you may turn discarded clothes into tote bags or even purses. 

They can be used as produce bags, shopping bags, and anywhere else that a standard cotton bag would be useful. And more than anything, it may be rewarding and soothing to carve out some time for yourself, get out the sewing supplies, and create something new that didn't cost you a dime.

Hand warmers

This is an excellent alternative for any outdated items made of tough material with little elasticity. Shirts will work for this, as will certain skirts and dresses, but jumpers and t-shirts won't. 
Cut the fabric you have into around 5" × 5" squares, plus a few more squares of the same size in plain flannel to double it up and strengthen the packs even more.

Leave one side unsewed and fill the packet with uncooked rice and sew the pack shut. Microwave them for 30 seconds and you'll have a fantastic small hand warmer for those frigid mornings.

Dryer sheets

Make reusable dryer sheets by cutting old shirts, slacks, children's clothing, baby onesies, etc. into 66 inch squares or a form very similar to that. Keep them near the dryer, and the next time you have a load of laundry to dry, throw them in with clothes. 

You can also spray essential oils on the sheets. It's a natural method for giving your clothing a fresh aroma without using the harsh chemicals and synthetic perfumes found in commercial dryer sheets.

Pillow Covers

This works for used t-shirts just as much as it does for sweaters since you can make a cushion cover out of just about anything. Old fluffy sweaters are ideal for sewing cushion coverings that will make your space appear cozier. Simply trim the sweater to fit around the throw pillow, bind it to the cushion using sewing, and you're done.

This will guarantee that the jumper fabric doesn't stretch and keeps its form. This is an useful approach to upcycle old garments since it not only creates creative throw pillows that no one else has, but because it repurposes old clothes, you won't have to throw away your beloved sweater.

Gift wrapping

Cut up old t-shirts, linens, curtains, pants made of denim, etc. To make your own gift wrap, first wash and clean them before cutting them into square or rectangular shapes. 

The next time you give a gift to a friend or member of your family, wrap it in a cloth and secure it with a ribbon, thread, or piece of raffia. Giving those old clothing new purpose makes for a lovely present.

Hanging planters

Old cotton T-shirt strips are surprisingly strong once they are weaved together; they are strong enough to support your potted plants. Making a cloth plant hanger is a great weekend project for anybody who wants a unique way to display their plant babies.

Using long T-shirt strips, create a DIY macrame plant hanger. There are plenty of tutorials available online which are easy to follow and require very less to time to make the hanger.


If you have a shirt with a favorite pattern or color but can no longer wear it, don’t worry you can still use it. One method to reuse an old shirt is to make adorable headbands to pull your hair back.

To make this lovely item, all you need are a pair of sharp fabric scissors, a hot glue gun (or fabric adhesive), and a tape measure. This simple headband does not require any stitching.

Patchwork quilt

Despite the fact that quilting is a very difficult art form, it's a great method to recycle old clothing that holds special memories. If you're new to quilting, start out simply with plain fabric squares and work your way up. 

For a smaller, lap-size blanket, you'll need approximately 15 shirts, and for something larger like a quilt, you'll need even more. Start by choosing a few vintage outfits with complementary colors or patterns. When everything is assembled, stitch or sew the quilt's border.

Plush toys

Kids usually outgrow their clothing pretty quickly. You can upcycle them into a cuddly plush toy for them. You can make personalized stuffed animals using a variety of original designs.

Holding on to your child's handmade plush toy as they become older can be a lovely gift they can pass down to their own children someday or a wonderful way for them to reflect on their childhood and cherish a bit of their baby clothing.