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Restyle the clothes. If a piece of clothing has gone out of style, you can try updating it to a more current look that is in fashion. Embellishments such as zippers, studs, and glitter can jazz up a tired shirt or skirt and turn it into something new.
If the hems of your pants are frayed, but they still fit you well, try cropping them into shorts. You could also turn a long skirt into a shorter skirt or a T-shirt to a crop-top.Dye can add some vibrancy to a tired garment. Try a new hue to liven up your look.Sew a contrasting pocket on an old T-shirt for an update.
Make new clothes out of your old clothes. Make a completely new garment out of the fabric of your old clothes. If you’re going to do this, it’s best to start with an item like a dress or large T-shirt where more fabric will be available to begin with. Use your imagination to cut and sew yourself something new, for example a belt, tube top or skirt. There are many patterns available on the internet for people who are new to sewing.
Use your old clothes to make new accessories. Use the fabric from your old clothes to cover a cloth headband, for example, or use thin strips of multiple fabrics to braid a bracelet or necklace. Turning an old T-shirt into a stylish tote bag is easy, too.
Create patches. Patches can be both functional and stylish. Use your old clothes to create patches for clothes you’d like to hang onto. You can even use a patch in a purely stylistic way to add a splash of color or complementary pattern.If you have many smaller pieces, you could try making a full patchwork garment.
Make a memory board. A memory board is a great place to display concert bracelets, ticket stubs and photos. Use a large piece of fabric from your old clothes to cover the front and sides of a normal office corkboard. Secure the fabric in place with fabric glue around the perimeter on the backside. You can add mementos and rearrange your board by attaching items with pushpins.
Create toys. You can create a teddy bear for child out of old clothes. This can be particularly poignant if you use baby clothes or another cherished garment from the child’s early years. Use an online template for a polished look. You can even stuff the bear with fabric scraps of other old clothes.
You can use buttons from old garments to sew eyes and a nose onto your keepsake bear.
If a bear feels too ambitious, old socks actually make great dresses for dolls. Cut off the tube portion of a tall sock. (Frilly or patterned socks work best.) Then thread a ribbon through each corner of the top to create straps. Children may be able to tackle this project with supervision.
Sew a quilt. Use an online pattern to turn your old duds into a quilt. You can incorporate many different pieces of clothes into your design to create an item full of happy memories.
If you’re not particularly crafty but would still enjoy a quilt, there are many websites that will create a patchwork quilt out of your old clothes for you, such as Project Repeat or retailers on Etsy. You simply send your old clothes to them.
Make a picture frame. You can use a piece of cardboard, fabric glue and an old garment to create a completely custom picture frame. This works particularly well if you have a photo of unusual size, as you can tailor-make the frame to suit a particular piece of artwork. You can also cover a tired, old picture frame in fabric for double the repurposing power.
Make custom gift wrap. After you’ve made your keepsake, your old clothes can do double-duty by turning into gift wrap. Cut the fabric from a garment into a large circle or square (a bigger item like a dress or skirt works best) then place your gift in the middle. Wrap the fabric around your gift, gathering at the top. You can secure your packaging with a contrasting colored ribbon.Pinking shears, which have patterns cast into the cutting blade, can create an attractive finish, so your edges don’t look frayed.
Create curtains. If you’re into bohemian style, patchwork curtains could be a unique addition to your home. First, measure the dimensions of your existing curtains. Then, cut many similarly-sized squares of fabric from your old clothes; the more variety of colors and patterns among your squares the better. Stitch the squares together along their edges into one cohesive piece of fabric, until you create the dimensions you measured at the outset.If you don’t have enough scraps to create a whole curtain, a valence for the top of the window can add some rustic charm.
Sew a pillowcase. Old T-shirts, particularly soft ones, make great pillowcases. Cut off the arms of a T-shirt and the ridge around the neck. Sew the holes you’ve created shut, and turn the shirt inside out, so the seams are on the interior. You now have a soft new pillowcase.
If you want the design on the front of the T-shirt on the outside of the pillowcase when you are finished, turn your shirt inside out before cutting.