Upcycling Clothing in Creative Ways

tips on upcycling clothing

We’re excited to share our upcycling ideas for clothing with you!  How often do you clean out your closet? And what do you do with the clothes you no longer wear? While we’re advocates of donating gently used clothing to help others, we all have that favorite shirt, skirt, or pair of pants that we just can’t bear to part with – even if it doesn’t fit anymore. If that sounds familiar, try upcycling clothing in creative ways to make something fun and new with that favorite item. Check out a few of our favorite ideas!

Tips for Upcycling Clothing

Upcycling a T-Shirt into a Produce Bag 

Reusable grocery bags are amazing! They save on using plastic bags which is great for the environment, and they hold more so it’s easier to get your shopping load in the house in just one trip. Even though they’re cheap enough to buy at the checkout line, we love the idea of using an old t-shirt to make a produce bag with a style all our own. Plus other shoppers will be super impressed. The t-shirt produce bag is sure to be a conversation starter – you never know who you’ll meet! 

Upcycling a T-Shirt into a Scarf 

T-shirts with large prints on the front used to be all the rage, but they’re less popular now. Still, some of them have great characters or sayings on them and you don’t want to give them up; nor should you! With the old t-shirt scarf you don’t have to! Instead, you can keep your favorite t-shirt prints and display them in a new and wonderfully creative way. 

tips for upcycling t shirts

Upcycling a Baggy Shirt into a Summer Dress 

Have you lost a lot of weight recently? Congrats! While losing weight is an amazing achievement, buying new clothes for your skinny new body can get expensive. Why not reuse your old, now very large t-shirts to make a sexy summer dress? You’ll save money on buying new clothes and get to keep your favorites, while showing off your new figure. 

Upcycling a Sweater into a Hat 

This idea is great for winter. Over time, your favorite sweater can get hole-y or full of pills. Don’t toss it! Instead, upcycle it to make an adorable winter hat. Seriously cute idea and it means you don’t have to part with the sweater grandma made you for your birthday five years ago…or the one you were wearing when you met your mate. 

Upcycling a Shirt into a Boat Neck T 

Oops! You shrank your sweetie’s polo shirt in the wash. Once he gets over being upset about it, you can “rescue” it by making a sexy boat neck t-shirt for yourself. Just don’t do it too often or he’ll start to think you’re shrinking his shirts on purpose! 

Upcycling a Sweater into a Pillow 

We just hate when the sleeves on our sweaters get ragged. Instead of pitching that favorite garment, you can make the torso into a gorgeous pillow. It’ll be super soft and add a hint of whimsy to your décor.  We think making an upcycled sweater pillow in memorium of a loved one is a great idea as well.

Upcycling a Flannel Shirt into a Scarf 

Flannel pants make great pj bottoms, but if you’ve lost weight recently, they might be bagging and not so comfortable for sleeping in anymore. Still, the fabric is so soft and warm, it would be a shame to let them go. Why not repurpose those baggy flannel pants to make a great scarf! 

Looking for more creative ways? Check out Second Chances: REnovate your Wardrobe Instead of Buying New for more great ideas!

We love the idea of making something new from something old by creating upcycled clothing.  It’s both frugal and crafty – a great combination! Plus, we’re always on the lookout for new ideas!  What are some other ways you have  upcycled your old clothes? Share your favorites with us! 

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