How to Recycle Old Clothes at Home: 10 Ideas

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How to Repurpose Old Clothes at Home
Author Name: Mia Barnes
Date: Monday August 16, 2021

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How to Repurpose Old Clothes at Home

Could your wardrobe use an upgrade? If you decided to spring clean your closet, you might have ended up with a considerable discard pile. What can you do with those items that are too worn to sell or donate? Why not learn how to recycle old clothes at home? There are dozens of uses for fabrics and materials, and not all of them require sewing skills. Here are ten ideas for reusing clothes that’ll help reduce landfill waste. 

1. Get Out the Glitter 

You adored those Converse sneakers when you bought them, but now, no amount of washing will leave them looking anything but dingy. Is it time to toss them in the bin? 

Why not channel your inner Dorothy and create a pair of ruby slippers instead? Coat your old kicks with glue and apply a layer of glitter. Voilá — you have shiny new sneakers to run to the store. 

2. Draft Stopper 

If your toes get cold every time you walk past your front door, that’s energy escaping. Such a waste of resources isn’t easy on the planet — or your wallet when your heating bill comes due. 

Fortunately, you can use old clothes to make a draft stopper for a planetary win-win. You’ll need something long enough to stretch across your doorframe, and heavy fabrics like denim prevent the most leaks. 

3. Sock Puppets 

Socks create quite a bit of waste when you think about it. They gather holes in the toes when your nails get too long, and your dryer always seems to snack on one of a pair. Fortunately, you can keep them out of the landfill by transforming them into sock puppets. If you get talented at this craft, you could even open an Etsy shop for side cash. 

4. Sweater Beanie 

Did moths get to your favorite sweater, or did the seams start to fray over time? Please don’t throw all that valuable yarn in the landfill. Instead, take the usable parts and repurpose them into a knit beanie that will keep your head warmer on cold winter days. It’s best if the item has an edge that you use for a bottom, but you can also stitch it closed. 


5. Pillow Cover 

Do you have a pile of old T-shirts with holes? You don’t want to toss out your memory of your first Metallica concert merely because it got a bit ratty. 

Instead, why not transform it into a throw pillow cover to decorate your man-cave or she-shed? Smaller, child-sized shirts can become stuffed toys for your tots or your pets. 

6. Produce Bags 

If you love to knit, you probably spend a small fortune on yarn. What if you could make some of the toughest stuff at home with items you probably have stashed in a cabinet? 

Those plastic bags that you get at the grocery store transform into plarn, which can hold up to quite a beating. Once you create the material, you can use it to knit a reusable version that won’t break when you fill it with heavy cans. 

7. Napkin Set 

When you throw a formal dinner party, you don’t want to use any old paper napkins. These types contribute to landfill waste, and they don’t look very fancy. 

Instead, take a tip from elegant restaurants and go cloth. It takes relatively little effort to cut old fabric from clothing into squares and stitch the hems. 

8. Plant Hanger 

Houseplants are handy for improving your indoor air quality and beautifying your abode. However, a hanger for your snake plant pot can cost a pretty penny at your local nursery. 

Instead, why not make one out of old T-shirts? It only takes 15 minutes, and you don’t need to sew — only braid and tie knots. 

9. Hand Warmers 

If you live in a cold climate, you know that gloves alone sometimes fail to do the trick in winter. If you have rice and some old fabric, you can DIY warmers that will keep your digits cozier when temperatures dip below zero. 

All you need to do is sew the fabric into a small sack and fill it with rice before stitching it shut. Once complete, pop it in the microwave for a few seconds before heading out in the cold. 

10. Headbands 

Remember all those savvy skills you acquired making plant hangers? You can transfer them to this craft, making your braided bits of fabric shorter to create headbands. Keep the sweat out of your eyes while you workout without spending a dime. 

If you have several old clothes to use, get creative, weaving various colors and patterns together. You can even make a scrunch if you can rescue a small piece of elastic from the wristband of a long-sleeved shirt. 

Recycle Old Clothes at Home With These 10 Ideas 

If spring cleaning your closet left you with a pile that you can’t donate, please don’t toss it in the rubbish bin. Recycle your old clothes at home with these ten ideas. 

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