Fun Ideas for Upcycling Clothing

Coat made from recycled sweaters, courtesy katwise on Etsy

If you have some fun fabric or old clothes and you need some inspiration for what to do with them, then this is the post for you.

I’m in this situation myself. I recently rescued several yards of uber-cool early 1970s fabric from my grandmother’s house last time I was there. It was in the trash when I spotted it, and ran, in slow motion it seemed like, to rescue it before she dumped a coffee pot full of grounds on the top.

And, I made it! The awesomely cool fabric is mine. But, what do I DO with it?

Oh boy, are there some great ideas online for making handmade products out of upcycled materials. Fun!

1. Gift Jar Toppers

I canned a TON of jams and vegetables over the summer. And, these homemade lovelies are going to get sent out as holiday gifts in a few months.

Using old fabric and clothing, even denim, as jar toppers is a great way to repurpose the material. It adds a unique touch to your gift, too!

2. Cover a Couch Pillow

The fabric I have is that early 1970s-Mod look, with bright, geometric orange and green shapes. It even has, wait for it, Tiki Masks.

No kidding.

So, I’m probably going to use it to recover a side pillow for my sofa. But you can also do this with any kind of fabric. I’ve even seen people do this using denim, and it turned out super cool! Take a look:

Image courtesy

You can see instructions on how to do this here.

3. Create a Rag Rug

I love this idea so much! You can turn old t-shirts into gorgeous rag rugs. Take a look at what this talented Etsy crafter, Dblcrafty, did…

Image courtesy DbleCrafty,

The talent of this woman is amazing to me. I can’t imagine how long this must have taken her, or how many t-shirts! But it’s proof positive that we can turn our old t-shirts into something stunning and new.

4. If You’re Skilled, Make A Coat

There’s some talent in turning old sweaters into an awesome new coat, and no one does it better, in my opinion, than KatWise, on Etsy.

I’m honored to have one of her coats, and let me tell you it’s the most fabulous piece of clothing I own. All of Kat’s pieces are made from old sweaters. Take a look…

The way she’s able to plan out these coats and coordinate colors is astonishing to me. She’s so talented! And her wearable art is a great way to reuse sweaters that might have been, well, on their way out.

If you’re interested in Kat’s clothing, you can check out her Etsy store here. But good luck getting one! She only lists a few coats at a time, and they’re snatched up within seconds. Seriously. So when you actually get one you feel like you won the lottery!

If you have sewing skills then you could make your own coat out of old sweaters. There are plenty of ideas and tutorials on how to do this online, so there’s a wealth of information you can use.

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2 Responses to “Fun Ideas for Upcycling Clothing”

  1. Here is my tutorial on making T-Shirt memory quilt.

    I am making something else with the backs of these t-shirts that were left from making the quilt. They will be on my etsy shop (ecokaren) next week! Stay tuned….

    If you know how to sew, the possibilities are endless. You would never throw out (or donate) clothes!

  2. 3derogatory…