When clothing shrinks, gets stained, or no longer fits…
Your first impulse might be to toss it into a donation bin.
But think again!
Canadian Smart Savers know how to take those pieces and turn them into something new. Whether it’s a refreshed outfit, a tote bag, or something beautiful for their home.
Here are some creative ways to turn old clothing into something NEW.
Give Clothes A New Life
Usually it’s just part of an item that no longer works, whether it’s stained, or too short, or has a tiny hole. But what about the rest of it?
Either you get snippy ... or you stitch it.
You might be surprised what a simple pair of scissors can accomplish!
No sewing skills are required for these clothing hacks.
2. Kids are constantly outgrowing leggings and PJ pants, or wrecking them with huge holes in the knees. Just cut them into shorts (no hem required) and they’ll get even more use out of them. (You can also cut long-sleeved shirts into short-sleeved tees.)
3. With a few snips and knots, you can turn an adult-sized tee into a fun nightgown for a little girl. (This also works well with old pillowcases.)
4. Ladies can easily transform a men’s T-shirt into an intricate top by cutting slits and knotting them in just the right way, or making an off-the-shoulder top.
If you’re handy with a sewing machine -- or even just a needle and thread -- there are PLENTY of ways you can repurpose a wardrobe.
6. Babies outgrow the length of their onesies quickly, but the tops still fit comfortably. Cut off the bottom half, gather a rectangle of fabric and stitch it on to make a comfy dress. (You can use this method to turn an older girl’s too-short tops into peplum tops.)
7. Circle skirts are easy to sew, but sometimes require NO sewing at all. Start with a metre of stretchy fabric (or an adult-sized tee if you’re making one for a child), fold it into fourths, and cut off a corner to make the waist.
8. If your child’s outgrowing their pants too quickly, make them longer by sewing on new longer cuffs or even ruffles.
9. Mens’ dress shirts can be expensive, but you can give them a second life by turning them into simple button-up dresses for little girls.
10. Old sweaters make warm winter hats (with ready-made bands) as well as mittens.
12. With a small amount of sewing, you can transform an old sweater into a cozy cardigan. It’s the perfect fix for a sweater that has a small stain right on the front.
Turn Your Clothes Into Something New
A T-shirt doesn’t have to stay a T-shirt forever. Use your imagination and turn old clothing into something totally different.
Bags and totes
13. With a few snips of the scissors, you can transform a T-shirt into a funky lightweight bag for packing produce at the grocery store.
14. Turn an old pair of jeans into a purse that looks like it’s store-bought!
15. Take a shirt (or a sweater) you can’t bear to let go -- like a concert tee or just an old favourite -- and turn it into a throw pillow for a bed or sofa. There are even no-sew tutorials!
16. Saving a bin of your child’s special outfits? Why not get them out of the closet and turn them into a meaningful memento quilt they can enjoy every night?
17. With a stack of colourful T-shirts, you can braid a cool rug that’s super-soft underfoot.
18. Old jeans make a heavy, durable quilt that’s perfect for snuggling.
Frugal Fashion Trend
By taking what you have and finding a new way to enjoy it, you’re expanding your wardrobe. Or beautifying your home…
Without spending a dime.
Now that’s a fashion trend I can get behind.