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Weekend Project: 3 Ways to Upcycle Clothes

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by Sue W (subscribe)
Lover of exploring, family, food and fun!
Published April 1st 2020
Turn your old clothes into something new
If you have a bag of clothes that are too worn or stained to donate, then it is worth one final look-through to see if you can upcycle. Do you like the embroidery of a top? Well, pull that out, because you can cut out the embroidery, hem around the outside and then sew it as a feature onto a skirt. Do you like the fabric print of a dress, but it has a hole on the sleeve? Then cut it down, add elastic at the waist and turn it into a skirt. In thrifty times, you need to look at everything you are throwing out and try to find a new use. It is good for your hip pocket, good for landfill and good for the environment.

These are 3 projects that I completed last weekend, to give you more ideas. Why don't you do some upcycling this weekend?

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Turn a child's singlet into a notebook cover!

Singlet to Notebook Cover

My daughter had grown out of this sparkly singlet top which had a hole on the back, but still loved the sequin design. To give it new life, I cut out the front section, positioned it over a hardback notebook and cut it to shape. On the inside of the book, I taped the fabric in place first to ensure that the heart was straight and the edges were neat. When it was ready, I then super glued the fabric down on the inside and cut off any extra fabric. I then glued a rectangle of cardboard over the top, to hide the messy edges. It now takes pride of place on her desk.

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Turn an old skirt with hem embroidery into a scarf!

Brown Silk Skirt to Scarf

This brown silk skirt used to have crinkles down the length, but unfortunately, over time the crinkles dropped out and the elastic on the waist stretched. I wanted to save the beautiful silk fabric and the embroidery, so I cut out the embroidery top and bottom, folded the fabric in half length-ways so I had front and back the same, hemmed the edges together and turned it into a scarf. It feels beautiful against the skin and looks good too!

School Skirt to Scrunchies

When my daughter grows out of school skirts I normally donate them to the school or local op shops, however sometimes they are too stained to do so. With these ones, I cut them up and turn them into scrunchies using wide elastic, so she has matching scrunchies to her uniform. Scrunchies can be expensive at the shops and I can make several from one skirt. If the skirt has elastic in the waistband, that can be recycled too - nothing goes to waste!

These are just 3 ways you can upcycle your clothing, but every project will be different. Just find a feature that you love and try and work out how you can save it and re-purpose it for someone in your family. Perhaps you could turn a bag with a broken zip into a recycle bag for the supermarket or a pair of trousers with ripped hems into shorts? Half the fun is working out how to do it and then enjoying the results.

What will you upcycle this weekend?
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Why? Save money & stop clothing going to landfill
When: All year around
Where: Make at home
Cost: Free!
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