20+ Old Clothing & Items to Keep for Re-purposing

Thrifty Thinking

20+ Items to Keep for Re-purposing

What do you do when you are done with your clothes, when they no longer fit anymore?  Do you give them away?  What if an article of clothing has a hole in it?  Do you try to donate it to the Salvation Army?  Do you just throw old clothes in the garbage?  I know to everything there is a season, and sometimes a trip to the garbage is in order.  But not so fast…not always…There may be a new life, a new purpose for that garbage of yours.

First, I will say I am not a hoarder.  I don’t have piles and piles of clothes to re-purpose.  I do have one pile.  And I do throw things in the trash, too.  I just might be as quick as others to do so.  Especially if I like the pattern, I want to give the item a different purpose. Re-purposing Clothing to Clothing Collage

Here is a list of things that I keep to use for re-purposing in bold, and following that some items you may consider making from them.  This list is by no means, exhaustive.  I would love to hear your input of things you keep to re-purpose and items that can be made from the re-purposed materials, as I would love to add your wisdom to this list.

Re-purposed Fabric to Wrapping Paper @ practical-stewardship.com

Reusuable Cloth Baby Wipes & Wash Cloths

Tights to Boys' Underware Collage

  • cotton knit collarstowel bib, kid shirts

Re-purposed Towel & T-shirt Collar to Bib Tutorial

My girls also have a bag of scraps from all of this so they can practice cutting and making clothes.

Is there anything I am missing?  Anything that you can add to this list?  Thank you for visiting!

Shared @ Eco-Kids Tuesday, One Project at a Time, Talent Show Tuesday, Titus 2 Tuesdays, Metamorphosis Monday, Welcome Home, The Better Mom, Clever Chicks, Made By You Monday, Monday Funday, Homestead Barn Hop, Sew Darn Crafty, Sundae Scoop, Saturday Show & Tell, Super Saturday, Link Party Palooza, Weekend Wrap Up Party, Small Footprints, Free-for-All Friday, The Party Bunch, From the Farm Friday, All Things Thursday, 36th Ave., Your Green Resource, Simple Lives Thursday, Chic & Crafty Wow Us Wednesday, Whole Foods Wednesday, Show & Share, Works for Me Wednesday, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways, Healthy 2day Wednesday.



  1. Sheena says

    Craziness! There are some great, creative ideas here! I usually donate my stuff to one of those pick-up charities. I will definitely be more selective as to what I’m getting rid of.

    • says

      Hi Sheena, Thanks so much. I still give clothes away, but I am always keeping my eyes open to possibilities. Thanks for visiting!

  2. Rene S says

    I cut old t-shirts into strips and braid them, then knot at each end to make a dog tug toy. We don’t have dogs but know plenty of people who do.

    I also saw the neatest tutorial for using an old t-shirt to make a cat tent bed: http://www.hotcouponworld.com/forums/paws-claws-deals-your-pets/496319-diy-cat-tent-using-old-t-shirt.html

  3. amy says

    I’ve bought nice wool sweaters at salvation army to make adult leggings but haven’t actually done it yet. Not sure how to work with the knit. Any ideas?

    • says

      HI Amy, I have a wool sweater that I have intended for over a year to make leggings out of too. I was just planning to use my sewing machine, but if that didn’t work I was just going to hand sew it. Before attacking the sweater I would also google how to do it. Hope this helps, and thanks for visiting!

    • says

      Hi Susan, I love using the ends of clothes for re-purposing because it usually means it saves me time by not having to make a hem, and it looks well finished. I am not sure what you mean by “the envelope opening”. Thanks for visiting!

  4. says

    This is an awesome list! I hate the idea of throwing fabric in the landfill, so I am always saving stuff for “someday”. I have made my son an apron out of daddy’s old dress shirts. I also clip buttons off everything, and zippers too.

  5. says

    Great ideas!!

    Old T-shirts (or other cotton knit garments) make excellent handkerchiefs that you don’t have to hem.

    My friend cut the elastic from a lot of old bras and knotted them together into a chain to use as a cat toy! :-)

  6. says

    I use the legs from my husbands old jeans to make a bag for carrying the jumper cables in the trunk. Reused velcro makes a great closure. It takes one pair to make a bag.

    • says

      Hi Kim, Thanks so much for sharing your great idea! I’ll have to ask my husband if he needs a bag:) Thanks for visiting!

  7. says

    I LOVE THESE IDEAS! I frame scrap stuff all the time but sadly, my sewing machine hasn’t been out in about 10 years…I am not good with straight lines. Your blog has inspired me!!!

    • says

      Hi Heather. I am not fabulous at straight lines, either, but I still sew because it’s “sew” rewarding and fun to have a re-purposed product! Thanks for visiting!

  8. says

    Love to hear about all the great ideas!! I once took old white tube socks, braided them and then made them into a braided seat cover for a child’s chair. It definitely was a different use for socks…I have so many leftover socks that I do finally throw some away or donate them to Goodwill in case they use them for something. :)

  9. says

    Great ideas! I’ve turned t-shirts into burp cloths and drawstring bags (you can thread the string through the existing hem at the bottom of the shirt), flannel sheets into cloth diapers, and button down men’s shirts into aprons. Of course most fabric can also be put into quilts.

    • says

      Hi Harper, Thanks for sharing your great ideas! I especially like the drawstring bag idea. Clever! Thanks for visiting!

  10. says

    LOVE!! I write often on my upcycling of clothes! Last week I made my babygirl cashmere longies from sweater arms!

    love to have you share your post with us tomorrow at Eco-Kids Tuesday! http://likemamalikedaughter.blogspot.com/search/label/Eco-Kids%20Tuesday Hope to see you there

  11. says

    I LOVE your list. I, too, upcycle and reuse most of our clothes. Spring and Fall are when I do most, as that’s when we switch from warm to cool or cool to warm wardrobes. I’ll be blogging about it soon. Hope to see you there!

  12. says

    Great list! If there is something I’m going to cut into rags or recycle, I always cut the buttons off and put them in my button jar. I use old t-shirts for many of the things you listed, and I also use them as the soaker pannels in the middle of my prefold diapers that I make. The small flannel receiving blankets are my “go-to” for cloth baby wipes.

    I got a few great new ideas from you, and I’m so glad you shared on Eco Kids!

  13. Susan says

    What a fun list! I will definitely save it for future inspiration. I used one leg from a pair of jeans and the top of a broken plastic hanger to make a clothespin bag. Several years ago, I used the top of a pair of jeans to make a backpack for my sister for Christmas.

  14. silverilex says

    Old curtains into draught excluders, old shower curtain and jeans into picnic blanket, old towels into bathroom wipes/toilet wipes, old sheets and t-shirts are crocheted into rugs, fleece or flannel into rice heat bags, my husband’s work shirts into hankies. Re-using is only limited to your imagination and implementation,.

  15. Tina Riggs says

    I am so blessed to know that there is someone else who loves to repurpose things as much as myself!

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