Have old clothes that cannot be given away to friends and loved ones sitting in your closet or packed away in garbage bags and don’t know what to do with them? Don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place where we will be looking at 19 things to do with clothes that you can’t donate.
92 million tonnes of Textiles Waste is Produced Every Year! Of the 100 billion garments produced yearly, 92 million tonnes end up in landfills. We need to urgently cut down on textile waste and show our commitment to reducing waste.
Here’s the good news! I’ve got your back when it comes to finding creative solutions for those clothes you can’t donate.
From DIY fashion projects to sustainable home decor, we’ve got something for everyone. So grab a cup of tea, get comfy, and let’s explore these fantastic ways to make the most of your unwearable clothes by looking at 19 things to do with clothes that you can’t donate!
19 Things To Do With Clothes That You Can’t Donate
1. Create a Patchwork Quilt:
Gather your favorite old t-shirts, dresses, and fabrics to sew a cozy and sentimental patchwork quilt. A patchwork quilt is a beautiful way to preserve memories and cherish your clothing’s sentimental value. It is indeed a wonderful way to repurpose your beloved old dresses, t-shirts, and fabrics.
You can design a unique quilt by simply cutting the fabrics into squares or rectangles and arranging them in a pleasing layout. Sew the pieces together, add a backing fabric and batting for warmth, and then quilt the layers together with hand or machine stitching depending on the method you’re comfortable with.
2. Make Funky Fabric Wall Art:
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Stretch and frame colorful fabric remnants to add a pop of personality to your walls.
Creating funky fabric wall art is a fantastic way to transform your outdated fabrics into eye-catching decor pieces. You can start by selecting a variety of fabrics with vibrant colors, patterns, and textures that complement your style. Cut the fabrics into different shapes and sizes or use them as they are for a more eclectic look.
Arrange the fabric pieces on a wooden frame, overlapping them to create a visually appealing composition. You can secure the fabrics in place by using a strong adhesive. The result will be a unique wall art that adds a pop of personality and color to any room in your home.
3. Design Your Very Own T-shirt Totes
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This is a great way to upcycle your old tops into bags for grocery shopping or just for carrying books and everyday essentials. Cut off the sleeves and neckline of old t-shirts to craft trendy and eco-friendly tote bags. Start by selecting t-shirts with eye-catching graphics, or slogans that you love.
Lay the t-shirt flat cut off the sleeves and neckline carefully, leaving the bottom hem intact. Turn the shirt inside out and sew the bottom hem closed to create the tote’s base. Make handles by cutting two long strips from the sleeves or extra fabric from the shirt and sew them securely onto the tote.
4. Craft Fabric Covered Notebooks
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Crafting fabric-covered notebooks is a fun way to transform plain notebooks into cute and personalized treasures. Fabric notebooks can be given to a friend as a gift, they can be used for jotting down ideas or simply for journaling.
Start by selecting your favorite fabric with colors or patterns you like. Cut the fabric slightly larger than the notebook cover and wrap it around, fold the edges neatly to the inside cover.
Use adhesive to secure the fabric in place! You can even decorate the cover with buttons, ribbons or fabric patches for added flair. This allows you to repurpose scraps of fabric and breathe new life into plain notebooks.
5. Sew Fabric Gift Bags
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Say no to disposable gift wrap that contributes to waste and sew reusable fabric gift bags that can be used time and again!
Sewing fabric gift bags offers a wonderful way to add a personalized touch to your gift-giving. One thing to keep in mind is that in order to make each gift meaningful, you should choose fabrics that match the occasion or the recipient’s taste if you know them well.
By sewing these bags yourself, you’re reducing your environmental footprint and also creating a thoughtful packaging solution that’s also unique!
6. Repurpose Shirts into Pillow Covers
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Transforming old shirts into pillow covers contributes to a more sustainable and eco conscious lifestyle. It also offers a creative and sustainable way to refresh your home décor while giving your old clothing a new purpose.
You can transform your old shirts into stylish and unique pillow covers instead of throwing out shirts that have sentimental value. This prevents textile waste and also adds a personal touch to your living space.
Cut the shirts to size, ensuring the design or pattern is prominently displayed, and sew the edges to create the covers. These repurposed shirt pillow covers can add character to your beds, couches, or chairs.
7. Create Headbands
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Crafting no-sew headbands is a great way to repurpose old clothing into stylish accessories. With a few simple steps, you can create unique headbands that add a pop of color to your outfits.
This project eliminates the need for sewing and allows you to experiment with different textures, colors and patterns. Start by cutting fabric strips to your desired length and width then tie them together to form a comfortable headband. This is indeed a great way to reduce textile waste.
8. Fabric Bows
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You can breathe new life into old fabric pieces by turning small fabric scraps or old clothing into charming bows for hair accessories.
To make the fabric bows, start by cutting the fabric into strips, fold and shape them into bows, and secure them with a dab of glue. The bows can be attached to hair clips, headbands, tote bags, or even used as decorative accents on gift wrapping or home textiles.
9. Craft Colorful Fabric Coasters
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Cut squares from old clothes to make vibrant fabric coasters. A fun and practical way to repurpose fabric scraps into functional and beautiful home accessories is by crafting colorful fabric coasters that can add a pop of color and personality to your living space.
You can create coasters that are stylish and protective by cutting fabric circles or squares to the size you like and layer them with felt for added thickness; simply mix and match fabric patterns and colors to suit your decor, creating a unique set of coasters that reflect your very own style!
10. DIY Fabric Jewelry
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Make unique earrings or necklaces from colorful fabric pieces. A great way to transform old fabric into wearable pieces of art is by engaging in DIY fabric jewelry.
Simply cut fabric strips and incorporate them into jewelry designs; you can create awesome earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. To further enhance the charm of your fabric jewelry, consider adding buttons, or even beads!
11. Create a Rag Rug:
Crochet or weave old fabric strips into a cozy and eco-friendly rag rug. Showcase your creativity by transforming old clothes into a beautiful rag rug. By cutting fabric strips from old clothing, you can weave them together to create a textured and colorful rug. This DIY project not only prevents textile waste but also adds a cozy and rustic touch to your living space.
12. Repurpose Ties into Purses
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Transforming old ties into stylish purses is a resourceful way to give new life to unused accessories. By carefully deconstructing ties and sewing them together, you can fashion unique and eye-catching purses that stand out as fashion statements. The varied textures, colors and patterns of the ties lend themselves to striking designs that add a touch of elegance to your accessory collection.
13. Sew Kitchen Towels
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This is an eco-conscious way to repurpose fabric remnants into useful items for your home. Start by cutting and stitching fabric pieces to your desired dimensions.
14. Fashion Fabric Keychains
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Use fabric scraps and key rings to create adorable fabric keychains. Crafting fabric keychains is a delightful and imaginative way to repurpose fabric scraps into charming and practical accessories.
By cutting and sewing fabric pieces into small, stylish shapes, you can fashion unique keychains that add a pop of color and personality to your keys or bags.
Whether you choose to showcase playful patterns, elegant designs, or even incorporate embroidery or beadwork, these fabric keychains become mini works of art that reflect your individual style.
This DIY project not only prevents fabric waste but also offers a fun and easy way to create personalized accessories that make a statement.
Each time you use your fabric keychain, you’ll be reminded of your commitment to sustainability and your ability to turn everyday materials into delightful treasures. With fabric keychains, you’re infusing a touch of creativity and eco-consciousness into your daily routine, all while adding a fashionable flair to your belongings.
15. DIY Fabric Bracelets
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Braid or wrap fabric scraps around bangles for fashionable bracelets. This is a great way to repurpose old fabric into unique and stylish accessories that you can be proud of wearing!
This can be done by anyone; you don’t have to be a pro to be able to do this! Simply mix and match colors, textures and patterns and with a touch of your own personality this wearable art will be admired.
Have a blast crafting your bracelets and flaunt your sustainable style with pride by assembling the following: Old clothing such as t-shirts, jeans, or any fabric you like, fabric glue, scissors, ruler, buttons and beads and follow these simple steps:
- Cut Fabric Strips: Lay the fabric flat and use a ruler to cut strips of your desired width. The length of the strips will depend on the number of times you want to wrap the bracelet.
- Stretch the Strips: create a rolled effect by gently pulling the fabric strips. This will give your bracelets a fun look!
- Create Braids or Twists: Divide your fabric strips into groups of three and braid them together. You can mix and match colors and textures for a unique effect.
- Stitch the Ends: If you’re using a sewing kit, you can stitch the ends of the braids to secure them. You can also use fabric glue to hold the ends in place.
- Get creative with embellishments: You can add embellishments such as beads, buttons, or any other decorations you like to give your bracelets a personalized touch.
- Determine the Desired Fit: Wrap the braided fabric around your wrist to determine the desired fit and if necessary, trim any excess fabric.
- Fasten the Bracelet: You can either use a small piece of fabric to create a loop and button closure or tie the ends of the bracelet together in a knot.
- Final Touches: Trim any uneven edges and make sure all the knots and closures are secure.
- Wear and Enjoy: slip fabric bracelets onto your wrist and admire your handiwork!Make Fabric Patches: Cut out interesting patterns from old clothes to create patches for your jackets, handbags or even backpacks.
16. Craft Fabric Bookmarks
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This is a great way to transform old fabric into charming accessories. Make personalized bookmarks with fabric scraps for your favorite reads!
Start by selecting and cutting the fabrics into rectangular strips of your desired length and width, fold the strips in half and sew along the edges, leaving a small opening to insert a piece of cardboard or felt for stability. For an extra touch of elegance, add a decorative ribbon or tassel to the top.
17. DIY Fabric Hair Clips
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Design charming hair accessories by gluing fabric pieces onto hair clips.
18. Repurpose Socks into Puppets:
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Turn mismatched socks into fun and playful hand puppets.
19. Create Fashion Accessories
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Create quirky fashion accessories by using zippers, buttons, and fabric to design unique hairpin or brooches.
The Bottom Line
I hope you found this post on “19 things to do with clothes that you can’t donate” helpful. With these sustainable ideas to repurpose, upcycle, and give new life to your old garments, you can transform your unwearable clothes into cute and functional items while reducing your environmental impact.
Let’s have fun, get crafty, and make a positive difference in the world, one fabric at a time! Which of these 19 things would you like to give a try? Please leave a comment below.