With the rising popularity of sustainability, upcycling clothes has become increasingly common with the younger generations. Finding new ways to take clothes that either no longer fit, aren’t your personal style anymore, or you don’t want to wear anymore and transform them into something completely different is a great way to help do your part with a sustainable lifestyle. The fashion industry can often do more harm to the environment than they would like the public to know about, and fast fashion is quickly becoming more recognized and boycotted. Knowing how to upcycle your clothes will help you create a new wardrobe without spending a dime!
1. Embroider T-Shirts
Embroidering has become very popular recently as it is an easy alternative to knowing how to sew. All it takes is a few materials to get started and a guide that can either come in bundles or found online. If you have an old T-shirt you don’t wear anymore but still fits, try embroidering new designs on top. If there is a logo you don’t like or a design element that bothers you, look for ways to cover it up with embroidery!
2. Striped Down Jeans
If you have an old pair of jeans that no longer fit or if you’re just looking for new ways to spice up your wardrobe, adding a stripe down the sides will accomplish fixing both problems. All you need is some fabric measured out in two strips with identical measurements. Cut a seam on the side of both sides of your jeans and rip. Once it has already been cut, the fabric will rip in a perfectly straight line, so you don’t have to worry about cutting it perfectly straight. Then, add the strip of fabric and sew on both sides. It’ll spruce up your jeans while also making them fit better!
3. Cut-Out Top
If you have some tops, especially T-shirts, that you no longer wear or don’t fit just right anymore, try cutting out different parts of the shirt. You can make a choker necklace with a middle cut out, a crop top, a distressed shirt, and so many other ideas. All you need is a pair of scissors and shirts you already own, so you don’t have to spend any money on this trick. You can create different tops for a variety of occasions or events, or just change up your style a bit. There are so many variations to this upcycling DIY tip, so no matter how you decide to cut out your top, you will look stylish and save some money!
4. Jean Pocket Into Purse
If you have some old jeans that you just don’t even want to try and fix, save the pockets! As long as you keep enough fabric surrounding the pocket, you will be able to create a small purse with just the fabric from your jeans. Use strips from the seams on the side of the jeans and attach them as the purse straps. You can decorate the pockets and create your own design, whether you want to keep it looking like denim or change the look entirely!
5. Lengthen Dress With Lace
If you have a dress that is just too short for your style, all you need is a little bit of lace to add to the bottom hemline of the dress. It will change the style and design of the dress, and you can even add it on other parts of your dress to make it more cohesive. Adding just a small amount of lace will make your dress length feel more comfortable and flattering.
6. T-Shirts Into Blanket
If you have an overload of T-shirts, especially teams or universities, creating a T-shirt blanket is a super fun way to put them to good use. Of course, you can’t wear them anymore, but this upcycling tip is more for the memories of clothes you don’t want to get rid of. Whether you make a small quilt or a large blanket, filling up empty space with memory-filled T-shirts is a great DIY idea. If you want to go for a specific color scheme and need a little more space filled in, all you need to buy is a little fabric to fill in the squares that aren’t covered with T-shirts!
7. Design On Jean Pockets
If you have a lot of jeans that all look very similar to one another and are looking for a way to spruce up your closet, try creating some designs on your jean pockets. This is a great way to change up the look without spending a lot of money or knowing how to sew. You just need some fabric markers or paints to create whatever design you are going for. You can even sew in some designs with leftover fabric from other ideas! Whatever your skill level is when it comes to crafting, you will be able to design some fun looks on the pockets of your jeans!
8. Heat Transfer Prints
Whether it is your own design or just a picture you really enjoy, heat transferring prints onto T-shirts is a simple way to change up your wardrobe. All you need is an iron, some shirts you already own, and heat transfer paper. Print out the image or design that you want to add to your shirt and you’ll have everything you need to create this look! Make sure the image is inverted before applying it or else it will show up backward once ironed onto the shirt!
9. T-Shirt To Tank Top
Again with the T-shirt ideas (I know!), but we all have so many T-shirts we just don’t know what to do with after years and years of wearing them. All you have to do for this DIY hack is cut off the sleeves and create spaghetti strap sleeves to create a tank top! Cut around the neckline for a loose fit so it won’t be a high neckline tank!
Tie-dying has come in and out of style over the years, but in 2020, tie-dye is super popular. You can find tie-dye kits online or just about any crafting store, and then all you need is the clothes you want to transform. With the current popularity of tie-dyes, creating this simple and fun look will be a great way to upcycle your clothes!