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Some very good Recycle Clothes Ideas

May 31, 2024

Recycle clothes ideas. Pull everything out of your wardrobe and dump it on the bed. If anything makes you pull a face, toss it out of the bedroom door. If you remember for one second how an item is so small you’ve never worn it, even if you love the colour, you never will. Toss it out the bedroom door. If you bought a pair of jeans but you feel really stupid in them, do the same. Whatever it is, just make a big pile. 


Now, put everything else back. Maybe take the opportunity to change over from winter to summer while you are there. Make sure to put everything on the hangars, fold it up, treat it like you love it and want it to go another season or two. If it needs washing, put it in the washing pile.


Now for those things that weren’t quite right. What shall you do with them? Donate, recycle? Let’s make sewing projects! How about tote bags?


Tote bags are very simple, fun and quick. You can use just about any fabric. Even if you don’t have a sewing machine, you can make a tote bag out of your old clothes. You can even use an old tote bag to make a new tote bag. Easy peasy recycle clothes ideas!

Recycle clothes ideas – how to make a tote bag

First, select your fabric. You need about a meter by half a metre. So not a huge amount. You could have two pieces of a quarter of a yard each, so each side is a different pattern. Or, you could make patchwork out of all your different fabric and use that.


You also need two strips of fabric for the handle. Those should be about a metre long by 10cm wide. Hem the short sides of your fabric by turning over the top by about an inch, ironing that down, and then folding again, so no raw edge is visible. Then sew that down. Do that on both short sides. Then, take your strip of fabric you selected for the handles. Fold the right sides together again and sew up the sides, with about a 1cm hem allowance. Turn it right side out. It’s going to make a tube. It’s a bit tricky, so use a chopstick or a knitting needle to help you to poke it through.


Now pin each handle in place on top of the hem you made at each side of the main bag. Sew them on.  Then put the right sides of the main bag together, so the side with the pattern does not show and the unprinted fabric is facing you. Sew the side seams and voilá! A tote bag. It might help to look at an existing tote bag to see how it is constructed, or sew your fabric on top of it. Make sure not to stitch it closed by accident!


They are so easy that you can make loads, just make them in different colours to go with all of your outfits.

Mdhamiri a Nkemi - Cuttings-A still from new film, Cuttings.

Mdhamiri a Nkemi – : A still from new film, Cuttings.

Recycle Clothes Ideas – How to Turn Jeans into Something Else

You can also turn your old pair of jeans into a tote bag, or a hand bag, if you like. Remember that if the individual bits of fabric are too small, you can always sew them together into bigger bits. Then cut those bitsinto the shape you want. Go ahead, cut right across the seams! It will hold and won’t fall apart, especially f you have made the seams with a sewing machine.


If you patchwork enough pieces of denim together, you really can make anything you want. A skirt, a dress, a top, or a coat. You can make wide legged jeans. Or you can simply cut off some of the jeans to make shorts or hot pants. How about appliquéing some colourful patches on top?

What about dying or bleaching them, too?

Other Decorations


Tie Dye. recycle clothes ideas. - Womens Nike Tie Dye Tshirt

Womens Nike Tie Dye Tshirt

If you are bored of your clothes, you can dye them a different colour. Usually it works best on natural fabrics, like cotton or linen. Sometimes you will find that although the main body of the fabric has dyed the colour you wanted, the stitching stayed the same. It’s all part of the recycle clothes ideas fun!


Usually this works best f you have a light coloured fabric and dye it darker, for example, white to black. But you can do something like light pink to red. As long as they are along the same shade. If you choose a strong colour in the first place, it might affect the end result. But you’ll soon find out with a few trials.


You can also try tie dying or its slightly more sophisticated Japanese cousin, Shibori. Both recycle clothes ideas involve tying the fabric up with string or rubber bands to create areas which resist the dye. Then you put then in the dye bath and when they come out, untie the string or cut off the rubber bands. It’s so fun to see what patterns emerge. With a bit of practice you can control the patterns (somewhat) and create great pictures. Some people also dye old sheets to create bedspreads or wall hangings.

Finally… Recycle clothes ideas.

Try enlivening your clothes with other craft techniques. Embroider on old jeans or jackets. Add random patches on bags. Put ribbons or lace on them. Use them to practice for bigger projects.


You can also donate them to community centres who do craft or sewing projects. While you are at it, go though all your other craft things to see if there is something useful there which you don’t use. For example, old wool or embroidery threads. Knitting needles, or old sewing machines. Maybe there is a hobby that you have taken up that didn’t suit you? It all can be donated. It doesn’t have to be sewing related – paper flowers, air drying clay, origami, even gardening tools. Find someone who will enjoy learning about recycle clothes ideas. If nothing else, leave things outside for your neighbours to take!