Upcycling and Repurposing Old Clothes with the Kids

With temperatures on the rise and the climate more erratic than ever, it’s hard to ignore the deteriorating state of our environment. Rather than sweep it all under the rug and turn off the news, it’s important that each one of us does something about the problem. One important but easy thing anyone can do is recycling. This is especially true in breathing new life into old clothes — which happen to be one of the greatest contributors to landfill waste, as well as household expenses.

Repurposing clothing has a wealth of benefits. Besides saving money, arts and crafts is a great way to teach your kids how to make the most of what they’ve got, which we discussed previously on here Village Living Magazine. Moreover, you can show them that recycling can be fun, too.

There are many ways to get creative while being able to lend a hand to the environment. We’ve compiled a list of our favourite things that you can try to make with your children.

New clothes

Men’s t-shirt to little girl’s dress

Surely, you’ve got plenty of loose t-shirts there just lying around. While they’re comfy to throw on at home on their own, you can make them even more useful by turning them into a dress for your little girl. Morning Chores advises adding some fancy detailing, like tulle ends or ruffles to the inner side of the bottom to create a flouncy dress that is absolutely perfect for a little girl.

Galaxy shirt

Feel free to get playful with this one. The galaxy design will allow your child to splatter paint to his or heart’s desire — in the name of art. All you need is a black shirt and some paints. WikiHow recommends using bleach to strip away some of the shirt’s original colour and creating a “blotched” look, but be careful when working with this material as it can harm you or your child’s skin.


Stuffed toys

Ditch the usual toy store teddy bear. For a truly unique gift, you can craft your own handmade stuffed toy using old denim. PrettyMe suggests making a stuffed denim whale that any kid is sure to gush over, but you can go ahead and make any kind of animal you’d like — whether it’s a cute dolphin or a friendly shark. It makes for something more memorable and puts those worn out, but still good jeans to work.

T-shirt quilt

Now for something with a little more personality. Take those shirts you have that are lying idly at the back of your wardrobe — from your sophomore year school tees to your son’s souvenir sweater from a vacation in Europe. You can fashion them into a quilted blanket that looks stylish and can also serve as a remembrance piece. For instance, Stars for Streetlights made use of t-shirts hoarded during her teenage years, which only ups the sentimental value of the final piece.


Hair scrunchies

This one is very simple to make and takes only a few minutes out of your day. According to an article on Trends and Ideas, simply cut some strips of fabric from your old clothes so you can make cute flower accents for you and your little girl’s hair.

Sweater mittens

Take the time to make some sweater mittens, and you’ll thank yourself once winter starts rolling around. Create your own sweater mittens out of that ugly Christmas sweater you never wore and probably never will. A Beautiful Mess advises to make them roomy and comfy, especially so your children are extra protected in the cold.

Article specially written for villagelivingmagazine.ca

Melanie Christine

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