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Learn to recycle old clothes with these 35 recycled clothing tutorials. Each step by step tutorial comes with full instructions!

refashion ideas

We’ve all seen the incredible refashion ideas on Pinterest, but which ones can we actually do for ourselves?

While some ideas are best left to the creative pros, here are 35 of the best recycled clothing ideas of Pinterest that anyone can do. Most require no sewing and every single one takes no pattern, special skills, or expensive design degree. Re-make the closet you already have with these tutorials to refashion your shirts, pants, shoes, purses, and more. Click the images below to be redirected to the full DIY.

Make A Lace Shirt From An Old Dress

Have you ever found the cutest dress in a thrift store… only to realize it’s several sizes too big? That’s exactly what inspired this week’s recycled clothing project.

This lace dress was absolutely gorgeous (and only $4.00) but drowned me when I tried it on. Since I didn’t really need another white dress, I decided to turn it into a cute little lace shirt that will be perfect for spring.

This DIY is great for the beginner and takes less than an hour to complete. If you can sew a straight line, you can make this shirt. See the full tutorial here.

recycled clothing ideas for makersRecycle And Update An Old Swimsuit

Lately, embellished, embroidered bikini tops are everywhere. I love the added texture and detail. (Plus, the way they camouflage a cold nipple when you’re drying off!) But embroidering our own swimsuit would be a pretty hefty project that we just don’t have time for today. That’s where sew-on embellishments come in. You can fake the look of embroidery with a sew on embellishment strip (and save yourself loads and loads of time!) See the full recycled clothing tutorial here.

Make A Boho Off-Shoulder Dress

This recycled clothing tutorial is perfect for those dresses you have that are “almost awesome.” I tend to buy a lot of boring basics from thrift stores like this…..those maxi dresses that are so comfortable but would also be so much better if they just had a little more detail.

That’s where sew-on embellishments come in. Sew-on embellishments are the answer to every boring dress in your closet. They come in every width, texture, and color you can imagine and add instant interest to anything you sew them onto. I was able to score this white lace embellishment was less than $4 a yard and created an entirely new look for this dress. See the full tutorial HERE.

recycled clothing ideas: lace maxi dress


Recycle Old Clothes Into A Summer Dress

You can never have too many comfy, casual summer dresses right?

In this recycled clothing tutorial, you’ll learn how to refashion t-shirts into a dress for the warm weather ahead! This dress is the perfect casual dress or even a swimsuit cover-up. It’s just as comfortable as your basic t-shirt can be worn with a regular bra, and can even be completed in an hour if you use a sewing machine or 15 minutes without. I’ll walk you through both options. CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL TUTORIAL.

Tshirt refashion into this sexy summer dress...

Make Your Own Pearl Accent Jeans

Pearl Accent Jeans are all over fashion blogs lately and make for such a cute update on basic denim. I love how the neutral pearl beads coordinate with almost anything and are incredibly easy to style. The only problem (like so many trends) is the high price tag that goes along with it. Rest assured, I’ve got you covered. In less than 20 minutes you can give your old jeans an updated look and you can rock the trend for a fraction of the price! SEE THE FULL TUTORIAL HERE.

Make A Ruffle Shirt From A Baggy T-Shirt

 This tutorial is a more feminine, pretty take on your basic t-shirt refashion. Is it just me or often, do t-shirt refashions start to look a little unfinished and sloppy? With this DIY, I’ll walk you through each step to create a polished, more finished look you’ll be excited to wear every day. GET THE TUTORIAL HERE.

Recycle Old Leggings Into A Crop Top

In this tutorial, we’re going to refashion a long sleeve top from a pair of basic leggings. I’m so excited about this project because it legitimately takes less than 30 minutes to complete and looks awesome!

I plan on wearing this shirt as an athletic top with high-waisted legging when the weather cools, as a layering top under bulky knits this winter, and under overalls or high-waisted shorts this fall. Watch the video tutorial to get started:

Use Recycled Cotton Fabric To Make This Shirt

Got some basic t-shirts floating around that you’re totally bored with? Well then my friend, you are going to love this recycled clothing tutorial.

This project is perfect if you don’t consider yourself that creative or are just dipping your toes into the DIY fashion swimming pool. Within just a few minutes and a few basic tools, you can customize and personalize all of the uninspiring t-shirts you have lying around. See the full tutorial here.

diy refashion shirt tutorials with lace embellishments ..

Add Chiffon To A Basic Tank For A Chic Update

I love this top so much more than the basic spaghetti strap this shirt was before. I would wear it as an undershirt or with my husband’s pajama pants.

Now it’s got some extra detail, a more comfortable shape, and an uber-chic drape. The best part about this little project is that you can refashion this SO easily from a tank you already have and an 18″ strip of inexpensive chiffon fabric. GET THE TUTORIAL HERE.

Make This Chiffon Draped Tank with this easy T-Shirt Refashion

Recycled Clothing Sweatshirt Update

This pretty little tutorial will walk you through how to add lace to the back of a basic sweater for feminine, unexpected detail. Click the image for the full refashion.

DIY low-back lace sweatshirt

Give Flats A Festive Update With Pom Poms

There’s something about the bright pops of color that just brightens my day. For this refashion DIY, we’ll be giving our summer shoes a fun little facelift into some DIY pom pom sandals. SEE THE TUTORIAL HERE.

Make An Oversize Leather Clutch:

This DIY clutch is roomy enough to fit everything you need (even a laptop and sketchbook) while still looking amazing. It takes only a few materials and can be sewn in less than an hour from a recycled jacket! GET THE FULL TUTORIAL HERE.

Give A Casual Black Dress A Modern Makeover With Chiffon

To make this dress you’ll need about 1- 1 1/2 hours of time.  You won’t need any fancy tools besides a basic sewing machine and even though I use my beloved serger during steps, I’ll be sure to give other alternatives that I know you’ll love just as much. So, without further ado, let’s get started! SEE THE TUTORIAL HERE.

Paint Jeans With Handmade Lace Stencils

We all love a pair of blue jeans- but that still doesn’t mean we can’t mix it up every once in a while right? This ten-minute recycled clothing tutorial is quick and easy and makes a feminine statement. I love how the subtle lace detail adds dimension but can still be paired with almost anything. SEE THE REFASHION TUTORIAL HERE.

recycled clothing jeans denim

Weave A T-Shirt To Create A Whole New Look

This t-shirt refashion looks complicated but is surprisingly easy to do. I even included a handy little DIY video for you to follow along. When you are done, you’ll be ready to weave details in your leggings, hoodies, and more. It’s all the same technique so don’t be afraid to mix it up a bit and get creative! SEE THE FULL REFASHION HERE.

recycled clothing t shirt refashion

Refashion A Bra Into Sexy Lace Lingerie

Bra making doesn’t alway have to be hard. Granted, there is a lost art in lingerie making, but most of us don’t have the skills to whip up a sexy underwire bra after a busy day.

A bra refashion on the other hand, cuts a few of the tedious corners, recycles what you already have, and gives the rest of us the opportunity to make a sexy little DIY lingerie piece in a matter of minutes. That is why for today’s DIY, we’ll be bra making the easy way via a quick and simple refashion. SEE THE FULL TUTORIAL HERE.

recycled clothing lingerie style

Add Lace & Grommets For A Quick Sweater Refashion

In my opinion, a lace-up sweater is the perfect winter trend. It’s the perfect way to make a sweater have more personality and detail and still keep you warm (unlike the bare-shoulder sweater trend.) So for today’s post, I’ll be showing you how to make a sweater with a lace-up front from a chunky knit sweater you already have. SEE THE FULL DIY HERE.

Refashion a basic sweater into a lace up one with this full step by step fashion tutorial

Make A Sundress From An Old Button-Down Shirt

The process is so incredibly simple and the fabric most button-downs are made of is incredibly easy to work with, which makes this project excellent for the beginner. Best of all, this little DIY takes minimal supplies and can be done in about an hour or two. So without further ado, let’s get started! GET THE DIY HERE.

recycled clothing from a mens button up

Add Pom Poms To Recycled Clothing For A New Look

Add some fun and flair to an old sweater with this Pom Pom recycled clothing tutorial.

You’ve probably seen pom pom sweaters in crazy colors floating around Pinterest, but personally I think the look is more wearable and practical (for me) in neutral colors. That being said, now my 7 and 3 year old want matching sweaters with yellow, green, pink, and purple poms. 😉 By the time you read this, I’ll probably be at my craft table making colorful, festive pom pom sweaters for them to match! You can join the fun with the tutorial here.

How to make a fun DIY pom pom sweater . A simple recycled clothing idea

Turn Your Old Yoga Pants Into Joggers

We all have a pair of yoga pants that are really too short, PJs that look unnecessarily frumpy, or a pair of stretchy pants that are soooo comfortable but don’t exactly make us feel like a million bucks.

These are the pants that would be absolutely perfect for this refashion DIY.

This super-simple tutorial on how to turn that pair of pants into cute, versatile DIY joggers. JUST READ THE TUTORIAL HERE.

recycled clothing joggers

Update Old Shorts With Lace

Do you have a pair of shorts floating around that could use a little face-lift? Maybe even get a little longer? In this DIY, you’ll learn a quick and easy way to refashion your denim shorts with this simple DIY lace shorts refashion. In about ten minutes, you’ll have a brand new pair! SEE HOW HERE.

recycled clothing shorts

Create Designer Look-Alike Sunglasses W/ This Tutorial

Most of the time high fashion designs can be impractical for our real lives, but it’s still fun to add a bit of glamour in small ways. Accessories are the perfect way to start! Whenever you’re feeling bored with an outfit, it’s amazing what a few new accessories can do. Especially when you add one “wow” statement piece.

So in this tutorial, I thought it would be fun to recreate a few sunglasses inspired by Miu Miu, Dolce & Gabbana, and the one and only Chanel.

To create these high-fashion designs, we are going to look no further than our jewelry box and accessory drawer. We all have a few extra pieces in our jewelry box that we will never wear, haven’t seen daylight in years, and are just floating around collecting dust right?

In this tutorial I thought it would be fun to take these pieces and make something new! Read the full step by step tutorial here.

recycled clothing sunglasses upcycled clothing tutorial

When In Doubt, Add Fringe

To update your t-shirts with fringe embellishments, set aside just 15-20 minutes of time. This project is great for the beginner and if you don’t have a basic sewing machine (or feel intimidated using one) you can get the same look by using No-Sew Fabric Glue or just sewing the embellishment on by hand. You’ll wear your shirt so much more when you are done with this project! GET THE FULL TUTORIAL HERE

recycled clothing fringe makeover

Refashion A Sweatshirt Into A Cardigan

Who doesn’t love a good ol’ sweatshirt refashion? In this recycled clothing tutorial, I’ll show you exactly how to turn any sweatshirt into a leopard print cardigan with just a few easy steps. SEE THE FULL REFASHION HERE.

recycled clothing sweater upcycled clothing

Add Glitter To Your Sneakers

From the first time I saw the glitter trainers trend, I knew I needed some. I love how easy they are to style in basic black and love the unexpected, feminine pop the glitter adds. Pair them with basic jeans and a t-shirt or dress them up for a night out or even a formal event. They are more comfortable than heels and surprisingly, go with almost anything. LEARN HOW HERE.

 recycled clothing 254325

DIY A Convertible Jumpsuit From A Pair Of Slacks

Recycle old clothing into a DIY convertible jumpsuit from any pair of slacks or pants. Learn how to make this one piece romper for your next holiday party, date night, or cocktail party. The convertible top makes it easy to style your DIY playsuit in over 20 different ways and makes a perfect recycled clothing sewing project.

Go Bold With Paint & Patches

Lately I’ve been absolutely loving the bold, new shoes that we’ve been seeing on the runways. The only problem is, while statement-making shoes are fun, I’m just not committed enough to the trend to fork over my credit card. That’s why in this recycled clothing tutorial, I’ll be making these Gucci inspired loafers for less than $15 by showing you how to decorate shoes. See the full tutorial here.

recycled clothing Refashion loafers to make these glam Gucci Inspired shoes

Get Creative With Bleach Pens

Before this little DIY, I loved this black maxi dress. It was great for airports, farmer’s markets… basically anywhere I wanted to go and look presentable and still be ridiculously comfortable. It’s the perfect length and has a low back with some sexy cross-straps. Now, after I took a bleach pen to it, I love it even more. You can read how to create unique bleach designs here.

How to make a DIY Bleach Pen Dress. Full step by step recycled clothing Tutorial

Recycle Old Clothes Into Cropped Tops

Learn how to refashion and upcycle your old leggings into this cute and trendy crop top in less than five minutes! Make your own recycled clothing with these simple upcycling ideas. This no sew tutorial will walk you through how to make your own “new” clothes from what you already have lying around.

Recycled Old Socks Into Slippers

You can never have too many slippers right? This tutorial by TrashToCouture.com walks you through how to add slipper soles to the bottom of socks and create hygge slippers. Read the full tutorial and get started here.

Add Embellishments to Basic Accessories

With a little creativity and about an hour of time, this will become your favorite boho bag that will be ready to take on the rest of the year! CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL TUTORIAL.

Easy DIY Studded Sweater

I love how the extra detail of the hardware makes a big impact in the overall look of the top. Once the studs are put on, your sweater is good to be washed and rewashed without your studs slipping. This is why I like applying them with jewelry pliers instead of fabric glue. CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL TUTORIAL.

recycled clothing studded sweater tutorial

Glue-On Poms For A Festive Update

Bright, woven purses are everywhere this season but often, the price tag can be just as impressive as the trend. To create this recycled clothing tutorial, you’ll need to block out about 10 minutes and collect a few supplies. SEE HOW TO DIY THIS BAG HERE.

MAKE THIS Woven Pom Purse with this super easy DIY Tutorial.

DIY Sequin Shorts Refashion

I love how the mix of denim and sequin can be dressed up or down. Now, I pair these shorts with a loose-fitting tank or you can dress it up with heels. Either way, they’re so much more fun than they were a few days ago. CLICK HERE FOR THE DIY.

recycled clothing sequin shorts tutorial

Add Laces And Tassels To Basic Shoes

This DIY is ridiculously simple and adds a little whimsy and burst of color to a dark, winter closet. They compliment any skirt style and elevate skinny jeans without sacrificing comfort.

For this shoe refashion DIY, I used some plain black wedge heels that were just taking up space in my closet before. Any color or finish of shoe will work, but keep in mind that this tutorial will be slightly more difficult if the shoes are lined with a netted fabric. CLICK HERE FOR THE TUTORIAL.

recycled clothing shoe tutorial

Make A Fringe Clutch From A Kitchen Placemat

In this quick and easy tutorial, we’ll be making a boho-style, DIY fringe bag out of a straw kitchen placemat! This is seriously the easiest DIY purse tutorial you have ever seen.

You can get this project completed in under 30 minutes, takes inexpensive supplies, and looks unique when you’re finished. Sounds perfect right? READ THE TUTORIAL HERE.

recycled clothing tips and tricks