Who knew it could be so much fun to recycle old clothes?
For the vast majority of the year, I’ve been working on slowly making a handmade closet I’m crazy about instead of shopping for more, poorly-made, overpriced clothing.
It’s been so rewarding to expand my sewing skills and grow a handcrafted, curated closet. The biggest win though, may be how my mindset has shifted around shopping, scoring deals, and implusle buys. I used to go out and buy clothes that I didn’t even really like because they were inexpensive. They would fit poorly, be made of scratchy fabrics, and end up taking up valuable space in my closet.
Maybe you can relate.
That’s where getting creative and starting to recycle old clothes comes in.
With a little creativity and just 15 minutes, you can transform the pieces hanging in your closet to better reflect your unique style and personality. You can make the clothes you have fit better, look cuter, and even transform their overall look.
So today, I’ve combed through the Creative fashion Blog archives as well as the best tutorials from PInterest (if you don’t follow me yet, CLICK HERE) to bring you 20 ways to recycle old clothes in just 15 minutes or less.
Now you can swing open your closet doors and dive in!
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 awhile right? This ten minute jean refashion 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.
Add Pom Poms To Upcycle An Old Sweater
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! SEE THE FULL TUTORIAL HERE.
Add Gold Foil To Customize Plain Shirts
How many old t shirts do you have lying around that are ready for some extra lovin? If your dresser looks anything like mine…. chances are…. a lot. That’s where today’s DIY t shirt stencil makeover comes in. Similar to the scissor stencil we created last year, (that has over 1,000 downloads by the way!) this free feather printable will give your old clothes a brand new look. GET THE FREE PRINTABLE & TUTORIAL HERE.
Transform A Thrift Store Dress Into A Boho Top
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 VIDEO TUTORIAL HERE.
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 Lace Peplum Top From An Old T-Shirt
FashionWanderer.com created this tutorial to recycle old clothes by using lace and an old, thrift store tshirt. SEE THE FULL TUTORIAL HERE.
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.
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 DIY, you’ll need to block out about 10 minutes and collect a few supplies. SEE HOW TO DIY THIS BAG HERE.
Suede Lace Up Boot Upcycle
Who doesn’t love a quick and easy boot makeover? Today’s project is a ten minute tutorial to update the look of your old boots and give them just a little more personality and character. SEE THE 10 MINUTE TUTORIAL HERE.
Add Your Own DIY Suede Elbow Patch To A Basic Sweater
Granted, you can find hundreds (if not thousands) of DIY elbow patch tutorials on Pinterest. In this post, you’ll learn how to actually make a patch yourself and some tips on applying them to trickier fabrics like chunky knit sweaters. When you are done with this little project, not only will you have mastered a few new sewing skills, but you’ll also have the cutest little elbow patch sweater that is completely unique to you. SEE THE FULL REFASHION HERE.
UPCYCLE YOUR OLD LEGGINGS INTO A CUTE TOP
In less than 5 minutes, I’ll be walking you through the step-by-step process that will have you excited to upcycle all those leggings you never wear anymore! This DIY crop top makes for a great swimsuit cover-up or can be worn with your high-waisted jeans or a maxi skirt for a totally different look. SEE THE FULL TUTORIAL HERE.
Recycle Old Clothes With Bleach Pens
Before this tutorial to recycle old clothes, 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. SEE THE FULL TUTORIAL HERE.
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.
Use Broken Jewelry To DIY A Trendy Beanie
This beanie is a must-have winter staple because it makes you feel feminine while lounging around or in the most casual situations. I love the contrast and extra detail the embellishments add! SEE THE VIDEO TUTORIAL HERE.
Upcycle T-Shirts Into A Summer Dress
You can never have too many comfy, casual summer dresses right? In this 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.
Create “Normal” Sleeves From Cold Shoulder Dresses
SewMuchLoveMary.com created this beautuful dress by removing the cold shoulder detail and creating a full, classic sleeve. Now that the weather is getting colder, this tutorial is the perfect transition into fall. SEE THE FULL TUTORIAL HERE.
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.
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.
Add Detail To Old Clothes By Giving The Sleeves A Makeover
This tutorial by FashionWanderer.com walks you through how to give old sweaters and half-sleeve tops an upgrade with this quick and easy clothing refashion. This no sew project takes just 5 minutes. SEE THE FULL TUTORIAL HERE.
Add Lace Trimming To Upcycle A Plain T-Shirt
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.