Recycle Clothes with these 20 Awesome Projects!

Be inspired to recycle your old clothes with these crafty ideas!

recycle clothes creative projects

Decluttering the closets in your home? You may find yourself with a bunch of old clothes – some may not even be good enough to re-sell, give away, or donate. What do you do with them?

One thing is for sure: you should not throw them away. These clothes will just end up occupying space in one of the already overflowing landfills in the world. We live on an already deteriorating planet and you definitely would not want to contribute to that!

Why not get crafty and give them a new purpose? Recycling and upcycling old clothes is a great, green way to save money and resources! Here are 20 ideas to recycle clothes that are both practical and awesome!

1. Dust rags

This is probably the most common and obvious solution to recycle your old clothes. Turn them into dust rags!

Trim them into perfect squares so they can be folded up and stored nicely. You can now ditch paper towels and use these rags instead, which is good for the environment.

recycle clothes - Dust rags
image from KALYN BROOKE

Use these rags for cleaning up spills, washing your car, and other cleaning tasks. You will never have to buy a dust rag for the rest of your life if you do this.

These cloth dust rags are easy to clean too so you can use and re-use them all the time!

2. Braided rugs

You can cut your old clothing into strips, braid them, and sew them together into a rug. Then use these rugs as something to wipe your shoes or feet clean by the door, or turn them into something decorative for the house!

recycle clothes- Braided rugs
image from FAB ART DIY

There is also another version of this idea where instead of braiding them, you turn your old clothes into yarn and crochet the rugs. Either way, these rugs are very easy to clean and maintain, too!

3. Tote bags

You can turn old t-shirts into tote bags! This is an environment-friendly solution to upcycle old shirts. It also eliminates the need to use plastic bags or paper bags when you are out shopping or doing the groceries!

The best thing about it?

These tote bags are more stable too!

There is an easy no-sew solution to turn shirts into tote bags but if you want something more stable, I suggest that you actually sew them into one – especially if you plan to use them for your groceries.

recycle clothes- Tote bags
image from LOVE THIS PIC

4. Patches

If your old clothes come with a unique print or design, you can simply cut them off and turn them into patches. Check out this DIY project!

Use the patches on your bags, jackets, jeans, and many more! These patches will give your belongings a totally unique and distinct look. When people see it, they’ll instantly recognize it as yours!

5. Little girl skirts

If you have small girls, you will love this hack. Turn your old shirts into little girl skirts!

This will allow you to save money since kids can easily outgrow their clothes. Instead of spending money on new clothes every single time they get their growth spurt, why not recycle your old clothes and turn them into something new for them to wear?

6. Little boy pants

Recycle old men’s shirts into pants for your boys! Turn them into comfortable sleepwear or loungewear while they are at home. Boys are known for their growth spurts so this can save you a lot of money.

recycle clothes- Little boy pants
image from HAMMER & THREAD

7. Patchwork fashion

Cut your old clothing into strips of all sizes and you can create a new patchwork dress, blouse, or skirt.

This is a great idea for those who love the bohemian and gypsy look! It helps you use parts of old clothes that have stains or holes in them since you will only need scraps of each clothing. It does not have to be this colorful – you can group the patches by color to have something color-coordinated if you want a less colorful look.

recycle clothes- Patchwork fashion
image from GOSTO DISTO

8. Pillow and pillowcase

Cut and sew a shirt into a pillow and fill it with old clothing scraps as stuffing. At the same time, you can use prettier old clothes and turn them into pillowcases too.

Polo and button-down shirts are usually used for this idea since the buttons are already there to serve as the opening for the pillowcase.

9. Baskets

Here is a great way to recycle old shirts and give you more storage options. Turn your old clothes into cloth yarn and knit yourself some baskets. These would be so useful for you to carry and put things away in the house!

recycle clothes- Baskets
image from CRAFT HER

10. Fabric boxes

Here’s another fun storage idea that you can do with your old clothes – turn them into fabric boxes! You can make them in any size you want and they are easy to clean too!

11. Book slings

Do you have kids who love their bedtime stories? Consider turning your old clothes into book slings that you can set up on the wall by their bed. Make sure you choose clothes that have a strong enough fabric that can carry the weight of books.

12. Framed shirts

Framing shirts are a common way to still hold on to them even if you can not wear them anymore.

This idea has been common for music lovers who frequently attend concerts and get merchandise shirts, or frequent travelers who are fond of souvenir shirts. It’s a great way to add some color to your walls while showing off your personality.

Framed shirts
image from REDDIT.COM

13. Stuffed animal

A common way to recycle baby clothes is to turn them into stuffed animals like this one.

Stuffed animal
image from SIMPLEMOST

Now it doesn’t necessarily have to be baby clothes. You can do it with other clothes as well. You can stuff the animal with cut-up old clothes too!

That is a lot of old clothes that get recycled! Just make sure to wash everything first before you do this project!

14. Scrunchies

Think about it, how many times have we lost a scrunchie? This could save you money for the rest of your life. And now everyone can have a scrunchie of every color and design! This is best for those old clothes that are in bad shape and you can only salvage a few strips.


15. Mittens

You can turn your old sweaters into mittens! Wool sweaters are the perfect material to create a good pair of mittens. It is a fairly easy sewing project to do too! Now you have a good excuse to get rid of that ugly Christmas sweater.

image from FABRIC ART DIY

16. Patched jeans

Use old jeans to patch up your current jeans. It is a great way to deal with tears and holes. This way, you can increase the lifespan of your favorite pair of jeans easily.

You may also use jean patches to make a pair of jeans look more stylish like this example here.

Patched jeans
image from VERA LUNA

17. Memorial quilt

If you have clothes that have sentimental value, you can turn them into a memorial quilt.

Make one out of baby clothes for keepsakes or make one out of the clothes of a family member who passed away. This way, you and your family will enjoy the memory forever.

18. Dress up box

Kids love to play dress up and they can have fun with your old clothes! If you are good with a sewing machine, you can even modify old clothes and turn them into costumes. Make sure to throw in some hats and scarves to complete the dress-up playtime experience!

Dress up box
image from 551 EAST

19. Dog toy

If you have dogs, you will love this idea. Turn your old clothes into dog toys! Most dog toys do not last long so this is a great way to save money while keeping your fur babies entertained.

Dog toy
image from HAPPY DIT LIFE

20. Compost clothes

If one of the clothes is made out of 100% cotton, you can have it composted! Other materials that can be composted include wool, silk, cashmere, linen, bamboo, and hemp.

Composting will turn the fabrics into soil and you can then use that soil to grow plants, vegetables, and fruits. This is probably the greenest solution that you can do with old clothes.

Ready to recycle some old clothes?

As you can see, there are a lot of things that you can do with old clothes – even those that are not in their best condition! And these projects can even save you money because you will need fewer new things!

So, the next time you do a declutter, keep those old clothes in the craft room and breathe new life into them!

Looking for more recycling projects? Check these out!

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Check out these simple and easy crafts that you can make out of old clothes. You don't have to keep throwing old clothing. Recycle them instead!

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