Repurposed: 7 Quirky Uses for Old Clothing

No matter the size of your closet, chances are you’ve got a box or two filled with old clothing you can no longer appropriately wear in public. However, instead of leaving that box to take up much needed closet space and act as dust bunny fodder, we’ve got seven quirky ways for you to transform those worn out rags and sentiment-rich t-shirts into something more useful!

Number Seven: Make Some Rags. You’ve seen your mother do it – now it’s your turn. Old, worn-out clothing makes for the best rags. Because the fabric has been worn out, it’s now soft and absorbent. Cut your stretched out camisole into squares and use it as a jewelry cloth. T-shirts also make for perfect head wraps, in place of a towel, as they’re not as absorbent as a towel and won’t frizz out your hair. Flannel shirts are best used for polishing glass and metal – you can even use them to buff your car! And then there are jeans, which are the go-to fabric rag for any kind of mess you can make.

Number Six: Reusable Grocery Bags. It’s good to go green, and nothing’s greener than repurposing something you’d otherwise throw in the trash. With a couple easy cuts and one straight seam, you can turn an old knit t-shirt into a bag for your produce. Just cut the shirt into a bag-like shape, sew the bottom and sides together, cut out a handle at the top, and then cut small air-notches into the sides. Now you’ve got an eco-friendly, alternative to plastic!

Number Five: Door Stops. Cut off the pant leg of an old pair of jeans, roll it up, and place it along the underside of your door. This will help eliminate those pesky drafts that blow through the small space between your door and the carpet. You can even take it one step further by stuffing the pant leg with the other leg or old t-shirts. This will turn your draft-eliminator into an insulator as well, and it will also allow you to use the pant leg as a door stop!

Number Four: Packing Material. Never use bubble wrap again – companies are making it un-poppable now, so it’s just not as fun anymore anyway. Instead of that plastic wrap or packing popcorn – which we all know is just annoying – you can use old clothes as packing material. Wrap your fine china in them, or wad them up into squishy clothes to fill in packing gaps.

Number Three: Make a Scarf. With fall nearly here and winter just around the corner, it’s officially scarf season! But you don’t have to be a knitter to make warm, comfy scarves! Simply cut up some of your old t-shirts – I actually highly recommend using those worn band tees for this project – and stitch them together to create the perfect, eye-catching knit scarf!

Number Two: Quilt It Up. Chances are, most of that old, worn-out clothing you refuse to let go of has a lot of sentimental value to you. Maybe it’s that shirt from the 80s you wore while fixing up your first car, or that one-of-a-kind Metallica tee you can’t find anywhere else. No matter the story behind the garment, chances are you’re not going to part with it anytime soon. But who said you had to? Instead of keeping all those memories in a box at the back of your closet, take them out and turn them into a memory quilt. Cut out your favorite parts of each clothing article, be it studded jean pockets or screen-printed band logos, and then quilt it all together into a funky quilt that’s nothing like what your grandma would ever make – though it might not hurt to ask her for some quilting tips before you get started.

Number One: Fabric Crafts. If you’re crafty enough – or good at tracking down Pinterest DIYs – you’ll find old clothing to be an invaluable resource. You can cut any kind of fabric up to suit your crafting needs; the creative possibilities are endless. Make stuffed animals and dolls out of old shirts and some denim, take your flannel and make hot or cold pack covers, or just cut up a bunch of different fabrics into squares for your patchwork projects. The possibilities are endless.