35+ Ideas for Upcycling Clothes

35+ Ideas for Upcycling Clothes

One of the most common and well-stocked sections in thrift stores is the clothing department. As a society, we go through clothing at an untenable pace, mostly because it’s cheap and poorly made. And while we used to be able to dump it all at thrift stores, that convenience is rapidly changing due to current world events. With so many thrifts no longer accepting textile donations, I thought you might be looking for ideas for upcycling clothes.

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As many of you know, I absolutely love to upcycle flannel shirts. Whether I’m making wreaths or table runners or covering a vintage canteen, I’ve never met a flannel project I didn’t love.

Upcycling a metal canteen into plaid decor

Heck, my first book is all about crafting with flannel! Just released in 2021, it’s easy to see just how much I love working with flannel shirts.

Craft book for flannel shirts

But shirts aren’t the only piece of fashion I’ve upcycled with. I also love repurposing scarves and have made several projects with them, including these suncatchers.

diy suncatchers from vintage scarves

But, obviously, there is a LOT of clothing out there to be recycled into completely new things. From jeans to sweaters, to neckties and shoulder pads, there are countless ways to upcycle clothing.

Because while you may not be able to donate old clothes to your favorite thrift right now, you can still repurpose them! Or at least…parts of them, like these drawer sachets!

drawer sachets from shirt pockets

And this is by no means a comprehensive collection of upcycled clothing ideas. But, I tried to capture a wide variety of ideas for different types of articles of clothing in order to touch on all sorts of creative inspiration.

Inspiration that runs the gamut from complete repurposing down to something as simple as getting more mileage out of old work shirts, like this.

attaching a vintage patch with fabric glue

Ready to find your next upcycled clothing project?

Ideas for Upcycling Clothes

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So, what do you think? Are you inspired by one (or several) of these ideas for repurposed clothing? And these are just the tip of the iceberg!

And let’s not forget about the fabric face masks we all wore in 2020 and 2021! Time to repurpose a few of those into things.

repurposing ideas for a cotton face mask

From denim to wool sweaters, to shoes and socks and everything in between, there are endless ways to recycle your clothes into something else.

boho pillow covers from upcycled sweaters

Whether you use them as home decor, for organizing around the house, or create a completely new wearable item, upcycling clothes is always on trend.

And if you enjoyed these upcycled clothing ideas, then you may also be interested in creating a hip purse for hands-free shopping by upcycling a traditional handbag!

Hip purse from a small leather handbag

Craft on!


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Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.


  1. Rebecca Payne says

    What great ideas.

  2. Great collection of projects. One of the few good things about “lockdown” is that we are going to become more less wasteful and more self-sufficient like our grandparents were!

  3. Love them all! Lately I have been making fashion projects! Fun

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