15 Creative Ways to Repurpose Clothes You Can’t Donate

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We all have those clothes that we just can’t donate—maybe they’re too worn out or hold sentimental value. Instead of letting them get dusty in the back of your closet, why not give them a new lease on life? There are many possibilities to repurpose even the most tattered textiles. So here we have 15 ways you can breathe new life into your old threads. Let’s get creative!

Quilt It Up

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Stitch together scraps of old t-shirts, jeans, and other fabrics to create a one-of-a-kind quilt. The combo of different textures and patterns will add visual interest, and you’ll have a warm, eco-friendly blanket to snuggle up in. 

Rag Rugs

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Show off your creativity to your guests! Weave or braid strips of cotton, linen, and other natural fabrics into colorful, durable rugs for your home. These rustic floor coverings are perfect for high-traffic areas. 

Tote Bags

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Give those old t-shirts a second life as stylish, eco-friendly tote bags! All you need are scissors and a bit of sewing magic. Snip off the sleeves, cut out the neckline for handles, and stitch the bottom hem. Ta-da! You’ve got a one-of-a-kind tote perfect for groceries, beach days, or library hauls.

Cleaning Rags

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Jersey fabric is one of the best when it comes to cleaning. Cut up worn-out fabrics into small squares or strips to use as reusable cleaning cloths. They’re great for dusting, polishing, and wiping up spills. 

Pillow Stuffing

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Transform your tired tees and tattered textiles into plush, personalized pillows. Stuff them with the soft, shredded remnants of your old clothes for a truly one-of-a-kind look.

Appliqués and Patches

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Salvage interesting prints, patterns, and textures from old clothes to create unique appliqués and patches. Sew them onto new garments, bags, or home decor items. 

Headbands and Scrunchies

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Transform old t-shirts, sweaters, and other stretchy fabrics into stylish hair accessories like headbands and scrunchies. 

Coasters

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Felt, weave, or sew old fabric scraps into absorbent decorative coasters to protect your furniture. Stitch together an eclectic mix of colorful fabric scraps for a one-of-a-kind patchwork design. The more varied the patterns and textures, the better!

Reusable Sponges

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Say no to disposable stuff, and hello to recycling. Cut up old cotton t-shirts or terry cloth towels into small squares to use as eco-friendly, reusable sponges for washing dishes. 

Stuffed Animals

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Your kid doesn’t want to give away his favorite t-shirt? Don’t worry! You can easily turn it into something he’ll love. Sew together scraps of fabric to create one-of-a-kind plush toys and dolls. 

Placemats and Napkins

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Who knew you could personalize your dining table using old clothes? Stitch up a few strips of fabric to make rustic, washable placemats and napkins. 

Pet Toys and Beds

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Your pets will love playing with homemade toys made from old clothes. Braid or knot strips of denim, flannel, or other sturdy fabrics can be used as chew toys for energetic dogs. Shredded fabrics can also be used to stuff their beds. 

Homemade Aprons

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Convert an old shirt into a practical apron. Cut off the sleeves and hem the edges. Add a waistband using fabric ties or a ribbon. It’s perfect for cooking, gardening, or any messy project. This DIY apron can be customized with pockets for tools or utensils, making it a functional and stylish addition to your kitchen or workshop.

Rag Garlands

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Tear strips from an assortment of patterned and solid fabrics in earthy tones like mustard, terracotta, and olive green. Braid, knot, or weave the strips together for a beautifully textured garland that looks stunning when draped over a mantel, bookshelf, or headboard.

Kids’ Dress-Up Clothes

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Turn old clothes into whimsical dress-up costumes for kids. A worn-out shirt can become a superhero cape with drawn-on insignias and glittery embellishments. An old skirt might transform into a princess dress with just a few snips and some ribbon.

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