10 Creative Ways to Upcycle Old Clothes into Fashion
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 10 min read


  1. Turn old t-shirts into stylish scarves
  2. Transform sweaters into leg warmers
  3. Create fashionable bags from denim jeans
  4. Design unique jewelry from buttons
  5. Upcycle socks into cozy gloves
  6. Make a quilt from various fabric pieces
  7. Revamp old shirts into crop tops
  8. Convert old scarves into kimonos
  9. Repurpose old ties into fashionable belts
  10. Turn old blankets into winter ponchos

Do you have a pile of old clothes taking up valuable space in your wardrobe? We all do. But before you decide to throw them away, think about this: what if you could breathe new life into those garments? What if you could transform them into fashionable pieces that not only look great, but are also unique to you? Welcome to the world of upcycling clothes creatively! A process where you take old, discarded pieces and repurpose them into something new, stylish, and uniquely yours. Let's get started on your journey to creating a unique, eco-friendly wardrobe.

Turn old t-shirts into stylish scarves

Remember that stale old t-shirt you have lying around, the one with the faded logo? Let's put it to good use. Transforming t-shirts into stylish scarves is a simple and fun way to start your upcycling journey. Here's how to do it:

  1. First, lay the t-shirt flat on a table and cut off the bottom hem.
  2. Next, decide how wide you want your scarf to be. A good rule of thumb is to aim for around 10 inches. Starting from the bottom, cut a straight line across the t-shirt to your chosen width.
  3. Then, stretch the fabric out. This will cause the edges to roll in, giving your scarf a cool, finished look.
  4. Finally, let your creativity shine. You can leave your scarf as is, or add some personal touches. Try knotting the ends, or cutting fringes along the edges. Feeling a bit more adventurous? Use fabric paint or markers to create unique designs on your new scarf.

And there you have it: a stylish scarf that's completely unique to you! Not only have you given a new lease on life to an old t-shirt, but you've also taken your first step into the world of upcycling clothes creatively. So, why not give it a try? You might be surprised at how easy and enjoyable it is to create your own fashion pieces!

Transform sweaters into leg warmers

As we wave goodbye to winter, those chunky sweaters are often left forgotten in the back of your wardrobe. But don't let them collect dust! Instead, let's upcycle them into a pair of trendy leg warmers. They're perfect for adding a cozy touch to your outfit, or for those chilly spring mornings. Here's a straightforward guide to help you out.

  1. Start by laying the sweater flat and cutting straight across, just below the sleeves. These will become your leg warmers.
  2. Next, turn your cut pieces inside out and sew along the edge you’ve just cut. This will prevent any unwanted fraying and give your leg warmers a neat finish.
  3. After you've sewn the edge, flip your leg warmers the right side out. Now you've got the basic structure.
  4. Finally, it's time to make them your own. Add some pom-poms, a lace trim, or even a few sparkles. The sky's the limit when it comes to upcycling clothes creatively!

And voila! You've transformed a forgotten sweater into a pair of stylish and cozy leg warmers. Not only have you saved a piece of clothing from languishing in your wardrobe, but you've also added a unique and handmade touch to your style. So, what are you waiting for? Give it a try and see how fun and rewarding upcycling can be!

Create fashionable bags from denim jeans

Those old jeans of yours? They've got "trendy tote bag" written all over them. If you have a pair of jeans that's seen better days, don't throw them out just yet. You could transform them into a fantastic bag. Here's a simple process to follow:

  1. First, you'll want to cut off the legs from your jeans—straight across, right above the crotch part. The upper part, where the pockets are, will serve as your bag.
  2. You'll then turn the jeans inside out and sew across the bottom to close off your bag. Make sure to double stitch for extra strength.
  3. Next, flip it back right-side out. Now you've got a bag, but it's missing something vital—handles. Don't fret, the legs of your jeans will come to the rescue!
  4. Cut out two long strips from one of the legs—these will serve as your handles. Attach each strip to the inside of your bag, and sew them into place. Remember to reinforce these stitches too.
  5. Lastly, it's time for the fun part: customizing! Add patches, embroideries, or even a splash of paint. The bag is your canvas, and upcycling clothes creatively is your paintbrush.

There you have it—a practical, eco-friendly, and stylish bag, made from your old jeans. And the best part? It'll be a one-of-a-kind addition to your wardrobe. So, next time you think about tossing those old jeans, remember: they could be your next fashion statement.

Design unique jewelry from buttons

Ever looked at the buttons on your old clothes and thought, "These could make some unique jewelry!"? No? Well, let's change that. Here's a fun way to breathe new life into those buttons and simultaneously embrace the concept of upcycling clothes creatively.

  1. First, you need to gather all the buttons you can find. Look through your old clothes, the sewing kit you rarely use, or even that random drawer everyone has—it's time those buttons saw the light of day.
  2. Next, sort them out. Group them by color, size, or design. The more varied your collection, the more unique your jewelry will be. The goal here is creativity and diversity.
  3. Now, it's time to decide what type of jewelry you want to create. A button necklace? A bracelet? Earrings? The choice is yours. Pick the buttons that best fit your vision.
  4. Then, it's time to assemble. You'll need some jewelry wire or thread for this. Thread your chosen buttons, secure the ends, and voila! Your button jewelry is ready.
  5. Finally, show off your creation with pride. You've not only made a unique piece of jewelry, but you've also tapped into the art of upcycling clothes creatively.

So, the next time you're about to discard that shirt with the funky buttons, think again. Those buttons might just be the key to your next fashion-forward accessory. Who knew upcycling could be this fun and fashionable?

Upcycle socks into cozy gloves

Are your socks begging for a new lease on life? Well, it's time to listen and respond. Let's transform those worn-out or mismatched socks into a pair of cozy gloves. Upcycling clothes creatively isn't just about fashion, it's also about comfort and utility.

  1. To start, pick out a pair of socks that you're willing to experiment with. Maybe they're a pair with a missing mate, or perhaps they're just a little too worn out to wear. Whatever the case, they're perfect for this project.
  2. Next, you'll need to trace your hand on a piece of paper. Make sure to spread your fingers apart so you can get the right fit. This will serve as a template for your gloves.
  3. Then, place your sock over the template and mark the outline of the fingers using a washable marker. The heel part of the sock will serve as the thumb.
  4. Now, carefully cut along the lines you've drawn. Remember, it's better to cut a bit bigger than your actual size—you can always adjust later.
  5. Finally, sew along the edges of your cutouts, turn them inside out, and you've got yourself a pair of cozy gloves.

It's as simple as that. Not only have you created a handy pair of gloves, but you've also taken a step towards sustainable living by upcycling your clothes creatively. Now, isn't that a win-win?

Make a quilt from various fabric pieces

Remember those random fabric pieces from your previous DIY projects that you just couldn't part with? Well, it's their time to shine. We're going to turn them into a cozy, one-of-a-kind quilt. This is what upcycling clothes creatively is all about—making something beautiful and functional out of what would otherwise be waste.

  1. Firstly, gather all the fabric pieces you have. They can be of any shape and size. The more diverse, the better. Diversity adds character to your quilt.
  2. Secondly, arrange the pieces into a pattern that pleases your eye. You could go for a random pattern or a more structured look. This is your quilt, so make it reflect your style!
  3. Next, sew the pieces together. Start by sewing smaller pieces into larger blocks, and then sew the blocks together. Take your time with this step to ensure everything aligns correctly.
  4. Then, cut a piece of batting and a piece of backing fabric the same size as your quilt top. Layer them: backing on the bottom, batting in the middle, and your quilt top on the top.
  5. Lastly, sew all three layers together. You can do this by hand or with a sewing machine. And voila! You have a beautiful, unique quilt made from upcycled fabric pieces.

So, who knew that pile of fabric scraps could turn into something so cozy and stylish? That's the magic of upcycling clothes creatively. You're not just creating a quilt, you're creating a story of sustainability and creativity.

Revamp old shirts into crop tops

Got some old shirts lying around, perhaps from a previous era or just too worn out to wear in public? Let’s get creative with our upcycling and breathe new life into them by transforming them into trendy crop tops. Here’s how you nail this cool way of upcycling clothes creatively:

  1. Start by selecting an old shirt. It could be one with a design you love, or a plain one that you think would look great as a crop top.
  2. Next, try on the shirt and mark the length you want for your crop top. Remember, it's always better to err on the side of longer—you can always cut more off, but you can't put it back on!
  3. Now, take off the shirt and lay it flat on a table. Cut along the marked line using a pair of sharp fabric scissors. Be sure to cut straight!
  4. Then, if you want a clean finish, fold the cut edge inside the shirt and sew it down. If you prefer a more casual look, you can leave the edge raw—it will roll up slightly with wear and washing.
  5. Finally, try on your new crop top! Pair it with some high-waisted jeans or shorts for a chic, laid-back look.

And there you have it—a quick, easy way to revamp old shirts into stylish crop tops. It's a fun, fashionable way of upcycling clothes creatively, and the best part is that each piece you make is unique and carries a story. So, are you ready to transform your wardrobe?

Convert old scarves into kimonos

Scarves, especially the oversized ones, often sit unused in our closets. If you have scarves that you adore but don't find the opportunity to wear often, let's get our creative juices flowing and turn them into fabulous kimonos! Here's your step-by-step guide to this inventive approach of upcycling clothes creatively:

  1. First, pick out a large scarf. The bigger, the better. The more fabric you have, the more flowy and dramatic your kimono can be.
  2. Second, fold the scarf in half. Imagine the fold line as the back of your new kimono.
  3. Next, sew up the sides, leaving enough space for armholes. You want to start sewing about mid-way up the scarf, leaving the top part open for your arms.
  4. After, cut a line from the bottom of the scarf up to the mid-point where you started sewing. This will form the front opening of your kimono.
  5. Lastly, clean up any loose threads, and voila! Your scarf-turned-kimono is ready to wear.

So why not give your old scarves a new life by turning them into stylish kimonos? It’s a fun and fashionable way to upcycle clothes creatively. Plus, every time you wear your new kimono, you’ll have a great story to tell about how you made it yourself!

Repurpose old ties into fashionable belts

You might have a collection of old ties — perhaps they're out of style, or perhaps they belong to someone who no longer needs them. Instead of letting them collect dust, why not transform them into something trendy and practical, like a belt? Here's how you can start upcycling clothes creatively with your old ties:

  1. Firstly, choose a tie. A longer tie will work best as it needs to wrap around your waist or hips.
  2. Secondly, wrap the tie around your waist. Keep the wide end at the front and let the thin end wrap around your back.
  3. Thirdly, loop the thin end back to the front, passing it through the loop you've created at your waist.
  4. Then, adjust the belt to your desired tightness. The wide end should hang down a bit like a traditional tie.
  5. Finally, secure the belt with a decorative brooch for a vintage touch or even a safety pin if you want a more subtle look.

Just like that, you’ve breathed new life into an old tie! This is not only a great way to upcycle clothes creatively, but it also adds a unique, personal touch to your outfit. And remember, the more colorful and patterned the tie, the more vibrant your new belt will be!

Turn old blankets into winter ponchos

Ever wondered what to do with those old blankets that are too worn out to use but too sentimental to toss? Here's a creative idea: turn them into cozy winter ponchos. Upcycling clothes creatively doesn't have to be limited to clothes — you can transform any fabric into a fashionable item. Here's how:

  1. Firstly, spread out the blanket and cut a square shape that's large enough to cover your torso. If you want a longer poncho, make sure to cut a larger square.
  2. Secondly, fold the square diagonally to form a triangle. The folded edge will be the bottom of the poncho.
  3. Next, cut a small semi-circle at the center of the folded edge. This will be the neck opening.
  4. Then, sew along the cut edge to prevent any fraying. If you're handy with a knitting needle, you can even add a crochet trim for a charming touch.
  5. Finally, decorate your poncho with any embellishments you like. You could add some tassels, buttons, or even patches of other fabric to make it uniquely yours.

And voila — you now have a winter poncho that’s not only warm and comfortable but is also a testament to your knack for upcycling clothes creatively! Plus, you've saved a beloved old blanket from ending up in the trash.

If you enjoyed exploring these creative ways to upcycle old clothes, you'll love the workshop 'Queering Fashion: From Dress Codes to Wardrobe Hacks' by Lou Croff Blake. This workshop not only covers innovative methods to transform your wardrobe but also delves into the role of fashion in challenging norms and expressing one's unique identity. Don't miss this opportunity to expand your fashion horizons!