Giving outgrown clothes to others, or donating items to secondhand stores provides loving homes for favorite clothing … but what about the pieces you just aren't ready to pass along? Luckily, there are some darling ways to upcycle that favorite dress, a well-worn sweater, or any other item that's hard to part with.
That's a (head) wrap
A favorite T-shirt that's a bit too tight makes for the perfect headband. Making a cute accessory out of an old favorite dress or T-shirt makes complete sense in our book. This tutorial makes the instructions easy to follow, and will only take you about 10 minutes. There are also instructions to make a larger headband for Momma if she wants to join in on the headband fun.
Update Teddy's wardrobe
That adorable little dress might not fit your little girl anymore, but it might just fit on her favorite teddy bear or doll. Reuse old children's clothes for stuffed animals and toys (and allow for hours of dress up play).
Match and patch
If a closet staple is a tad too small, bring a little love to a new item. Cut out a cute patch (an airplane, a sailboat, flowers, etc) from the old material to sew onto another shirt, dress or skirt. Your little one will love seeing a bit of their favorite outfit on something new.
One clever blogger has made some old clothes into a quiet activity book — full of patterns, textures and shapes — all made from various outfits that don't fit anymore. It's unbelievably adorable and will also keep your child quietly occupied. Win-win.
Dress to impress
For clothes that fit a little small, try repurposing to a new outfit. This blog gives simple instructions on how to turn a too-small dress into an adorable skirt with a matching tank.
Sewing old favorites into a memory quilt is an option for the ambitious. This way, your little boy's favorite baseball tees and onesies can be made into a bedspread he'll have for years to come. Take a look at this example for some inspiration.
Old sweaters make making mittens a cinch. Take some outgrown sweaters and cut out a pair of mittens — Martha Stewart shows you how. Cute and practical? Yes, please.
This creative blogger decided to make outgrown clothes part of a lunchtime routine. A few simple stitches and a metal snap refashions an outfit or two into a reusable snack pouch.
Bugsbears takes your favorite clothes and makes them into the cutest bear for your child to hug and snuggle with. The company can use most types of fabrics, making it a perfect way to upcycle a few outfits with one project.
So, spend a quick minute or afternoon with a pile of outgrown clothes and see what you can upcycle!
Emily is putting her English and Humanities degree to use editing and writing all over the world. Trying to see all 7 world wonders (while visiting as many countries as she can in between), Emily loves wandering alleyways, beautifully photographed food, stumbling upon impromptu flea and food markets. She can usually be found camera in hand, munching on a street food and never has her headphones out of reach.