Upcycling Tips and DIY Ideas for Transforming Old Clothes Into New Styles

If you have old clothes you don’t wear anymore but hate to get rid of, we recommend transforming them into something new. Here are some of our favorite DIY ideas and tips for making the old new again.

Dye It

There are a ton of different directions you can go when dyeing your clothes. One option is to change the color entirely, which is ideal for lighter pieces. Another option is to tie-dye old T-shirts or denim. If the garments are darker, you can bleach-dye them.

Put a Patch on It

You don’t have to be a sewing whiz to patch over small holes or unsightly stains. Many patches are iron-on, so you don’t have to mess with needles and thread.

Consider Embroidery

Embroidery is similar to patches in that it’s a simple solution to cover up holes and stains, but embroidery does require a needle and thread. Embroidery lets you add anything to your garments, such as flowers, insects, dots, shapes, and more. Even if your clothes don’t have stains or holes, embroidery can be a funky way to bring old clothes back to life.

Chop, Chop

If you have old T-shirts you can’t or won’t wear again, you can always cut them into squares and use them as paper towels, cleaning rags, makeup wipes, etc. After using them once, wash and reuse them!

Change the Length, Change the Vibe

Maxi dresses or skirts can easily be transformed into midi dresses or skirts, jeans can be turned into shorts, and blazers can be converted into edgy cropped jackets.


If you like the color or pattern of certain pieces, consider cutting them up and constructing something new, like a patchwork bag, cardigan, blanket, or denim jacket.

A Few More Tips

  • Some garments are ready for donation, and others we love too much to part with, but the ones that fall somewhere in between those two categories are the pieces you can transform.
  • Whether it’s dye, needles, thread, or fabric shears, ensure you have all your materials on hand. And, if you can manage, designate a workspace for yourself.
  • Start small and practice on pieces you don’t want to keep to perfect your art.
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