If you haven’t worn it in 6 months, or it’s SO last season, it’s time for those old clothes to go. You might not know this, but there are many ways you can repurpose your old clothing into something brand new and chic.

Use your old clothes for these, funky, original ideas:

Use old belts to reinvent an old chair

Do you remember that dilapidated old riempie chair you inherited from your grandmother? And those cracked belts Granddad wore? Combine the two to make an interesting, and pretty darn comfortable, repurposed chair. Here’s how…

You’ll need:
• One rickety old chair (a chair that’s not that old is fine, too; give it a vintage look by sanding or whitewashing it)
• A few weathered belts (new ones will also do, just sand them and stain them with wood stainer to give them a worn look)
• A hammer
• A few nails or pop rivets, if you have the equipment

What to do:
1. There’s really nothing to this project. Start off by removing the thongs from the seat of the chair.
2. Fix the belts in place with your hammer and nails and then weave them in a perpendicular fashion.
3. As soon as you’re happy with your arrangement, use the hammer and nails to fasten the belts on the other side of the chair. Make sure they are fastened securely, so as to avoid embarrassment when you or your guests use the chair.

Use old ties to make a lamp shade

If you have a lamp lying around, you can use old ties to give it an entirely new look which will look right at home in an eclectic home.

You’ll need:
• A lamp with its lamp shade
• A few old ties
• Wood glue

What to do:
1. Arrange the ties into a pattern that tickles your fancy.
2. Glue your ties onto the lamp shade using wood glue.

Use an old T-shirt to make a grocery bag

Old T-shirts can be used for many things. This idea is great if you want to reduce your carbon footprint and recycle in more ways than one.

You’ll need:
• An old T-shirt
• Scissors
• A needle and thread (if you can use a sewing machine, this will be done in two ticks)

What to do:
1. The hem or the bottom of the shirt will be the top of the bag. Using the hem as the handle of the bag will make it stronger. Draw out the shape of the bag and cut it out with your scissors.
2. Sew around the bottom and sides of the bag to close it off.
3. Draw lines as guides for the slits of the bag and cut them with the tips of your scissors.

Bag from recycled shirts

Bag from recycled shirts

Cutting your bag

Cutting your bag

Recycled bag

Draw lines for slits

Recycled bag

Cut the slits

This idea has been adapted from: Delia Creates

Make a hand warmer or cold pack from old flannel pajamas

These bags can be used either as hand warmers or as cold packs. They’re simple to make and will see you through a few winters, and help soothe those aches and pains.

You’ll need:
• 4 13cm x 13cm squares of flannel from your old pajamas
• A needle and thread or a sewing machine
• A ¾ cup of rice

What to do:
You’ll be using 4 squares for each bag. One square will be the lining, and the other will be the outside, use the good side of your jammies for this.
1. Use your sewing machine or needle and thread to sew along three sides of the bag. Leave room for a seam of roughly 1cm on each side.
2. Before turning the bag inside out, cut the corners just before the seam to make the bag a little less bulky.
3. Pop out the corners of the bag using a pen to make it look neat.
4. Fill the bag with the rice and close the opening with your needle and thread or sewing machine. Pop it in the microwave for a heat pack or keep it in the freezer for when you need a cold pack.

a hand warmer or cold pack from old flannel pajamas

Hand warmer or cold pack from old flannel pajamas

Cut off the corners

Cut off the corners

This idea has been adapted from: Bee in my bonnet

These ideas are great for repurposing old clothes, but remember to drop the ones you don’t use off at your nearest shelter, children’s home or old age home and give others the chance to reuse what you don’t have any purpose for anymore.

About The Author

Angie Gallagher

Angie Gallagher is a freelance writer in the Upper Karoo. Aside from writing content for Counting Coins, Angie has tried her hand at a few juvenile attempts at poetry filled with storms and stress, and a marginally successful radio station, Radio Grootoor, recorded on cassette tapes when she was ten.

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