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Old Clothes Crafts

These are just a few ideas of what you can make using the fabric from clothing you no longer wear. What you see is one draft catcher and three pillows/chair cushions.

Approximate Time 30 minutes or less


  • old clothes
  • scissors
  • needle and thread
  • sewing machine (optional, but helpful)
  • ribbon, string, or rubber bands


Draft Catcher: I have made them for both the front and back doors, and I used the legs of old slacks and old pajamas.

  1. Cut the leg from pants or pj's. Turn it inside out, then cut off the seam and the hem so you have a long piece of fabric. From this cut a piece 6 inches wide and at least 3 inches wider than your door.
  2. Ad

  3. Fold this rectangle in half, long sides at the top, short sides at the ends, with the outside of the fabric facing in. Now stitch a seam up the long side and turn this "tube" inside out so the right side of the fabric is now on the outside.
  4. Gather the fabric at one end and secure it with ribbon, string or a rubber band.
  5. Cut other old clothes up into pieces and stuff these pieces into your tube, almost to the end. Now, gather the fabric at the open end together and secure this end with ribbon, string, or a rubber band.

Pillows: The striped pillows pictured are both made from old velvet skirts. The yellow one from a summer dress. They turn into firm, rather than fluffy, pillows, which makes them great for the tops of stools and the seats of wooden chairs. They also make great lumbar pillows for your back.

  1. Cut the skirts and dress apart so you can get the biggest piece of fabric from them. Cut two identical shapes (squares, rectangles, circles) from this fabric.
  2. Place the two fabric pieces together, good/right side of fabric inside and stitch up around the edges, but leave a 3 - 4 inch opening for stuffing. After stitching, turn the pillow right side out.
  3. Cut up more old clothes into pieces and stuff the pillow(s), then sew up the opening.

By Marie from West Dundee, IL

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September 24, 20080 found this helpful

You can also make purses, doll clothes, doll bedding and scare crows.

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September 24, 20080 found this helpful

You can also use an old shirt or cut-off pants to sew the openings and make a clothespin holder. Also, sewing openings on an old shortened shirt can hold your "hand washables". Simply place the shirt on a clothes hanger after sewing and hang in the closet. Whenever you have a dirty pair of pantyhose or delicate items that can't go in the washing machine, pop them into the shirt and wash them at your convenience.

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September 27, 20080 found this helpful

You can also use old clothing to make braided rugs (old t shirts work best). Cut the cloth into strips and braid them like you would braid your hair. After you get 8 inches fold it in half and sew the touching sides together. Then keeping braiding and sewing around in a circle/oval until you reach the desired size rug you want.

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September 27, 20080 found this helpful

I recycle old t-shirts and other suitable items as rags. They're reusable and save money on paper towels. I keep a mini laundry basket on top of my washer for the soiled ones, wash them with my whites, and put them in the same drawer as my potholders in the kitchen. They're more durable than paper towels and if they get really nasty, you can throw them away, guilt-free.

Another use for old shirts and sweatshirts is to make throw pillows out of them. Square-up the material by cutting off the sleeves and both sides, pin them together inside out, sew and stuff. I did this for my step-daughter out of a sweatshirt her deceased grandmother had given her. The sweatshirt had a "cute" picture on it which she did not care to wear, but now she sleeps with the pillow.

Also, if you're willing to let your children run redneck, outgrown t-shirts can often make it through another summer if you cut off the sleeves.

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September 29, 20080 found this helpful

Hi, i saw this at a gift shop and it was cute take an old pair of pants cut off the legs and along the inseam and sew along the bottom. you can use scrap from the legs to form a handle, then embellish.

also I have seen a duffel bag idea online some where

you take an old pair of jeans cut the inseams, sew along edges and bottom to make a duffel style bag

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September 30, 20080 found this helpful


I love your braided rug. How do you attach the strips as you braid.


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September 30, 20080 found this helpful


I love your braided rug. How do you attach the strips as you braid.


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February 5, 20090 found this helpful

I have taken old velvet dresses and pants to make into tree skirts. I make my tree skirts reversable, so I have two different ways to use them. All items are purchased at thrift store in very good condition.

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March 13, 20090 found this helpful

Just an additional idea, for turning old clothes into pillows---especially when the grand kids don't fit "their most favorite" t-shirt, DON'T BOTHER CUTTING! Turn it inside out, and machine sew arm holes and bottom closed, then turn back to right side out, fill (through the neck hole) with cut up rags, the "beans" from an old beanbag chair, regular pillow stuffing, or anything you'd like. Hand stitch the neck shut with same color or contrasting color yarn or thread. Blanket stitch works great. If you don't have a machine...keep the shirt turned right side out, and do all hand stitching to close all openings

You can do the same thing with a sweatshirt, and either stitch the arms shut at the shoulder & let them hang empty, or stuff them too. Either way, the kids don't lose their shirt, it's none wasteful/all recycled supplies, and still washable & reusable.

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April 1, 20090 found this helpful

I love recycling old clothes. I have 3 little brothers and, as you can imagine, they're very hard on their clothes. I've found tons of different things to make out of their old clothes. Pouches for nic-nacs, pillow case type things, and cage liners and pouches for my hedgehogs.

Oh, and I love the braided rug idea. (:

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July 16, 20090 found this helpful

I use scrap fabric to make pillows then stuff the inside with old t shirts and other scraps. They make really cute decorative pillows and I can put my scraps to a use instead of throwing them out. I really like the making t-shirts into pillows idea too!

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