Whether you’re self-isolating or practicing social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic, we’re all trying to make the most of the situation we now find ourselves in. Spending an extended period of time at home can get you feeling bored or even a little stir-crazy. Fortunately, this is also forcing people to find — or invent — creative ways to entertain themselves. In particular, this could be the perfect time to upcycle old clothes!

Have you been wondering what to do with old and worn-out clothes or accessories just sitting in your closet? Or maybe you have draws taking up space that no longer fit or you just don’t like anymore? The good news is that you don’t have to get rid of them! Look no further: you can repurpose all these forgotten pieces and create new treasures that can excite you again.

By altering, accessorizing, and combining clothes in new ways, you can revamp your wardrobe and create fresh new looks. Not only will these DIY projects keep you busy, but the outcome can be very rewarding in the end! You’ll feel good about giving your wardrobe a new lease on life while helping the environment. There are plenty of great ways to repurpose old clothing.

Without further ado, here are our top 7 creative and fashionable ways to upcycle clothes!

1. Denim Handbags

Upcycle Clothes - Denim Handbag

The first step to upcycle clothes is to start with jeans! It’s hard to say goodbye to your favorite pair, even when they’re out-of-style and worn-out. Instead of throwing your trusty blue jeans away, consider keeping them around. Why not put them to good use? They’re a great starting point for many craft projects. Denim fabric can last nearly forever, and a little wear and tear just add to the charm. There are plenty of things you can do with your old jeans to memorialize them. This is the perfect time to turn them into something fun and new like a trendy purse or handbag.

If you know the basics of sewing, then a jean bag is so easy to make. All you need is your favorite pair of old jeans along with a few other basic materials, and your jean bag will be ready for a night on the town in no time! You can personalize your purse in many ways. You could add buttons or bows. Bedazzle it with sequins and studs, glitz it up with glitter, or add appliques or iron-on transfers. Get creative and have fun!

What you’ll need:

  • Old jeans
  • Sewing kit
  • Sewing machine or fabric glue
  • Grid ruler
  • Recycled fabric (for lining)
  • Scissors

2. Tie-Dye T-Shirt

Upcycle Clothes - Skirt Scarf

With tie-dye making a real comeback, grab an old baggy t-shirt that you never wear anymore and give it a new lease on life by tie-dying and cutting off the sleeves. This can make a fashionable, one-of-a-kind tank top! The actual process of tie-dyeing is something everyone should be able to do at home. It’s a great activity for both adults and kids. While it can get a little messy, it’s definitely a fun project the whole family can do together. Twist a t-shirt, tie it in various places with rubber bands, bleach or dye it, unfold the twisted areas, and voila – a cool new t-shirt reveals itself! Sounds like fun, right?

What you’ll need:

  • Old plain or band t-shirt
  • Bleach or colored dye
  • Rubber bands
  • Tarp, plastic sheeting or garbage bags
  • Soapy water
  • Paper towels
  • One bucket for every color of dye
  • Soda ash (a dye fixer)
  • Squirt bottle
  • Rubber or plastic gloves
  • Scissors

3. Painted Converse

Upcycle Clothes - Painted Converse

What’s not to love about Converse sneakers? They’re comfortable to wear, and they go with just about anything. It doesn’t matter how old, scruffy, and dirty yours are. You can fix them right up like new in no time. Give them an upgrade… with a little effort, imagination, and some crafting material, you’ll have a new & improved pair of shoes. They are easily customizable and really a blank canvas for any artist. You can use paint, markers, or even fabric dyes – the options are endless.

A little creativity goes a long way, and you don’t even have to be a master painter or drawer for this DIY project. Just grab a stencil, add a pop of color, and start customizing your shoes! Have fun and let your personal style shine through. One thing for sure is that wearing these restyled sneakers will definitely add a cool factor to your look. Time to stand out in a sea of boring sneakers.

What you’ll need:

  • Old Converse sneakers
  • Fabric paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Markers
  • Fabric dye
  • Stencil
  • Pencil (sketch before painting)
  • Tarp, plastic sheeting
  • Paper towels
  • Stencils

4. Belt to Bracelet

Upcycle Clothes - Belt Bracelet

Interested in making cool bracelets? Then you are definitely going to love this DIY project. It’s super easy and quick to complete! If you’re like me and love accessorizing, you might have a huge selection of old belts that don’t fit or are outdated – ones that you no longer wear anymore. Well, rather than throwing them out, it’s time to upcycle and change those belts into some fun jewelry like a leather cuff. Just choose your favorite one, cut off the excess leather, punch a hole, add a snap, and you’re done! Doesn’t this give you a whole new outlook on leather belts?

What you’ll need:

  • Old buckle belt
  • Scissors
  • Leather hole puncher or pointy ice pick (to make holes)
  • Button snaps
  • Leather glue

5. Embroidered Blouse

Embroidered Blouse

A closet staple that’s currently trending is embroidered apparel. Revamp that plain white blouse with a simple needle, hoop, and thread. All you’ve got to do is brush up on basic hand embroidery stitches to create a one-of-a-kind piece. If you’ve never tried hand embroidery and have a few hours to spare (plus patience), then this is a great DIY to get started on! Personalize clothing or even make gifts – it’s such a fun and creative project. Add color, texture, and transform any blouse from blah to wow. It gives us hope in a closet full of ordinary, white button-down shirts. Stitch-up your garments and add some personality to your wardrobe, that’s the best way to upcycle clothes!

What you’ll need:

  • White button-down shirt
  • Colored thread
  • Embroidery hoop
  • Embroidery needle
  • Scissors

6. Skirt Scarf

Skirt Scarf

There are a lot of different ways to wear a scarf, including around your neck to keep warm or on your head for those bad hair days. For this DIY project, turn that old scarf you no longer wear into a beautiful wrap skirt. No sewing or gluing is required. All you need are a few minutes along with a great extra wide lightweight scarf that has a lot of movement. Drape it to one side, knot it, and let the excess fabric hang. There you have it: a perfect wrap-around skirt ready to party in. Fun, right? It’s also quick and fabulous – definitely my favorite way to upcycle clothes!

What you’ll need:

  • Large lightweight printed scarf
  • That’s it!

7. Pom Pom Earrings

Pom Pom Earrings

There’s just something about warmer weather approaching that makes whimsical accessories that much more fun to wear. This DIY idea is for that trend-savvy girl who’s not afraid to stand out. Dangly colorful pom pom earrings are unique, interesting, and a little bit funky! All you need are a few items. With a wide variety of earrings and pom poms available, it’s easy to customize each pair to match your style. Make them in your favorite colors and, at just the right length, there are so many different combinations and design possibilities you can create. From flirty to fierce, this jewelry is sure to brighten every look.

What you’ll need:

  • Pom poms or yarn (to make your own)
  • Earrings of your choice
  • Brass bar connectors
  • Brass jump rings
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Scissors


The beauty of reusing clothes is that your options really are endless. If you upcycle clothes right, you could end up upgrading your clothes/accessories into things you love even more than you did previously. Repurposing all these forgotten pieces and simply giving them a much-needed makeover can give you a fabulous style that nobody else can match while cutting down on waste. In the meanwhile, you can continue to stay safe, healthy, and productive in your own home – that’s a win-win!

Here are a few hand-picked articles for you to read next: