Here’s How You Can Upcycle Your Unloved Clothing All By Yourself

Give your unworn clothes a new lease of life.

We all love to treat ourselves from time to time, like when you just can’t stop thinking about those biker boots and you finally get your hands on them, there’s nothing better. Right? But there’s plenty of us who are also guilty of buying a certain piece of clothing and letting it gather dust in the wardrobe.

Although now, we’re all well aware of the impact the fast fashion industry has on the environment. Worldwide, over 2.1 billion tonnes of clothing goes to landfill each year. That’s a LOT of waste. So, instead of letting your unloved clothes lay there, we’ve come up with a few great ways of not letting them go to waste. You’ll feel like those unworn jeans are brand new, and as for that jumper you loved so much that it’s a little worn? We know how to save that too.

7 ways you can upcycle your unloved clothing all by yourself

Use a razor to get rid of bobbles.

“Sit with your item flat out and get picking, or use a blunt-ish open blade razor and gently shave your garment,” advises Karen, from upcycling and alterations company Rag Order (@ragorderdublin). “Be careful not to press too hard as you might damage the fabric.”

Iron-on hemming web is your friend.

You can use it to take up trousers, skirts and dresses in a pinch, so if you have anything you’re not wearing because it needs a wee hemming… here’s your answer. Make sure to read up on technique before you dive in, though!

Crop stuff!

Another gem of a tip from Karen: “I just love to crop old sweaters that have lost their shape. Put the item on and mark where you want it to sit while looking in a mirror. Take it off, lay it flat on the ground, fold it in half vertically and then cut across where you’ve marked as evenly as possible. This works well for sweaters because you’ll end up with a raw edge that looks intentional.”

Teach yourself a few easy embroidery stitches and go wild.

It’s not as hard as it looks – take it from someone who learned from YouTube tutorials. Embroider cute patterns or phrases on old t-shirts and jeans and save yourself the couple of bob you’d spend on a similar item from a shop.

Go wild with fabric paint.

Sustainable fashion queen Tara Stewart (Instagram: @tarastewartdj) customises vintage jackets and boots with a lick of paint, turning them into wearable works of art.

Curl up and dye.

Dylon is a great way to refresh clothes that are looking a little tired, from white dresses acquiring a yellow tinge to charity shop purchases that need a boost. They now even make ‘colour pods’ that you can pop into the washing machine with the fabric you want to dye, which is ingenious.

Search Pinterest for jobs that don’t require sewing, and have a little ‘crafternoon’.

Pinterest is a DIY haven, and a quick search reveals hundreds of things you can do to refashion your tired clothes.