10 Ways To Upcycle Items You Already Have In Your Wardrobe

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If you’re bored at home and trying to figure out how to fill your days, it’s time to get crafty and creative with your wardrobe! Upcycling items you already have is a great way to save money and be more sustainable by giving your old clothes a second chance at life before getting rid of them. There are tons of ways you can upcycle things in your closet, no matter what skill level you’re at in the DIY department. Most of these are super easy, along with a couple that require some sewing skills.

Here are 10 ways to upcycle items that you already have in your wardrobe! 

T-Shirt Bleaching

Dyeing clothes with bleach is an easy and effective way to transform them and in this video TheDanocracy shows three different techniques to bleach your clothing in a creative way. This is a great upcycling project to do to old sweaters or t-shirts, and it would look super cool on any band tee to add a bit of grunge and something different! 

Tie-Dye

Tie-dye is the original method of upcycling clothing and most of us can probably even remember doing this project in our childhoods. Around spring and summer time, the tie-dye trend always seems to come back in style and it’s just such an easy and cute way to incorporate fun colours into your wardrobe.  In this video, LaurDIY tie dyes a few different pieces, including a super cute athleisure set! 

The Raw Crop

Shortening your tees is one of the simplest ways you can modernize and stylize a top. If you have a sewing machine, you can hem the bottom but just remember to give yourself an extra inch of length, because that will shorten it a little bit. You can also take a simpler route and leave a raw hem like in this video! Rachel Catherine shows her two favourite ways to crop her tops, while giving some tips to ensure a successful and symmetrical crop.

Making scrunchies

Since re-working your wardrobe is all about sustainability and resourcefulness, you can make scrunchies with fabric you have around your home. If you decide to crop one of your tops, use the excess fabric to make a scrunchie so you’re not throwing any fabric away. You could also use old or ruined clothing to give it a second-life as a scrunchie. In this video by JENerationDIY she even uses a curtain to make one and you’ll find that making scrunchies is actually pretty easy, plus you can even make one without a sewing machine, too!

Transforming jeans into distressed shorts

We are soon approaching the warmer weather, and that means it may be time to add shorts back into our wardrobes. While you may not want to cut up your favourite pair of jeans for this upcycle, but if you have an old pair of jeans laying around, try turning them into some cute denim shorts. Vintage denim shorts are already cuter than typical denim shorts and making them at home will save you a little bit of money! In this video, Amber Scholl transformed a pair of old jeans into cute vintage, distressed shorts with only a pair of scissors, tweezers, and an X-ACTO knife! 

Turning a dress shirt into a skirt

This one involves a bit of more advanced sewing for those of you who are up for a little challenge and own a sewing machine. WithWendy is a YouTube channel that’s focused on sewing tutorials, and she is also great at explaining sewing in a simple way so anyone with a machine can follow along. In this video, Wendy makes a skirt out of a mens dress-shirt, and spoiler — it turns out super cute. So, if you have an old (oversized) dress shirt laying around, try making it into a skirt for a one of a kind piece.

Half-and-half split T-shirt

This one is another project when a sewing machine would be handy, but there are ways you can craft this look without one since this DIY has pretty simple construction. This video by Daniel Simmons shows you how to achieve this cool half-and-half t-shirt with fabric glue, but if you have a sewing machine, you’ll get even better results! Basically, this DIY takes the half of two different shirts and puts them together at the seam – making one super unique shirt.  

Bleaching denim to the perfect light-wash 

During the spring, light wash denim is more trendy than dark, so an easy way to make your dark wash denim perfect for spring is by bleaching it and it works on any denim including both jackets and jeans. This super short video by elorabee shows you how to transform your denim at home, using just bleach and water. — it’s such a simple trick!

Trendy and easy DIY tops 

In this video RachSpeed is doing “thrift flips” aka upcycling clothing that already exists, showcasing a different ways to transform regular tops into more trendy styles that are being sold from retailers. You can try these out on clothing you already own and this one involves a bit of sewing, so keep that in mind, but overall they are all super cute and simple. 

Upcycled denim jacket

As mentioned in the video, upcycled denim jackets are a huge trend for spring this year and even high-end brands have been coming out with them. In this video Sophia Borges shows you how to do it yourself with fabric paint as she documents the entire process of designing and creating her version of a designer upcycled denim jacket. Sophia uses a heat press, but you don’t need one to get the look. Plus, you could even use an iron with a towel if you do want to use heat. 

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