Fashion  Lifestyle   ·   24 Jun   ·   12:06 AM   ·   4 minutes Read

Easy DIY Ways To Upcycle Your Old Clothing


June is all about starting afresh. It doesn’t matter if half a year has gone by in a flash, there is always time to try something new and to do something that makes you feel good. These days, we are being more conscious about the food we consume and the things we use. Sustainable clothing is often overlooked and brushed aside as a resale or donation item. However, there are many ways to upcycle and repurpose your old clothing that will benefit the earth and your wallet.

We recently shared about ways to keep your bedroom tidy including decluttering your wardrobe. If you’ve done that, great, then this is the next step to solve the problem of a pre-loved jeans that you just can’t fit any longer, or a stained necktie that is too precious to be thrown away.

Check out these six creative DIY ideas you can start right away.


Grocery Bags


Repurpose those old clothes as a grocery or fruit bags. Instead of using the available plastic bags for your fruits and vegetables, consider making one yourself. It is lightweight, portable, washable and very useful. Making it doesn’t take a lot of time either and the best part is you can customise it to any size you want for different produce!



  • Old T-shirt
  • Sewing machine or basic sewing supplies
  • Scissors



  1. Making the hem or bottom of your shirt the top of the bag, draw out the shape of your bag and cut it out.
  2. Sew along the sides and bottom of the bag. Turn the bag inside out and sew around the folded sides to secure it.
  3. Mark out and cut horizontal slits on till ⅔ of the bag.
  4. Finally, cut a larger slit (about 2.5cm) through both layers for the handle


Rag Rug


This is a great craft project if you have a ton of T-shirts and bedding you are looking to toss out. A little snip here and there and lots of weaving later, you’ll have a beautiful rag rug to use. This rag run needs a little more time than the other projects listed here, but it is one of the most fulfilling in my opinion.



  • 6-8 old T-shirts
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine or glue gun




  1. Create a T-shirt yarn by cutting the T-shirts in 2-inch strips, leaving about an inch towards the end. Lay out the T-shirt with the uncut section facing the top.
  2. Cut diagonally from the left to right to create a continuous long strip of yarn. Roll it into a ball. Repeat for the other T-shirts.
  3. Take 3 balls of yarn and start braiding like you would plait your daughter’s hair. Continue this process until you’ve finished all the balls of T-shirt yarns.
  4. Lay out the braided yarn and shape your rug (circular or oval).
  5. Sew the edges using the zig zag stitch to secure it. Alternatively, you can use a glue gun to secure them together as your braid your rug.




A stretchy T-shirt with patterns will be perfect for this DIY project. Whether you see it as a fashion statement when you head down to your nearest kopitiam (foodcourt) or use it during your workout sessions, this chic hair accessory is certainly a head-turner.



  • T-shirt
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine or basic sewing supplies



  1. Cut a strip of fabric from the body of the T-shirt that is twice the width of your desired length and lay it on the table.
  2. Turn it inside out and fold it end to end.
  3. Sew it together either by a sewing machine or by hand. Turn it right side out when done.


No-sew Necktie Pocket


Neckties are essential in making anyone look smart and dashing in a suit – swipe right for me! However, I would say apart from the solid colours, printed neckties can go out of trend quite quickly and those styles are very dependent on age as well.


If you have outgrown that particular pattern or simply don’t feel like wearing that tie anymore, it’s time to upcycle it by making a pouch! This handy pouch can hold a myriad of items, depending on the width of your ties.




  • Necktie
  • Scissors
  • Seam ripper
  • Fabric tape (or glue)
  • Sticky velcro dots



  1. Decide how long you want the pouch to be. Place the item on top of the tie (with the pointed tip on the top) and measure accordingly, leaving about 2-3cm allowance at the bottom.
  2. Use the seam ripper to remove any tags and extras bits, as well as the stitches along the length of the tie.
  3. Open up the tie and place a strip of fabric tape along the bottom of the fully opened tie. Fold the bottom of the tie up.
  4. Place two strips of tape along the sides. Fold them inwards.
  5. Add a set of velcro dots to the pouch.


Advent Calendar


Don’t throw away those used jeans and pants just yet. They may not fit your waistline anymore, but they still deserve a place in the house! Turn them into something meaningful, fun and festive for the family! We know, Christmas is about 5 months away but it doesn’t mean you can’t start on this advent calendar home project right now.



  • 13 pairs of old jeans or pants (with back pockets)
  • Scissors
  • Upholstery needles
  • Garden twine
  • Number stencil
  • Fabric paint



  1. Cut out 25 back pockets, including the fabric against it for it to remain as a pocket.
  2. Place the number stencil and paint it over using the fabric paint. Leave it to dry for a few hours.
  3. Use the needle, thread the twine through the pockets in ascending order.
  4. Cut the twine of desired length and hang it in the house during the Christmas period!


Snip Them Old T-shirts


We have sentimental value attached to our clothes and that’s normal. Those tops were the lucky outfit that scored you your first date, or the one you would wear to the airport. However, while it doesn’t belong into the ‘trash’ or ‘donation’ pile, it is important to give it a slight transformation. All you need for this is a pair of scissors and a whole lot of guts.

Check out this YouTube tutorial video for some inspiration! Be it a snip at the back, a slit on the sleeves or a cut at the chest area, have confidence in yourself that you definitely can pull off a redesigned look.