Spring Cleaning DIY: 8 Ways To Upcycle Your Clothing

If you’re anything like us, you have been anxiously waiting to spring clean ever since the giant globs of snow started (finally) melting from your yard. But, as cleansing and relaxing as your annual closet purge can be, it can quickly turn stressful thanks to an overabundance of clothing, shoes, and other things that you bought on a whim during a clearance sale -or have just held on to for far too long.

Cleaning out unwanted items and clutter can be a very freeing experience, but if you don’t want to toss or donate those impulse buys, take a look at our closet cleaning guide to see how you can turn your fashion rejects into helpful life hacks!

Stained, Ripped or Too Small T-Shirts

Your small, stained, or ripped shirts can be turned into rags that can be used to clean your home or polish your furniture. If you’re obsessed with all things DIY, there are plenty of T-shirt related craft projects, like making your own tote bags or jewelry, that will totally amp up your crafting game.

Single Socks

After searching all of your dresser drawers, the dryer, and the rest of your apartment, there is still no sign of that missing sock. Instead of tossing the leftover sock, cut the toes out and roll it up to make an instant sock bun mold. By using socks of different sizes and textures, you can create a variety of bun options, from big to small. Here’s a great tutorial, courtesy of O’neill, on converting a sock into a bun mold for the perfect, chic DIY hair bun.

Old Purses, Backpacks, or Tote Bags

It was your absolute favorite bag, and it went everywhere with you, but now it is in the trash pile. Instead of getting rid of it for good, store it in your attic or storage space with your luggage. Old bags that aren’t too destroyed create perfect carry on bags for traveling, and if they get any more destroyed during your trip, you won’t be too heartbroken.

Broken Shoes

Hidden in the back of your closet, there are probably some old or broken shoes that you love too much to throw out. Instead of tossing them, hand them over to you dog (or a cat, if they’re a shoe lover). Having their own shoes to chew on means that they’re less likely to chomp on your new heels.

Broken, Mismatched Jewelry

Broken, mismatched jewelry can be upcycled to create new pieces of jewelry like necklaces, rings, brooches, and even buttons! If you have a piece of broken jewelry, don’t give up on it yet. With a little creativity and a few Pinterest searches, you can breathe new life into those seemingly hopeless pieces. Even keeping small pieces like spare earring backings can go a long way.  It is a guarantee that you will lose an earring back at some point in the future. Prepare for that impending loss by keeping the backs of old earrings that you no longer wear. Your future self will thank you!

Tattered Jeans

Ripped up jeans are always on trend, but there is a fine line between distressed and destroyed. Luckily, there are so many cool ways to upcycle denim. From creating basic cut off shorts, to making home decor, denim is one of the easiest materials to upcycle. Or if  you’re not feeling creative, simply pack away those worn out jeans for future messy house chores, like painting or remodeling. As always, a quick Pinterest search for “upcycle denim” will hail all sorts of neat ideas for recycling your denim.

Remnants from Trends that have passed

Enhancing your signature style with new trends is a blast, but what do you do with your culottes and kimonos once the trend has died? Popular trends always come back into style eventually, so if you really enjoyed a particular trend, hold on to those sneaker wedges in storage until they return to the scene.

Old Bras

Used bras are typically not on the top of your must keep list, but they provide great opportunities for summer DIY projects. By converting them into bikini tops, there is no need to worry about dragging yourself to the mall for that much dreaded bathing suit shopping. This is especially helpful for those of us who are big-busted and have a hard time finding bikini tops that fit properly! You already know that it will fit and look fabulous, and as an added bonus, you can customize the top to fit your style.



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Brooke Schuldt

Brooke Schuldt is a freelance writer interested in fashion, beauty, lifestyle and feminism topics. Her work has been featured on various print and online outlets, including Parents Magazine, fitness.com, Ed2010, and Deux Hommes. When Brooke is not focusing on her magazine career goals, she can be found knitting, teaching herself French, or updating her personal blog. Her bucket list includes traveling around the world, a shopping spree at Kate Spade, and writing a New York Times Bestseller.

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