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Tips for upcycling your clothes


Upcycling tips

Get the most from your clothes by Marion Elliot

These upcycling tips were sent in by readers of this site as part of our Upcycling competition that we ran inspired by the book Get The Most From Your Clothes.

For too short trousers edge with a length of fabric, use a strip of the fabric as a belt to bring the look together.

For too short tops use a length of fabric on the bottom and sew a ruffle on the top, or and applique on the top to complete the look.

Cut up old clothes and use them in crafting projects, make brooches, fabric covered notebooks, lavender bags, scrap quilts etc.

For skinny trousers/jeans split along the seam and sew in a strip of contrasting fabric.

Use old jeansHow to upcycle clothing to make hardwearing aprons.

Cover worn areas with colourful patches.  See our tutorial on patching jeans here

Get more wear from you clothes by buying classic styles that won't go out of fashion.

Silk shirts/tops make great bag linings.

For summer dresses you no longer want to wear cut around the waist, hem and add a zip or elastic to turn into a skirt.

Change the buttons on a shirt to give it a fresh look, there are some great eyecatching buttons you can use.

Turn old trousers or jeans into handbags (plenty of free tutorials online).

Dye your clothes to create a whole new look.

Use fabric appliques to cover stains that can't be removed.

 For t-shirts that are too tight around the neck turn them into halter necks using this tutorial.

Sew sequins or beads onto plain clothing to brighten it up.


Find more upcycling tutorials and ideas in our upcycling section or on our refashioning Pinterest board. 

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