4 DIY Projects to Give Your Old Clothes New Life

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Are you itching for a new arts and crafts project or a DIY? Try these fabric projects with your kids and make a great family time out of it! No one’s ever too young or too old for some arts and crafts, especially if it improves their mental health.

Do you have old T-shirts, bags, mugs, pillowcases, and other old garments or excess cloth? Fabric is great for many home projects you want to do. However, because of the nature of the material, some sewing or heat might be required. It’s advised to supervise any child while doing these projects.

Heat Transfer Vinyl Shirts

Heat transfer vinyl (HTV) projects are great for any material made of fabric. They come in different colors, designs, and sizes. It’s a great way to revamp old shirts too. Once you’ve chosen a design, peel off the excess vinyl from the sheet, pick out the insides of letters and other details. Don’t panic if the image looks inverted. If it does, you’re doing it right. Insert cardboard or any other flat surface on the inside of the shirt. This will prevent the insides from sticking together. After that’s set, position the image on your shirt. Again, take your time. With your iron, press on the area for 15 seconds. This enables heat transfer to take place, resulting in the design to transfer to the fabric. Peel off the transparent sheet from the shirt, and there you have it! The image is now on your shirt. Give your shirt and other fabrics at least 24 hours before washing. This is to enable the adhesive and bond to really stick to the material.

T-shirts Turned Into Tote Bags

Another way to repurpose this shirt is by turning it into a completely new item: a tote bag! Everybody loves a tote. Other than its spaciousness, totes bags are versatile and customizable. But who says you can’t make your own from scratch?

Download and print out a sewing pattern from the internet for better guidance. Indeed, there’s a bunch to choose from. Cut the patterns accordingly and lay them out on the shirt of your choice. Put pins on the edges of the pattern guides so that they don’t move while you cut the fabric. From here, you start sewing the pieces. Don’t worry if the stitching seems obvious now since the fabric will be flipped inside out once it’s done. You can even mix and match different clothing patterns and colors of your choice!

Rugs and Rags


Another fun yet practical DIY project you can do is use making rugs and rags! Now there’s no excuse to throw away all the scrap pieces from previous arts and crafts projects–there’s still use for them!

There is no required size, shape, texture, or color of the fabric for this project. The more varied, the more fun the process is going to be! With a sewing machine, place the pieces of cloth on top of each other or in any placement you like. Press them together as you run your sewing machine, securing them into place. There are multiple patterns and techniques you could do for this one, so don’t be afraid to experiment!

Denim Dog Toys

Denim can be a sturdy and durable material for many DIY projects. But it can also be too stiff and rigid for some projects, too. So your old denim doesn’t go to waste, use it to make something that needs to be just as durable and sturdy, too, like a dog toy! It’s the perfect project for this material, especially if you have a furry friend at home.

Dogs love to chew or tug at their toys, which is often why they break theirs. Cut the denim into as many strips you want depending on how thick or long you want the toy to be. Afterward, tie all of these together into a knot at one end. Divide the strips into three groups, and then braid them. Secure the end by tying a knot. There are other braiding patterns you could try, too!


Many ordinary things can be used in arts and crafts projects. It takes imagination to turn anything into new and exciting things. Excess fabric and old clothes are excellent materials for endless crafting possibilities. As long as these projects are done with caution, any DIY with them should be a great one. There are different methods for recycling fabric to explore, and it’s an exciting material to work with. Go ahead and start new fun projects with these tips!

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