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Upcycling is: “reuse (discarded objects or material) in such a way as to create a product of higher quality or value than the original.”

Global warming and climate change are critical issues in today’s world, and the fashion industry is one of the larger polluters. Upcycling is a great way to counteract this, by merely taking unused or damaged clothing and remaking them, the average consumer can do their part in making their closet sustainable. That’s what I chose to write about this week.

I wanted to write this post to showcase simple and more complex projects that can utilize items of clothing you may already have in your closet or that you can quickly obtain at a second-hand store or thrift store. If you are a climate-concerned fashionista, this post should set you out with some great ideas to use old elements of your wardrobe without tossing them out. A lot of these ideas will also be bank account friendly, which is always a good thing too!

Beady Shoes

I love this idea to dress up an old pair of flats! You can find the full tutorial on Shrimp Salad Circus. The only thing that I do not know from the post is whether these shoes are weatherproof. Just something to keep in mind if you plan on wearing them outside. Plus, I’m a huge fan of beads, as evidenced by my jewelry making posts!

I like this idea because you don’t necessarily have to be limited to the winky face design (though I will admit it’s cute as heck!), you can use the process to create any beaded design that your heart desires really!

Sock Coozies

One of the easiest and unique ways to upcycle old orphaned socks is to make a coffee coozie out of them!

Have some orphaned socks? I like this idea because it’s incredibly easy to do and allows you to reuse a sock that’s been separated from its twin. I found this idea on Diana Rambles. This project also works well with socks that have holes on the toe, since you’re cutting that portion off!

Okay, fair point, this isn’t exactly a wearable project. However, it is a charming way to accessorize your favorite coffee cup!

T-Shirt Scarf

Upcycling a t-shirt into a scarf is easy-peasy!

I have dozens of old t-shirts that can’t be donated because there are tears (usually around the neck and sleeves). Fortunately for me, this project from Mr. Kate doesn’t use those parts of the shirt at all!

Pretty cute, right? This whole project took me about 5-10 minutes, the longest portion was cutting up the t-shirt!

T-Shirt Skirt

An old t-shirt can make a lovely casual skirt!

This skirt idea is another project that utilizes the bottom part of a t-shirt. Something Wonderful is where I encountered this idea. The skirt is not appropriate for work, but if you are looking for something casual for the summer, this is a great idea! I plan to use mine as a bathing suit cover!

Summery Bow Top

A large t-shirt and some silky ribbon can become a beautiful summery top!

I found this project on Sweet Verbena, and it’s beautiful! This one is a bit more involved with sewing, just to warn you, but the result is a lovely top you can wear for the summer. I chose an old tunic top that I no longer wear, so it was quite a bit roomier than I planned. I’ll tailor it when I get a chance and repost the picture. Otherwise, this is a lightweight casual top perfect for those hot summer days!

Denim Corset

Cut Out And Keep has a fantastic tutorial on making your corset out of old denim. I did not have time to make this by the time I published this article, but once I do, I will update with the results. It looks unique and gorgeous, and I can’t wait to give it a try!

Graphic T-Shirt Upcycling

Have some old graphic t-shirts that you can’t wear anymore? I love these ideas from the T-Shirt Factory. My next scarf project is going to be a graphic t-shirt scarf. I don’t have enough graphic t-shirts myself, but I will be trolling the thrift stores for what I want the next little while!

Well-Loved Clothing Can Get a Second Life Through Upcycling!

I used to think it was such a waste to throw old and damaged clothing away, and it is waste! With a little sewing knowledge in some cases (or just a handy pair of scissors in others), you can turn that previously useless scrap of clothing into something new and let it live on some more. I hope these ideas inspired you, and there are heaps more inspiration on Pinterest and Google, so if none of these ideas are up your alley, I’m sure you can find something somewhere that you’ll love!

I would love it if you’d share my content on social media using one of the share buttons on the left-hand side of this article or pin this to Pinterest!

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Have a great upcycling idea, but feel like you’re just too busy to execute it? I get it; everyone is super busy these days. Grab a FREE copy of my crafting checklist to plan your next craft out today. Once you hit confirm and sign up for my email list (I never send spam, and you can unsubscribe if it all becomes too much), I’ll send you a link to access your free pdf copy!

Alright, that’s all for this week. Next week I’ll be showing you how to make your very own beaded hoop earrings, so be sure to check that out. Until then, stay crafty my friends!

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