On a weekly basis, I look through my clothes thinking I have nothing to wear. Even if there are numerous items lying in the closet I rarely wear, I get the urge to buy new clothes. But I do not have the space and sometimes also do not have the money to go shopping for more. Since being a student can already be expensive. However, there are easy and sustainable ways to give your unused clothes a new life that anyone can do. Here are 5 easy ways to upcycle your clothes that I tried myself and might work for you too!
Tip 1: Dyeing clothes with a natural dye
The first option you can do is change the colour of your clothes. This is mostly seen as not sustainable because most dyes contain a lot of chemicals. But you can make your own natural dye! I used it on the white blouse in the picture that I haven’t worn for a while to give it a pop of colour by only using water, salt and a few blackberries. An easy explanation of how to make your own natural dye that I also used can be found on WikiHow.
Tip 2: Personalize with paint
Another way to spruce up your clothing is to paint something on them. The possibilities are endless because you can create anything you want! You don’t even have to be good at painting to make a one-of-a-kind piece your friends will be jealous of. I personally am also not good at drawing or painting, but simple figures like these flowers were easy and fun to do! Instructions on how to best paint on clothes and other useful tips can be found on Skillshare.
Tip 3: Creating something with embroidery
Another way to personalize your clothing is with embroidery. This tip I got from my dear friend Ginny who loves to create fun creations on her clothes and bags. Your clothes can go from being simple to full of personality with these lovely embroideries. It does take a bit of practice to get the hang of it, but the results are worth the effort. How to stitch your art and know what supplies you need is easily found online such as on Embroidery 101.
Tip 4: Simple cuts also work
Lastly, an easy way to create something new from an old garment is to cut it. Making shorts and crop tops can be done with just a few snips and can instantly change the look of your clothes. As you can see in the pictures, I cut the sleeves off this blouse because they were too tight. I bought it for a Beetlejuice costume but accidentally ordered it two sizes too small… Luckily only the sleeves were tight so now with them gone, I can still wear the blouse for a fun look!
Tip 5: Turning it into something new
If you got a bit more experience with sewing you can try something like turning pants into a skirt! Especially useful now that the temperature is getting warmer, but also if the bottoms of the pants didn’t fit as you wanted. To make it even more fun you can combine this with the other tips to personalize the item even more! This can be done on any pair of pants you have and how to do that can be found on: Gathered.
I hope these tips on ways to upcycle clothes will be useful to you and that you may be inspired and motivated to rack through your clothes to find pieces you can try these tips on. And if you don’t have something yourself you can always ask to pimp up the clothes of your family, friends or find some secondhand items yourself!