Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Recycle Clothes - Pillows and Stuff

Do you have an old bathrobe you are tired of? A bath towel with a hole in it? A top sheet whose fitted counterpart has worn out? Well, don't throw them away because those are very useful things! I've had lots of fun turning things like that into something else useful and creative.

When I was in Jr. High, I got a fuzzy blue bathrobe for Christmas. By the time I was in college I finally had to give it up. It was too small to wear but was such a nice big piece of material, I saved it in a box until I could think of something else to do with it. When my first little boy was about 1 1/2, I pulled it out and made a pillow.

I sewed pieces of the belt into the sides of the pillow for handles. When it stood up on it's side it was taller than him, and he loved it! He's 19 now, so this old bathrobe has had a good long life and still gets a lot of use in our home! The red pillow is also made from a bathrobe. I stuffed the blue one with batting and the red one with packing peanuts!

When my youngest son was about 3, he got a pair of Elmo pajamas. They were his favorite. He wore them until the sleeves only reached his elbows and the pants barely came below his knees, but I couldn't get him to part with them! One day I got a bright idea and he agreed to let me make an Elmo he could sleep with. I was finally able to retire the Elmo pj's by cutting the top down and stuffing it for a pillow. I left the neck and natural shape to keep the familiarity for him. He was happy and it worked!

I like pillows, if you couldn't tell. So here's one more pillow idea. You take two old pillows that have gone flat, or two fat ones - any two pillows, and stitch them together end-to-end. They need to be the same size and thickness. Then use a sheet to make a simple rectangular cover. Since the fitted sheets always wear out first, there are usually some top sheets that are in great shape and don't have a bottom to go with them. They're perfect covers for your new body pillow.

A bath towel makes a great draft-stopper to keep the cold air out in the winter. Roll it up around another towel or the cut-off legs of an old pair of jeans.

There are so many things you can do with old jeans! They make really nice hot pads because they are heavy enough to give protection and still be thin enough to hold on to things easily. This is a quilt that my niece made when she was about 8 as a Christmas present for her cousin, with a little help from her mom. She sewed it in red stitching and put a red flannel back on it. The jeans were all old pairs that her family had worn, and she wrote the names of all of her family members and ours, scattered on the squares. What a great gift!

This little wall hanging is just a pocket cut out of a pair of jeans. Cut around the pocket, leaving the section of pants behind it, so it's still a pocket. You can put silk flowers with stems in the pocket, instead of attached to the front, like I did. Or get creative with your own decorating ideas. This one has scented sachets inside. The wire was wrapped around a pencil to shape it, and then the ends poked through the material and bent into a tight loop. No sewing required for this easy project!

So look twice before you are tempted to get rid of your worn out items. There are so many fun things to do with them. Recycling them into other useful things saves money, and if you have kids, it's a great opportunity for them. They can learn to sew, create things they can say they made themselves, and make gifts for others. Christmas is coming and homemade gifts come from the heart! I have more ideas I'll share in future posts.


  1. you are very talented with crafts!

  2. I made a body pillow cover out of an extra sheet a couple months ago. Works like a charm and matches my bedding!

    Great ideas!

  3. I love your site. I've spent the last 3 hours reading all this wonderful information you have shared. From the Natural Healing to light, the pics of Montana etc. Your amazing, helpful and I'm so glad you have this website. I've learned so much!

  4. Thank you Tara! That's how I feel about other people's sites. We all share what we know and all learn from each other. It's a lot of fun! Thanks for joining me. :)



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