20 Ways to Recycle & Upcycle Old Fabric

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Fabric Scraps

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Being Scrappy With Fabric Scraps

I recently cleaned out my closet and found quite a few different items, from tops to purses, with rogue holes and ink and martini stains in awkward spots that won’t allow for stitch-ups.

I am not sure if I have mice, really old clothing, or a clumsiness complex I’m unaware of –but that’s another story.

Anyway, afterwards, I had a 20-minute stare down with the pile of fabric items, trying to judge if anything was donation-worthy and/or how to get rid of the rest; I have a hard time throwing things away because I am haunted by images of children wading through garbage-infested water and the idea of drinking micro-organisms tarnished by carcinogens from pollution.

Fabric Scraps
Small Magazine

21-minutes in, I recalled vaguely someone or a website once telling me that I could use clothing scraps to stuff handmade pillows, but I was never sold on the idea due to expectations of lumpiness from strips of old vintage sweaters and cheap H&M leggings jammed into a square of flimsy fabric.

Enter Google: the solution to, and cause of, all of life’s problems. I now have a great list of crafts to try in my quest to morph these unwanted items into something with new life and purpose, which is wonderful on two fronts: I will be significantly reducing my trash output, and I have a fun and productive activity to last me through this rainy, grey Saturday in Vancouver.

Let this be a lesson that things are what you make of them. Before logging idly onto Facebook or Twitter or YouTube, try using the World Wide Web to make the world itself a little better.

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20 Recycling and Upcycling Ideas

Before you toss any bits of material, try some of these recycling/upcycling ideas:

  1. Layered butterflies
  2. Baby quilt
  3. Scrap fabric necklace
  4. Snack bag
  5. Hair bows
  6. Flag garland
  7. Fabric-wrapped jars
  8. Fabric bowl/container
  9. Keychains
  10. T-shirt Bangles
  11. Fabric hair clip
  12. Scissor/ Makeup brush pouch
  13. Wristlet
  14. Business card holder
  15. Envelope bag
  16. Trimmed towels
  17. Make- up bag
  18. Glasses case
  19. Whatever pouch
  20. Journal covers

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