Recycling Your Old FabricBefore you toss out your old blue jeans, think about what new life you can give them. Sure, you could recycle your old clothes and fabrics or donate them to a worthy charity, but reusing them in a creative way might relieve your itch to buy a new set of cloth dinner napkins or a new headband. Since I’ve been busy scouring DIY blogs for thrifty, reusable project ideas, this is the perfect time to share my good finds with you. Get out your thimble; this is going to be a craft-filled ride.

Get hands-on with home goods

Quilting is not just for old ladies! Old clothing and other fabrics can be cut into squares and saved for a special recycled quilt. A simple tutorial at Craft Stylish shows how to make a quilt from old bed sheets. Condo Blues shows instructions for amateur quilters to make a quilt from old T-shirts. If you aren’t in need of a new blanket or quilt, you could also make a quilted shower curtain and brighten up your bathroom. This braided rug at Frugal Veggie Mama is made from used denim jeans. Old drapes or sheets can be turned into pillow shams. If you’ve never sewn before, dinner napkins are about as easy as it gets. By sewing cloth into a simple square, you can create dinner napkins (or even kitchen rags) from used fabric. There’s a phenomenally simple tutorial at Curbly.

Have an iPad, iPod or eBook reader?

If you own of any of these products, you can make a protective upcycled case from a number of items. P.S. – I made this shows readers how to make an iPad case from a travel pillowcase (inspired by Oscar de la Renta’s chic iPad clutches). If you have an old sweater you were going to take to Goodwill, revamp it into an iPad sleeve with this Curbly tutorial.

Upcycle your clothes to make new clothes and accessories

Megan Neilson has a cool braided headband tutorial (no sewing needed). Over at P.S. – I made this, there are instructions on a DIY one-shoulder ruffle T-shirt, a new look for your old stockings, and how to turn a T-shirt into a scarf with just a pair of scissors. Transform your old fabric into a fabric flower and adorn your favorite shirt, lamp, sofa pillows and more.

Make it social

I’ve mentioned reuse parties before, but if you have crafty and creative friends, you could pitch a fabric-swapping party. You could even have a few tutorials on hand so party guests could get ideas for ways to revamp and reuse fabric. Have you upcycled your old fabrics? If so, what did you make?