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5 DIY Projects to Do With Clothes that Don’t Fit

Letting go is hard… especially when it comes to clothes. Maybe you still have your favorite skirt from childhood, or bought a shirt that just didn’t fit right when you got home. While donating your clothes is a great way to clean out your closet, if you want to hang onto those pieces that you can’t bear to part with but know you’ll never actually wear, there are a bunch of ways to repurpose them with some easy DIY projects! Here are 5 of our favorites:

1. T-shirt rug

Turn old t-shirts into home decor—no sewing necessary! Cut your t-shirts into 1.5 inch strips, then tie 3 strips together at the top and begin braiding. After braiding about 4 inches, start coiling the braided fabric in a spiral with the knot in the center. Take the strand closest to the coil and pass it under and through one of the loops of the braid you coiled. Continue braiding sections of about 4 inches, looping as you go along to attach each braided layer together. When you get to the end of a strand, follow the directions from The Wonder Forest to learn how to connect new strands without adding a bunch of knots to your rug. 

2. Lacy jean shorts

Denim or cotton shorts too tight or short? NBD! Grab some lace, scissors, needle and thread and get to work on creating some adorable lace inset shorts. This tutorial from The Fashion Citizen makes it look so easy! Simply cut a triangle out of lace, pin it to your shorts, then sew around the outline of the lace. Then, cut the denim underneath, and voilà! Super cute, looser, longer jorts!

3. Sweater pillow

If your sweater has shrunk and isn’t so cozy anymore, slap it on a pillow with the help of HGTV‘s tutorial! Slide your sweater or shirt over a pillow insert, aligning the arms with the top corners of the pillow. Gather the sleeve and tuck it into itself to ensure that the arm hole is free from bunching or stretching. Fold the neck onto the back to make a clean line on the top. Make a small stitch with a needle and thread where the neck meets the back of the pillow. Fold the bottom of the sweater onto the back as well and stitch the bottom corners onto the back. Untuck the arms, and pull them towards the back to cross the sleeves. Add a few small stiches to keep the arms in place. 

4. Crochet trim shirt

This tutorial from Trash To Couture has you covered if you want to hang onto a shirt that is too tight (or one that just needs a style upgrade)! Measure your crocheted material so that it lines up with the shoulder and bottom of your t-shirt. Cut the side seams and sleeves off the shirt. Sew the crocheted material onto the sides. Pin where you’d like the armhole to go. Top stich the new side seam, leaving the top portion open to create a sleeve.

5. Pleated dress

Turn an old, ill-fitting skirt into an adorable dress with the help of Life Is Beautiful. Pull the skirt over your head so that the elastic wast is around your neck. Mark where you want the sleeves to end.  Pinch the sides of the skirt to where your waste ends and mark it, making sure the pleats aren’t stretched out. Flip it inside out and cut the vertical lines and extra fabric off. That’s it! You can use the extra fabric as a cute belt or leave it flowy!

How will you upcycle your clothes?