5 ways to upcycle kids clothes

How to get kids clothes to last longer and make new purposes for ones they pretty much ruin.

Kids grow fast, they play hard, get dirty, get stains on their clothes or rip them. I no longer expect my kids clothes to last more than 1 child in the condition they were originally in, but that doesn’t mean I don’t reuse them or extend the life of their clothes in different ways.

Here are some ideas for extending the life of your kid’s wardrobes:

Appliqué
Prints from small shirts can make for fun appliqués on larger shirts for a funky twist or to cover a stain that won’t wash out.

Make shorts
Long pants and jeans that are too short in the leg can be cut and hemmed to make shorts or capris if they still fit in the waist. If they get holes in the knees, cut them off to make shorts. My daughters favourite pair of shorts comes from a pair of black leggings I cut to be long bike shorts. I didn’t even hem them as the fabric doesn’t fray. She wears them all the time.

Dresses to tunics
Girls dresses can become tunics with leggings if they still fit comfortable but are too short to wear on their own.

Long sleeve to short
Cut off the arms on long sleeve tops to make a short sleeve. My daughters often got the ends of long sleeve tops dirty or they got holes in the elbows. Cutting them off to make short sleeve tops was quick, easy and saved money.

Dye clothing
It’s not exactly cheap, but clothing dye can bring new life to old clothes and hide some stains. You can either buy dye or experiment with your own natural dyes.

Strategic buttons
Keep the buttons from any clothes you are going to throw out. When plain tops and jackets get marks, you could make cute button tops by sewing buttons on strategically.

There are thousands upon thousands of ideas for upcycling your children’s and babies clothing and they don’t even need to be clothing pieces, they could be accessories. Old cotton shirts and t-shirts would give you more than enough material to make handsome little bow ties for little boys and sweet little tote bags for girls. Even sweet and ever so tiny newborn pants and caps could be made from an old child’s shirt or one that’s been op shopped for pocket change. All of these ideas and more with tutorials can be found literally at your fingertips with the internet and a Google search and the likes of Pinterest.

Before throwing away clothes, have one last look – could any of them be revamped or upcycled? What do you do to give new life to old kids clothes?

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