Each year, kids go back to school with a new wardrobe. Those popping belly buttons, peeping ankles, and unbuttoned jeans are dreadful sings that pinching pennies on clothes might not be an option. As the wise adage goes, kids grow up too fast. In the wake of a child’s growth, is a long wave of clothes that have become too small to wear. What can a parent do with all those clothes?
1. Turn old t-shirts into pillows. You don’t have to be a master seamstress to turn a t-shirt into a pillow. Turn the shirt inside out and sew all the openings along the edge, leaving one sleeve opened. Turn the shirt right-side-out. Stuff the shirt with either filling, cotton, or the shredded remains of other cotton clothes rejects. The pillow with have sleeves, and the pillows will be soft. These pillows work well in kids rooms.
2. Turn denim skirts into carry bags. Turn the skirt inside-out and sew along the bottom opening. Then, simply attach a strap. You can sew your own strap, or you can find an old belt and sew it onto the skirt-purse. Put each end of the belt where the hips of the skirt should be. You can do this craft with old denim shorts, too, only, each leg would act as a double-pocket. If you are good with needle-crafts, you can sew a zipper onto the top, or sew a line of buttons along the top (three or four should be find), and sew some loops on the other side, corresponding to the position of the buttons.
3. Sew skirts onto the bottom of too-short t-shirts or blouses to make a baby-doll sort of style. You can use new material, or you might be able to find some old, elastic waisted skirts that will work well for this project.
4. Turn pants and jeans into shorts by cutting them just above the knee. Fold them up evenly, and sew them into place.
5. Patch holes and permanent stains on clothes that still fit but are a bit unsightly. You can use other old clothes to make patches for other clothes. Cover the holes and stains with the patches to make not-so-common styles.
You should also consider donating the clothes to charities. Make it a habit of donating each year so that you aren’t left wondering what to do with an entire wardrobe of outgrown clothes. By donating clothes on regular intervals, you’ll always have the spare room in closets, and storage spaces.
Selling gently worn clothes to consignment shops and thrift stores is a good way to save money on clothing purchases, because for each new outfit you buy, if it’s kept in good condition, you can get a small percentage of that money back. Make it a routine to approach consignment shops each year before the school year begins so that you can put some of that extra money toward the new school clothes.
Sometimes being creative with old clothes does more than just save money. You can help your child to set new trends, and learn to think creatively while considering the environment. Recycling old clothes is a good way to save the environment by decreasing the mass of trash hauled to landfills each year.