We all go through phases of feeling somewhat uninspired by our clothes. While it’s easy to be tempted by a huge shopping spree, upcycling old garments is better for your bank balance as well as the environment. Here are some crafty ways to give your vintage clothes a new lease of life, without breaking the bank.
1. Embellish shirt collars
Jazz up a vintage collar by adding gems, sequins, buttons or whatever you think will look good. This is a clever trick if it’s an old shirt that has accumulated a few stains over the years. To do this all you need is a tube of no-sew fabric glue and your chosen additions. If you want something less permanent then opt for a brooch pin. They are super cheap and can be found in any vintage shop or flea market.
2. Lengthen a dress or top using lace
Fell in love with a dress or top at a flea market that was ever-so-slightly too small, but still couldn’t resist buying it? You can add extra length by sewing lace to the bottom. Not only will it make your clothes wearable, it will also make them completely unique. So you don’t have to worry about bumping into someone who is wearing the same outfit as you!
3. Polka dot jeans
Stylish, cute and very easy to do. Find a large circular flat top paint brush or old makeup brush. Get hold of some acrylic craft paint in your chosen colour (white works best). Press the brush on to the jeans in a consistent pattern. You don’t necessarily have to make polka dots, you could cover your jeans in a heart or star pattern. Or for a really quirky look splash the jeans with different paint colours.
4. Make a tote bag from old band t-shirts
Can’t bear to throw away your old band t-shirt? With a little bit of stitching you can turn transform it into a stylish tote bag. This way you can still show off to everyone who your all time favourite band is. Search online for a helpful tutorial. All you really need to do is cut the material accordingly, sew the seams together and add the handle. Totes simple!
5. Tie-dye for a brand new look
Tie-dying clothes sounds quite complicated, but it’s actually really easy to do – and a whole lot of fun! Firstly decide on how many colours you will use, then buy the fabric dyes and a tub for each one. Tie the garment into sections with elastic bands. Some people choose to use marbles for a funky effect. Dip sections into the tubs, making it as bright or plain as you wish. Tip: add salt to the dye for extra colour intensity.
6. Create a scarf from unused jumpers
Tired of your jumpers and scarves? Transform old jumpers into a brand new scarf. You can find fantastic video tutorials online that will guide you through each step. Choose a few old jumpers that are all relatively the same weight and material. Cut them all into even rectangles and use a sewing machine to stitch them together. Make sure to use a jumper with a thick rib to use as the end of the scarf.
7. Turn an unworn vest into a fringe vest
In just minutes you can add a boho vibe to your wardrobe. Choose an old vest, ideally one that doesn’t have any loud prints towards the bottom. Grab a pair of scissors and cut vertical lines upwards about two centimeters apart from each other. Make the cuts as long or short as you wish. It might be a good idea to lightly draw the lines on the material first to make sure that it stays even.
8. Sew patches onto jeans and denim jackets
Do you feel that your jeans and denim jackets are beginning to look lifeless and boring? Give them that little something extra with just a few stitches. Find funky patches in flea markets to sew onto your tired denim. Choose from cute slogans, animals or a retro smiley face. If you’re feeling extra creative, you could even make your own patch!
Featured photo credit: Frank Terry via collectista.com