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Recycling Old Clothes into High Fashion Home Décor

Why not use the start of a new year as inspiration to clear out the family’s wardrobes and do something useful with what is being discarded?

Don’t be in such a big hurry to toss these discards out or to hand them over for the church jumble just yet. Instead, think about how to reuse them to create high-fashion home decorative pieces.

When starting the clear out, put the similar materials in their own piles or boxes. Placing these together make it apparent if there is enough material for particular projects. For example, quilts or throws use up a lot of fabric and while placemats or similar small items would need a lot less.

Recycling Old Clothes into High Fashion Home Décor

Here are a few ideas that can be used to recycle and reuse old clothing within the home.

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Tailored Jackets

Table Cover

The front pieces and sleeves of a tailored jacket can give a no-hem finish to the sides of a clever table cover. There would be little wasted from the original jacket: even the lining can be used to make the piping to define the cover’s boxy shape.

Quilt or Throw

Cut and piece together squares of wool cut from castoff suits for a cozy quilt or winter throw. Add a neutral yarn at the corners for added interest.


Wrap a foam-padded plywood in wool suiting and fit behind the bed. Holes drilled into the plywood allow for tufting and elastic cords hold the decorative buttons on the front and are knotted in the back.

Chair Seat Cover

It’s easy to transform a wooden chair with a drop-in seat by covering the seat with a nice durable tweed.

Recycle a man's shirt into a laundry bag
Recycle a man’s shirt into a laundry bag

Men’s Dress Shirts

Pillow Covers

Lots of men have an overabundance of dress shirts from years of office work. Those shirts with torn or stained sleeves or collars can be sewn into stylish and coordinating pillow covers.

Summer Quilts

Choose shirts with coordinating colors and patterns can easily be transformed into a new, modern-looking quilt by any good sewer.

Car Seat Slipcover

For experts only, keep bottoms safe from sticky leather or vinyl seats in the summer by covering the seats in slipcovers made from old shirts.

Cozy Throws

Thick, old winter sweaters may have lost their shape but still, retain their snug appeal—perfect for making a cozy throw. Choose sweaters with a similar weight and texture and from the same color range. Don’t ignore buttoned cardigans, pockets, and knitting patterns that will add extra character to the individual squares of the throw.

Hot Water Bottle Covers

Need a little more warmth in bed? Recycle the body of an old Aran knit into a hot water bottle cover. The sleeves can be used as covers over large mugs when serving hot drinks.


Window Blinds

A velvet or satin dress with a button-down front provides plenty of fabric to make a shimmery, shiny blind. The buttons provide a simple hanging device and the original side seams are an easy guide for stitching the rings for the cords on the back.

Chair Covers

Use a slip dress and matching jacket to create a pretty fitted cover for a chair and make the most of the details, such as buttons and pockets, for a decorative edge. If a matching set is not available, mix and match separately in the same color range for a coordinated look.


The fabric in an out-of-fashion bridesmaid dress or other party gowns can be transformed into heavenly pillows for the sofa or bed.

Recycling and transforming your old clothing into home decor fashion not only saves you money but you’ll be doing the environment a big favor as well.

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