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3 Fun Ways to Re-purpose Your Kids’ Old Clothes Almost Instantly

Time 3 min read · May 16, 2019

By Shirley Swift

3 Fun Ways to Re-purpose Your Kids' Old Clothes Almost Instantly

3 Fun ways to re-purpose your kids’ old clothes almost instantly. They grow like weeds, spill food, jump in muddy puddles, fall over, climb trees and generally have a brilliant time getting mucked up to the eyeballs without a care in the world.

That’s what childhood is all about, right?

Right! But unfortunately for parents, at the opposite end of the fun spectrum are the bottomless laundry baskets and the growing piles of clothes that are now too small, ripped or stained.

Research indicates that on average parents spend close to £1,000 in the first two years of a child’s life – just on clothes alone, sky-rocketing to almost £9,000 by the time they reach adulthood!

From replacing a new-born’s entire wardrobe every 2-3 months, to a new yearly wardrobe once kids get past 2 years old – that’s a lot of clothes in just one childhood!

We obviously don’t want our kids to stop growing (!) so what are the alternatives? What can we do with the growing piles of clothes, year on year?

Your options 

There are the usual options of selling, donating, etc, but what about some of your favourite items – the ones you don’t want to give away? And that got us thinking about re-purposing clothes – turning them into something else and giving them a new lease of life.

We set ourselves a challenge to re-purpose some old clothes! We found some ideas that were useful, cost-saving, simple and fun to do! Check out how we got on making denim shorts, artwork and doll’s clothes. We even found a few uses for odd socks!

Dress too small, or ripped or stained? Transform the fabric into a piece of artwork for your child’s bedroom.


Jeans too short/ripped knees?

Here’s how to re-purpose them into denim shorts.


  • Try the jeans on your child and mark how long you want the shorts to be.
  • Measure 6cms below where you marked and draw a line across to the other side of the leg. Do this on each leg, front and back. Then cut out each leg – doing the front and back separately.
  • Once cut, measure a turn up of approx 2cms and fold up. Fold up again, ensuring the fold is even the whole way round and covering the first mark you made.
  • Try shorts on child and check length and that fabric is even the whole way round.
  • Remove shorts and gently iron the folds. Unfold one fold and follow instructions on the webbing tape to secure first fold. Refold and iron.
  • Ta-da. New denim shorts!

Doll clothes. If Barbie or Action Man need a new outfit – look no further than your kid’s old clothes.

barbie dress
  • Take a piece of fabric large enough to cover the doll.
  • Move doll’s arms so they are pointing up in the air. Place fabric over doll’s head and cut two small slits for her arms and one slightly larger slit for her head.
  • Gently thread the doll’s arms and head through the holes in the fabric and secure with a piece of ribbon as a belt.
  • Ta-da!

Who doesn’t have odd socks?! Don’t throw them away – they can be useful dusters, seat beat covers for kids, golf club covers, or even lego-collectors. Pop one over the end of the hoover and collect small pieces in hard-to-reach places like under the sofa.

hoover hose


Plastic Bottles and How are they recycled?

Your local council has a number of Household Recycling Centres (HRCs). Most can recycle paper, glass and plastics (just like your kerbside service) but you can take much more than that to your local HRC


Take action today!

We hope, you’ll share our passion for the environment and want to do something to give the planet a helping hand yourself. We want to inspire you to get curious about and get involved with actions that will be good for nature, our local habitats and species, for ourselves and ultimately for our planet.

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