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Upcycling Clothes from Your Wardrobe and Charity Shops

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I have just left university quite recently so  have been very used to living on a shoestring budget throughout my years as a student. My passion is fashion and I love to be as unique as I can for the most competitive prices. Therefore when I was asked to contribute to this blog, I couldn’t say no!

With the right knowledge it needn’t be necessary to sacrifice a new piece of clothing because of the expense it incurs. So why let January stop you from getting a new outfit? 

My article explores methods to ‘upcycle’ clothes for less. I often buy them from a charity shop or customise old ones that helps create new outfits to update my existing wardrobe. 

Upcycling is different to recycling as the process uses existing fabrics to make the original items better. In theory, the final creation should be a one-of-a-kind fashion garment to be proud of. 

Another positive factor apart from saving a lot of money is that it cuts down on the amount of wastage that will ultimately end up in landfills.

Ripped Jeans

Isn’t it great when you can do something so simple to make that very thing look so fashionable and it only costs a fraction of the price. Now you can just rip an old pair of jeans wherever you fancy and take your chances.

However, I would suggest a more measured approach. Face a (full length) mirror and use some pins as a marker (whilst wearing the jeans) to set out where you would like the rips to be. Take them off and poke a tiny hole where you want each rip to start from. It would be better to use a sharp pointed tool for this as you may lose control with scissors.

Once you are happy with where you want the slits and cut them accordingly, finish off by gently fraying the edges, but not too much. 


Use Your Old T-Shirts

Do not be in a hurry and throw out that old T-shirt just yet! There are so many useful and trendy accessory items you can recycle them to. Scarves, belts, bracelets, headbands are just a few. Personal Creations will show you some great ideas that you can produce simply that are extremely cost effective.        

Old Jackets Into Something Trendy

When you’re buying any item of clothing from a charity shop it is important to focus on the shape unless you’re really handy with making and designing your own clothes, in which case you probably don’t need to be reading this post!

If you identify a good shape, particularly with a jackets, then there are some simple steps you can take to add that extra little something to enhance and make it your own (as Louis Walsh would say)! 

You can fray the lapels and pockets, add beads or another interesting border along them and the cuffs, or combine the two.    

Making a Bag from an Old Pair of Shorts

An old pair of denim shorts, faded or otherwise, can be transformed into a fabulous bag. First separate the front of the shorts from the back. The back is what will be used primarily because the central pockets will form the main feature. Fold the back section in half and depending on the design you want your bag to be, cut out the shape of it. Use an old T-shirt as the lining and the remaining parts of the shorts for the strap.

Making a Pair of Children’s Pyjamas from a Man’s Shirt

If you have a man’s shirt sitting in the wardrobe that is never really getting used anymore and it’s just a matter of time before you get rid of it, then here’s a good idea to make a set of children’s pyjamas from it.   

About the author

Clare Stone

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