4 Tricks to Help You Repurpose Old Clothes

Solutions for you and the kids

by Parents and Kids | Fri, November 24, 2017

By Connor Bell

Let’s face it, clothes – particularly kids clothes – don’t come cheap. Short of hitting the bargain racks at H&M or Old Navy at the end of each season, you will inevitably end up shelling out thousands of kuai a year on clothes for your fast-growing and stain-prone kids, and that’s more than a little depressing. But fear not! For those of you with even the slightest crafting ability, we’ve got a few solutions to repurpose the kids' old outfits, and some for yourself as well!

For the kids

Bleached Tees

For those old, stained, or bleach spotted t-shirts, use this handy tip to refashion plain tees into personalized clothing that the kids will love!

What you’ll need

1. Cotton t-shirt in a bright or dark color (pastel won’t work well) 

2. Bleach

3. Old rags

4. Stencil or bleach block of some kind (duct tape works well)

5. Protective gloves

What Next?

1. Spread the t-shirt out onto a flat surface and place a layer of old rags or towels between the front and back panel of the shirt (this is so that the bleach doesn’t bleed through).

2. Apply the desired design to the t-shirt using a stencil or duct tape.

3. Put on your protective gloves!

4. Dip another old rag or sponge into a bowl partially filled with the bleach. Press and firmly hold the rag on to and around the tape/stencil. Repeat until bleached all around your design.

5. When you’re happy with your pattern, immediately rinse the shirt in cold water to stop the bleaching process.

6. Wash and dry the shirt.  

Turn Tights into Leggings

All too often we see those adorable tights get thrown in the bin when our little one has yet another growth spurt. But instead of chucking the tights, refashion them into a cute pair of leggings that will be useful in the winter worn with boots, and can be shortened again as capri-leggings in the summer.


1. Cut off the feet of the tights. Make sure you cut in a straight line and as close to the curve of the foot section as possible for length. We recommend marking the tights with chalk before you get the scissors out!

2. Tuck under the raw edge of each leg opening and hem with a zig-zag stitch (no sewing machine needed).

3. Once the leggings have been hemmed, use an iron and steam to reshape and shrink the now stretched opening.

4. Enjoy for another season!

Adult Sweater to Kids Sweater Dress

We all have a knit sweater that has lost its shape or simply doesn’t fit us like it used to. Rather than bidding adieu to that well-loved item, get out your sewing machine (or fine hand sewing skills) and pass it on to your little lady.


1. Lay your old knit sweater flat on a table and cut off the sides, forming an A line shape shift dress. Cut a slight curve in the armpit (this is to reattach the sleeves if you wish).

*To get the proportions right, lay one of your daughters' dresses on top – to make sure the arm opening isn’t too small!

2. Sew the sides of the dress together.

For you

No Sew T-Shirt Kimono

We love shawls, kimonos, and wraps because they hide those pesky lovehandles and eleviate a basic jean and t-shirt outfit. Completely blown away at just how easy it is to make our own, personalized wrap for any occasion, we couldn't wait to test it out!

What you'll need

  • 2 yards of fabric trim (optional)
  • Permanent fabric glue
  • Fray stopper (if your trim will fray like ours)
  • Fabric pencil, marker or chalk
  • Scissors
  • Ball point needle and matching thread (optional)


1.       Haul out your favourite oversized t-shirt or super soft long sleeved shirt you just don’t wear anymore and lay it flat on the table.

2.       Mark the center of the shirt and cut the top layer down the middle from bottom to collar.

3.       Cut out the collar with a smooth curved line around the neck and down to the bottom of the shirt.

4.     Stretch the cut sides of the fabric vertically from the middle and then side to side on the back of the collar. This stretching will roll the raw edge and will allow you to get away with no hem!

5.     Using permanent fabric glue, lay your trim all around the bottom of the shirt. Let sit and completely dry (about three hours).


Old Sweater Sleeves into Boot Socks

This one is super simple and easy to do! To make some winter leg warmers, or better yet, tall boot socks, simply cut off the sleeves of your old sweaters. Bibbidy boppidy boo, you’ve got yourself some perfectly fitting boot socks. Embellish the tops with a cute button or two and you’re good to go!