Winter has kicked in, and we all have gone through some home inspections about what do we need for this new season and what we don’t want to keep collecting dust. You might believe there are some items that you think aren’t worth it anymore, but you might be wrong…
Cleanipedia’s lead, Regina Ocampo shares six DIY tips on how to upcycle and repurpose old items into making them something useful and sustainable for home whilst also, saving money.
Winter DIY – DIY hand warmers for the winter
It’s super easy to turn an old cotton t-shirt into a DIY hand warmer. Cut out two squares of the fabric and sew them together, leaving an inch gap at the top. If there’s a pattern on the t-shirt you’d like to show off, make sure to sew the squares together so the pattern is on the inside.
Turn the square inside out (so the pattern is now on the outside) and pour rice or flaxseed into the gap so the fabric pocket is about three-quarters full. Finish by sewing the gap closed. When you need to warm up your hands, pop the hand warmer into the microwave for about 15-20 seconds and it should stay nice and toasty for a while.
Winter DIY – Make winter mittens out of an old jumper
Turning an old jumper into a set of warm winter mittens is quick and easy to do. All you need is an old jumper, a needle and thread, some chalk, and some scissors. For each mitten, place your hand onto the jumper and use the chalk to trace an outline about 1 inch out from the edge of your hand. Cut along the guideline through both layers of the jumper to give you two hand-shaped pieces of fabric. Arrange these so the pattern is on the inside then sew around the edges, leaving out the opening where your hand will go. Turn the mitten inside out and repeat the process for the second mitten.
Winter DIY – DIY tote bag made out of an old t-shirt
How about trying your hand at turning an old t-shirt into a reusable tote bag? It’s super simple to get started. Take a t-shirt and cut off the sleeves at the seams that join them to the main t-shirt. Cut the collar off so that the hole your head would normally go through is now wide enough to form the opening of the bag. Finish by sewing up the bottom opening of the t-shirt.
Winter DIY – Transform your clothes with a crafting project
There are all sorts of ways you can transform an old and tired outfit. Give an old sweatshirt, t-shirt, or jeans a new lease of life by adding embroidered patterns, iron-on patches, or letting loose with fabric pens and paints. Tie-dyeing is a fun and fashionable way to completely change the look of plain and faded clothing. To tie-dye, take an old garment, bundle it up, then tie the bundle up with strings and elastic bands. Pour fabric dye of all colours onto the bundle, then let it sit in a ziplock bag for at least 24 hours. Run the finished bundle under cold water while you remove the elastic bands then wash the clothing until the water runs clear.
Winter DIY – Turn old jumpers into cosy cushion covers
There’s no need to throw away your old, cosy jumpers with this easy upcycling hack. You’ll need an old jumper, a piece of chalk, some pins, scissors, and a needle and thread or sewing machine. Place the cushion onto the jumper as a guide, then use the chalk to make an outline on the jumper a couple of centimetres out from the edge of the cushion. Cut these two squares on the front and back of the jumper out.
Turn the squares to face each other so that the inside of the jumper material is now on the outside. Pin along the edges of the squares so they are securely held together then sew three sides closed. Turn the cover inside out again (so the pattern is showing), insert a cushion, then sew it closed. If you’re particularly handy with the needle and thread, you can sew a zip into the last gap of the cushion cover, making it easy to remove the cushion when you need to.
Winter DIY – Change up your cabinets and chest of drawers
It’s not just clothes that you can upcycle – there are all sorts of ways you can add a new lease of life to old furniture, too. If you have a chest of drawers that’s looking a bit tired, why not try sanding it down and giving it a new coat of paint in fresh, vivid colours? You can also make your own stencils and sponge on new patterns with acrylic paint, or replace the knobs and handles with snazzy new ones. Don’t neglect the inside, either: try adding a fun contrasting wallpaper to the insides of drawers and the back panel of the cupboard too.