Ultimate Guide to Kids' Wearable Recycled Crafts

Recycled Clothing Crafts for Kids

Kids can grow so quickly that sometimes they can outgrow clothing before they've even had a chance to break it in. Donating old clothes or saving them as hand-me-downs is a great idea, but you can also use them for some creative craft projects, too.

For example, take those old pairs of jeans you keep hanging in your closet -- instead of saving them in the hopes that they will one day fit again, help your kids transform them into one-of-a-kind denim bags. Cut off the legs of the jeans and remove the hem from both legs. Use one of the legs to make your bag and the other leg to make your straps and decorations. Sew a line across the bottom of one leg, and use scissors to cut the fabric upwards to give the bottom of your bag a frayed look. Then, cut the other leg into strips and tie the strips together to make a strap. Sew both ends of the strap to your bag. Cut shapes out of the remaining fabric and sew them onto your bag to give it a personal touch [source: FamilyCorner].

Another twist on this idea is to make a bag out of the top part of the jeans instead. First, lay the jeans on a flat surface, cut off each leg, and then cut the remaining top part in half. Next, sew up the leg opening and the side, leaving the waistband as the bag's top opening. Then use remaining fabric from the leg to create a handle, and you have a denim bag complete with handy pockets on each side. If your kids aren't old enough to handle the stitching, have appliqu├ęs or other fabric they can attach to the purse to decorate it and make it their own.

Tie-dying is another fun activity that kids of all ages can enjoy. Find an old t-shirt or pair of socks and let your kids revamp them with their best tie-dye designs. Roll up the clothing using rubber bands, and wearing rubber gloves, have your kids dip the clothing into their favorite two or three colors. Unwrap the clothes to see the designs and then hang them up to dry [source: Ritdye].

To get more ideas and variations for wearable recycled crafts that kids can make, explore the links below.

Related HowStuffWorks Articles


  • Family Corner.com. "Jean Leg Purse." 2009 (Accessed 1/19/10).http://www.familycorner.com/dir/Family/Kids/Kids_Crafts/Wearable/
  • Kaboose. "Toothbrush Bracelets." (Accessed 1/20/10).http://crafts.kaboose.com/toothbrush-bracelets.html
  • Make-Stuff. "Make Every Day Earth Day." (Accessed 1/19/10).http://www.make-stuff.com/recycling
  • Ritdye. "Basic Tie-Dye Instructions." (Accessed 1/19/10).http://www.ritdye.com/Basic_Instructions.16.lasso
  • Roberts, Cynthia. "Crafting -- A Frugal Pastime." Creativity Portal. (Accessed 1/19/10).http://www.creativity-portal.com/howto/artscrafts/crafts_frugal.html
  • ThriftyFun. "Pop Tab Necklace (Choker)." (Accessed 1/20/10).http://www.thriftyfun.com/tf77001598.tip.html