Have you taken an ordinary item, such as a kitchen towel, handkerchief or T-shirt, and repurposed it into something fabulous using your sewing talents? Comment below and tell us what you recycled and what you made! One random winner will be chosen from the first 30 responses to receive the book: Dozens of Ways to Repurpose a Tea Towel, by Nathalie Mornu, Lark Books.

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  1. Jocelyn says:

    I have a nephew with Cerebral Palsy. He is in need of bibs on a regular basis that don’t look like baby bibs. I purchased him and his little brother super hero t-shirts to find it didn’t fit him so I felt bad. It is now a made it into a bib. My nephews will still look alike. He loved it when I gave it to him.

  2. Shelley Mallory says:

    I cut a dish towel in half, gather the cut edges, and sew them to small yokes made from fabric scraps to hang on the oven door. They make great gifts.

  3. Jane says:

    Wow! What a great idea. Thanks for the giveaway!

  4. Leesa Miller says:

    I have been eying this book for a while now. I recently used several vintage hankies to decorate some tea towels I made.

  5. Shelley says:

    I’m just starting to make fringy scarves out of large t-shirts. Gotta love the internet for all the wonderful tutorials out there!

  6. Mary says:

    The first repurpose I can remember is making a purse out of my favorite pair of (worn out) jeans. I sewed patches and hand embroidered on it to make it uniquesly mine!

  7. Angie says:

    I make my son clothes from Dad’s old clothes. Gives him fun and unique clothes.

  8. HollyW in NC says:

    i turned an unwanted, never worn house dress into a window topper and some liners for baskets

  9. helvetica says:

    Good article . Will definitely copy it to my blog.Thanks.

  10. Laura Grossner says:

    I make attempts at repurposing, usually for dress up for the kiddos, or quilts for playing, nothing to wear out and about yet. But the fun is in the dreaming up and making it happen no matter where it is used;)

  11. I made tank tops into tote bags

  12. Ivette says:

    I took a kitchen towel embroider it and made a baby bib

  13. Pam VanAustin says:

    I found some old quilted placemats in my mother-in-law’s garage that were dirty and stained. After I washed them there was enough good, clean material to make her potholders. I used Insul-Bright batting and Iron Quick Fabric to back them and used the ruffled edging around the placemats for a border. They turned out really cute and she was so surprised to see her placemats repurposed!

  14. Maria Kievit says:

    I have used old jeans and refurbished them into cute tote bags for little girls. It was the present of the year for daughters, nieces and some nephews, and they looked forward to receiving them. Each one was sewn up differently.

  15. Connie says:

    “Repurposing” was a way of life for me growing up in a large family in a rural community. We made dish towels into aprons, robbed the thread-bare items of buttons and zippers before letting them go, made doll clothes from old clothing, and always argued over whose dress or shirt was now a quilt block on the bed.

  16. Joanne Deschenes says:

    I love Sew News. I have gotten many easy hints to do things, and it’s even reminded me of hints that I used before but haven’t used in a long time.

  17. Gina Bergin says:

    I am in the process of making a quilt out of all of my old college t-shirts. It’s a great way to use the NUMEROUS t-shirts I collected over the years while still showing my school spirit!

  18. Ruth in GTH says:

    I love turning placemats into purses! fancy or plain doesn’t matter, you can always embelish! And great also as a quick gift, especially if you know their favorite color.

  19. mary says:

    I have taken my daughters old wedding dress and made a christening gown.

  20. CatlynnSews says:

    I am constantly looking for items to repurpose. Most recent is a shopping tote out of a table runner that I did not like! Great idea for a quick gift.

  21. Susan Brooks says:

    I used an old towel to make covers for my Swiffer.
    I used a handmade mitten for a pin cushion. Stuffed it tightly and sewed up the end. I need a pin cushion in a lot of places and it reminds of who made it and the little boy who used to wear it.

  22. Jamie Nelson says:

    Me and my girls love repurposing clothing into other things or just into a garment that is more our style. We’ve made t-shirts into doll clothes, pillows, book covers, head wraps, bags, and skirts. We mostly use t-shirts because u don’t have to worry about fraying. Since they are 6 and 9 it is super easy to work with and cheap.

  23. Deb says:

    I love doing this! I’ve made purses from an old pair of jeans or velvet pants, tea towels, felted sweaters etc… My fave was a purse I made from a Christmas tea towel that had a recipe for cookies on it.

  24. Donna says:

    I took some plain ol white tea towels and appliqued some fruit on the bottoms using some great funky fabric! They went from blah to WOW!! Ü

  25. Cheryl says:

    I took a t-shirt and made a shrug for a sundress that was a bit too revealing.. worked out great