Upcycling Clothes – Fun Activities to Enjoy with the Kids

Everyone has old clothes lying around the house that they don’t know what to do with. Upcycling is the perfect solution. Not only can you turn them into a useful item, but you can also have fun whilst doing so. Upcycling is also a great way to teach young children about the importance of sustainability and caring for our planet.

Below is an outline of 5 fun and simple activities you can enjoy with the children. And if none of these interest you, have a fashion show and see who can come up with the most creative ensembles. Enjoy! 


The simple act of tie-dying never fails to entertain. Removing the rubber bands at the end of the process always elicits squeals of delight, as a stunning array of colours and patterns are revealed. Check out this article by Flood Screen Printing to learn how to create a variety of different looks. 

Tie-dying is great for clothes that are maybe stained, or where the colour has faded. And of course, you don’t need to just stick with T-shirts. Have fun and experiment with different items of clothing. 


Sock puppets are relatively easy to make and a great way to make use of odd socks. Buttons removed from old shirts can be glued or sewn on for effective eyes. Extra strips of fabric or wool can be added for hair. 

Socks can also be used for creating other styles of puppets as well. Simply filling with newspaper or scraps of old material can create the base for the head of a puppet, then a stick can be added later for the body. Afterwards, children can create their own dramas and puppet shows for hours of entertainment.


What young child doesn’t enjoy dressing up their dolls? Providing them with old clothing will allow them to cut, snip, glue and sew to their heart’s content. The sleeves of sweaters and shirts are perfect for instant dresses, only requiring a rubber band to hold them in place. Old ties with satiny finishes are also great for creating some high-end fashion pieces. 


Weaving with old pieces of material can be such an enjoyable activity and will often keep children occupied for extended periods of time. A variety of materials can be used, but T-shirts always seem to work well. You can purchase a simple peg loom or even make your own from pieces of dowel. T-shirts should be cut into 2cm wide strips, the longer the better. 

You can begin with simple projects like dishcloths and floor mats. Then later progress to more complicated projects such as bags. There are a number of weaving techniques as well that can be used to create different effects. 


Tote bags are a popular item to make from used clothing. You can use a variety of clothing pieces. Probably the easiest way is to take a small pencil skirt and sew the bottom closed. Then simply add some strips of fabric for the handles. Denim is a great fabric to use as it is hard-wearing, and it also looks great. 

There are a number of methods you could use. From simply cutting straight across the crotch area and then sewing the opening closed. Or you could use a variety of different denims, cut out squares and create a patchwork style bag.


Looking for some fun craft activities to explore with the kids? Why not try upcycling your old clothing? It’s a great way to reuse your pre-loved clothes and children can enjoy both the process and the finished product.