Frugal Feature: Upcycling Ideas for Clothes & Furniture On The Cheap

upcycling tshirts


If you’ve been bitten by the creative bug lately (or by your bulging budget), you’re probably wondering how you can make new belongings from everything you already own.

Two of the most popular areas of upcycling are fashion and furniture. It is ridiculously fun to do, and it also helps you slow down on the spending and put the credit cards away. How can you get in on the upcycling movement? Grab a pair of scissors along with some needle and thread, and we’ll show you how.



Upcycling clothing is the best place to start because it is often so easy to do. Even if you don’t have a talent for sewing, you can still re-imagine your clothing and make them into completely new ensembles. An old vintage t-shirt, for example, can become a tunic if you cinch the waist with a wide belt and pair it with leggings. And a slightly smaller t-shirt can become an edgy blouse if you cut along the top of the sleeves and then tie them back together by making a knot on either side at the neck line.

If you’re ready to take the next steps into sewing, you can turn a frumpy skirt into a sassy miniskirt by taking off some of its length. And you can turn a solid-coloured sweater into a “Grease”-inspired embroidered blouse with a little yarn and know-how. For those who are following fashion trends and would love a unique maxi skirt, it’s easy to make one from two old t-shirts, which will ensure that no one will have your take on this popular trend.


If you were saving all of your really wild and crazy ideas for the household decor, now is the time to let them loose. Re-upholstering any sofa or comfy chair is an easy and fun way to try your hand at upcycling furniture, and it also allows you to change the entire colour or pattern scheme in your common areas. This is a great way to make it look like you’ve purchased all new furniture without having to break the bank.

In a more unique vein, you can actually upholster in the insides of a huge suitcase and give it legs to fashion a ‘love seat’ seemingly out of thin air. An old window shutter can also become the “ladder back” for a ladder back chair with a little woodworking. And don’t forget about those old tin wastebaskets; turn them upside down, add a cushion, and you’ve got the cutest patio seating ever made.

And if you’re just looking for a small project, refacing your furniture can give way to some eye-catching ideas. You can turn vintage magazine covers or artwork into wallpaper for wooden cabinets, for example, or simply repaint your chairs and desk.

It is often said that “necessity is the mother of invention”, and there’s no greater inspiration for upcycling than being on a budget. Use your motivation to save money as a chance to get creative with your everyday items. And then you can visit Rate Supermarket to find other hot budgeting tips to make sure that you’re always in style and in the black.


This frugal feature was a guest post.


  1. says

    I’ve always thought that simple and easy handmade scarves usually end up being so adorable and they look like they could cost $30 at the store sometimes! I especially love making my own jewelery, though. It’s always a cute personal touch! (bg)

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