15 Ways to Reuse Old Sheets
Bedsheets go through a lot — nighttime sweats, thrashing around, and repeated launderings are just the start of it. But once your sheets have worn out their welcome on the bed, you can still put them to good use. Here are 15 ways your bedsheets can go on to live a second (or third, or fourth…) life:
1. Use them as quilt backing. This looks especially good if you have a sheet that matches or complements the quilt’s colors. Best of all it’s free, and since the sheet has already been washed a zillion times, you don’t have to worry about it shrinking.
2 – 7. Use old sheets as raw fabric. Cut out any stained or torn parts of the sheet, and hold onto the rest as raw fabric. You can use it for just about anything — here are just a few ideas to get you started:
- Make it into a durable tote bag
- Piecing for quilt fronts
- Turn it into lounge clothes
- Use it to create pillow covering or, if you’ve got both a fitted and a flat sheet to work with, a furniture slipcover.
- Re-cover your ironing board.
- Cut it into squares and use it as wrapping “paper.”
8. Stencil patterns on the sheet with fabric paint and turn it into a tablecloth. This is a great, low-cost (but potential keepsake) project if you have kids.
9. Turn your old sheets into curtains or curtain backing. These make a great middle layer between two curtains to help block out extra light, or sew two layers of sheets together with a layer of thicker material in-between to create curtains that both insulate your window and black out the light.
10. Turn it into “yarn.” I’ve learned through trial and error that this only works well with knitted/jersey-style sheets. Cut the sheet into long strips from end to end, or into one long, circular strip spiraling in from the outside. Gently tug at the strips as you wind them into a ball, and the “yarn” will take on an easy-to-work-with tubular shape. You can use it for any project that calls for bulky yarn, and it’s especially great for making attractive but hard-wearing red rugs. (You can find a fabulous tutorial over at Craft Passion.)
11. Use it as a dropcloth. There are so many other things you can do with an old sheet in good condition, this is best reserved for stained or discolored sheets that you can’t see using any other way.
12. Stash a sheet in your car. From groundcloth for an impromptu picnic to drying off at the beach or pool (forgot your towel again, did you?), we’ll sure you’ll find a use for it.
13. Turn it into rags. Aw, poor sheet. Is this what you’ve come to? Actually, turning your old sheet into rags is a great, thrifty use for the leftover scraps from any of the other projects we mentioned here, or for a discolored sheet that’s clean despite its raggedy looks.
14. If you have funky, brightly patterned sheets, we love Apartment Therapy’s idea of attaching them to blank canvas (or you could use canvas stretchers) and framing them as wall art.
15. Stitch two sheets together with a layer of batting in between to create a warm emergency blanket for your car.
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