How to Make Your Own Recycled Clothing

Written by erin grady
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How to Make Your Own Recycled Clothing
You can transform plastic shopping bags into clothing. (George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

You can save money and be part of the green movement by creating clothing from recycled materials. Making your own recycled clothing is a fabulous way to be more creative with your wardrobe without spending a lot of money. The recycling movement has become larger in recent years, and creating clothing from recycled materials is one way to jump on board. You can easily make clothing for your spouse, your children and yourself.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Thread
  • Clothing pattern
  • Plastic shopping bags
  • Iron
  • Ironing board
  • Parchment paper
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Old clothing
  • Fabric pencil
  • Needle
  • Washing machine
  • Dryer

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    Create "Conversation Piece" Clothing from Plastic Bags

  1. 1

    Remove the bottom seam and handles from your plastic bags. Turn the bags inside out so the ink is facing the inside of the bag.

  2. 2

    Put a sheet of parchment paper on your ironing board and layer at least four plastic bags on top of the paper. Place another sheet of parchment paper on top of the bags.

  3. 3

    Put your iron on a medium setting and press the bags. Keep the iron moving at all times. Iron one spot for 30 seconds to 1 minute across the entire sheet of paper. Flip the paper over and iron each spot again for another 30 seconds to 1 minute until the bags are fused together.

  4. 4

    Let the plastic cool and lay a pattern on top of the bags. Cut around the pattern and pin along the seam allowances to avoid putting holes in the final product.

  5. 5

    Stitch the fabric together with double seams and follow the pattern instructions.

    Repurpose Clothing for Your Children

  1. 1

    Sort old pieces of clothing and look for stains, rips or damaged areas. You can also use old curtains, hand-me-downs or towels for fabric. Try to avoid pieces of fabric that are worn or damaged.

  2. 2

    Evaluate zippers and buttons to decide if they can be repurposed for the new outfits you will make.

  3. 3

    Wash and dry the fabric you choose to turn into new clothing. Iron the fabric to ensure the edges are smooth and you make accurate cuts.

  4. 4

    Lay clothing patterns on the fabric or use clothing that still fits your child as a pattern. Mark the fabric with a fabric marker and cut along the marks.

  5. 5

    Sew the pieces together with a sewing machine or by hand. Finish with buttons or zippers reclaimed from the clothing deconstructed.

Tips and warnings

  • Clothing from plastic bags is perfect for a party or to wear to an event that promotes eco-friendly awareness.
  • Save the plastic bag handles to create headbands or jewellery.
  • Do not iron on ink that is printed on plastic bags.
  • Iron plastic bags in a well-ventilated area.

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