Upcycling ideas for baby clothes
When it comes to sustainability, it is always about the moderate use of our resources. In its original meaning, sustainability means that we should not consume more than can be regrown in order to keep the planet worth living in for future generations.
In this context, the upcycling of old clothes is an important contribution. Because with upcycling, no new resources are used, but those that have already been used are put to a new use. In this way, resources are used much more effectively and in a more environmentally friendly way. Let's take a simple t-shirt as an example. Around 2,700 liters of water are used to produce this.
If you throw away the t-shirt after a year or two, you throw away that water with it. If you upcycle the shirt, on the other hand, you give the high consumption of resources a further meaning and also prevent that 2,700 liters of water have to be used for a new piece of clothing.
For the same reason, you should always pay attention to the high quality of a new piece of clothing, because it simply lasts longer and thus gives the massive consumption of resources a higher justification.
From old to new
There are many ways to turn old clothes into something new for a baby. You can make a smaller version out of one piece: For example, use the button placket and the center part of an old shirt and simply cut it smaller all around.
- create a new piece for your baby from pieces of clothing such as cuffs that are in good condition, sleeves that have shrunk in the washing machine, smaller tailored trouser elastics, etc.
- make a patchwork out of many individual scraps of fabric. This is ideal for rompers, winter coats, cuddly towels and blankets.
The possibilities are huge and by the way you can also save a lot of money, because new baby clothes are expensive and the little ones outgrow them so quickly.
Only the best pieces are just good enough
Incidentally, if an old piece of clothing has "already done its job" - it has been in use for many years and you can clearly see the signs of wear - you can throw it away or use it as a cleaning rag. Only pieces that are in good working order, pieces that are just no longer fun to wear, pieces that have been shrunk, or garments that are out of style should be used for upcycling.
You are also welcome to buy new parts
You are also welcome to buy new items to make the new item of clothing more attractive for your baby. For example, if you want to make a skirt for your child out of old jogging pants, you could buy a new elastic band and give the whole thing the finishing touch. A glitter ribbon or cute buttons can also give a reused fabric a whole new look.
Everything starts with decluttering
Of course, in order to be able to make something new out of your old clothes, you first have to part with them. Mucking out is particularly difficult for many and they threaten to suffocate in mountains of clothes. Therefore, we would like to start with some tips for perfect decluttering:
- Set aside one or two days per year in your calendar when you will clean out your closet.
- Empty the entire wardrobe - yes, everything must be taken out and put on the bed, for example. In this way you can also thoroughly clean the wardrobe.
- Rules for the actual mucking out.
- Everything you haven't worn for a year can go (except of course very special things like ski clothing)
- Even expensive things that you no longer wear have no place in the closet and should not be kept just because of their high price.
- Be honest - clothes that no longer fit and that you might want to fit into again at some point have to go.
- Cleaning, sleeping and ragged clothes have to go, because all of these are just an expression of the fact that you really don't want to part with them.
- Now you can gradually put the closet back in and enjoy the new freedom.
When clearing out many items of clothing that are ideal for upcycling have certainly come to light. Make three stacks of the pieces that didn't make it back into the closet:
- The items that you will sell (eg, the particularly high-quality and expensive items).
- The things that you will give to a friend or the old clothes collection.
- The things that you want to make something new out of for your baby, your partner or even yourself.
Extra tip: How to prepare for recycling old clothes
After you have sorted out the pieces that will serve as raw material in a later upcycling project, it really does feel good to cut them apart. This takes up less space in the closet and later you can use them better and faster. Dissect the parts into their anatomical components, such as large panels of fabric, cuffs, button plackets, zippers and so on.
Incidentally, make sure that you only use the best materials for your darling. Old clothes made of polyester etc. have no place here. On the other hand, 100% cotton - ideally organic cotton - is suitable.
By the way, our pretty baby clothes are also made from certified organic cotton. Take a look at our shop and convince yourself of the excellent quality.
Practice creates masters
As with everything in life, your first piece will certainly not be your masterpiece, but you can still be absolutely proud of it. Every time you put it on your baby, you will remember it fondly.
Gradually you will have better and better ideas and become more experienced. The good thing is that your baby is growing fast and there is always a need for new clothes. If you even pass on your homemade clothes at the end, you do even more for the environment and take upcycling to a new level.
What do you need to upcycle clothes?
Basically, all you need is a good idea, scissors, a tape measure, a needle and thread. Of course it's easier and faster with a sewing machine, but if you're not sure that you'll enjoy the project, you can definitely try it without first.
But you could also borrow the sewing machine from your circle of acquaintances for the first steps to see how things are going. If you are convinced that you want to continue making new clothes for your baby or yourself, you can always get your own machine.
As time goes by, you're sure to acquire more tools that make upcycling easier and more efficient. Good fabric scissors, cute buttons, stickers and embroidery can really enhance your new pieces.
Learn to embroider
If you enjoy handicrafts overall, you will definitely enjoy embroidery as well. Teach yourself the best techniques (e.g. via the corresponding YouTube tutorial) and spice up the new clothes in this way. A self-embroidered shirt is something really special and will please your baby and yourself again and again.
The results of your upcycling ideas will not only please you, but may also be an inspiration for others. Whether as a new hobby or as a craft idea for or with children , upcycling is a lot of fun and good for our environment.