We all know what recycling is – turning old products or materials into new ones where the former are likely to be thrown away as trash.
But how many people are aware of upcycling?
Recycling and upcycling are two terms that are often used interchangeably, but in actuality, they are quite different from one another.
What Is Upcycling?
This is referred to as ‘creative recycling’ in which discarded items are reused to create new products that are higher in quality and value.
On the other hand, recycling is more of an industrial process in which recyclable materials are collected from commercial properties or homes and delivered to a recycling plant. They are then usually turned back into the same products. E.g., paper can be recycled and turned back into paper. This is the main difference between recycling and upcycling.
Update Your Wardrobe with Upcycling
If you are looking to update your wardrobe without throwing away your old clothes, adding any clutter to it, or spending money on new clothes, upcycling is your best friend.
You know how when you talk about recycling, plastic is the first thing that comes to mind? Similarly, when it comes to upcycling, don’t look further than your wardrobe, as it’s one of the best candidates for this process!
We have just the right DIY projects for upcycling your wardrobe that will leave you with new, better clothes than you had before!
1. Stenciling On Your Denim Trucker Jacket
Do you happen to own a nice denim trucker jacket that you no longer wear because you are bored with it and don’t know what to do with it?
Well, how about stenciling on your jacket to give it a whole new look? Stenciling is the ultimate way to create a fashionable and unique upcycled piece of clothing.
The supplies that you will need for this DIY project include:
- An old denim jacket
- Fabric paint
- Spray paint
- Stencil for design
- Craft knife
- Freezer paper
First things first, choose a nice stencil that you wish to copy onto your denim jacket. Print multiple copies to create the perfect design. With the help of your craft knife, cut out areas from your freezer paper and ensure that the wax side is facing down. Since this side has wax, it will be ironed on your fabric so that your stencil can be applied to a crisp edge. Place the design in the middle of the freezer paper and iron your stencil on it. Make sure to get the edges properly.
At this point, the paper shouldn’t be able to move unless you peel it off yourself. Once the stencil is on the fabric, begin painting with either spray paint or fabric paint.
Allow the paint to dry properly before you peel off the stencil to make sure it’s perfect.
2. Add Collars to Sweaters and Tees
Princess Diana’s wardrobe inspired this upcycling DIY project in the famous TV series – The Crown. Princess Diana’s character displays some of the best styles and attires, featuring statement collars and graphic sweaters!
Like most people, you probably also have a ton of sweaters and tees lying in your wardrobe, some of which have been put aside because you’ve just decided that you don’t want to wear them anymore. The best way to transform them is to take inspiration from Princess Diana’s looks in the show and add bold collars to all your discard tees and sweaters!
3. Tassels, Pom-Poms and Ric-Rac Trims
Do you know how a mere addition of a red lip, or say, a black-winged liner, completely transforms a no-makeup look?
Similarly, accessories like tassels, pom-poms, and ric-rac trims help breathe new life into an old top, shirt, or cardigan!
Tassels are a tuft of threads that hang loosely and are knotted from one end. You can add them to your top’s sleeves, down the neckline, or towards the bottom. Pom-poms might sound juvenile, but you can’t deny the fact that those colorful fluffy balls of wool change the overall appeal of a plain told t-shirt or top!
Ric-rac trims, on the other hand, woven flat braids with a zigzag appearance that are used as trimmings on clothing items. These trims give a super retro look, and their popularity goes as far back as the 1970s. Ric-rac trims look best on cuffs and collars.
4. Distress Your Own Denim
Are you a fan of ripped jeans? If yes, you will find this to be one of the simplest DIY projects for upcycling your wardrobe.
For those who might not know, distressed jeans are similar to ripped jeans, except that they have to fray in place of holes. So, instead of holes, you will see the frayed fabric that offers the same vintage worn-out look as ripped jeans do.
You can easily distress your pair of jeans without having to buy new ones particularly.
All you will need for this DIY project are a pair of jeans, a box cutter, tweezers, chalk, and a safety pin.
Begin by placing a layer of cardboard in the jeans’ legs, mainly in the cutting area. Mark it with the help of chalk where you want to distress the jeans. Begin slicing on the marks with the help of the box cutter. Slice horizontal strips that are about an inch apart from each other. If you wish to create a more natural-looking frayed pattern, make sure that the top and bottom slices are short and the ones in the middle are longer.
One by one, flip the strips and tease the white threads with the help of a safety pin. Loosen each white thread but make sure that you don’t break them.
In the end, you will notice frayed fringes in each strip, so all that’s left to do here is plucking out any remaining vertical threads with the help of the tweezers.
Color blocking has long been a popular trend and has even been seen in fashion editorials and red carpet events. As the name implies, it features pairing those colors opposite the color wheel to create bold, unique, and interesting color combinations.
An important rule of color blocking to keep in mind is that you must avoid sharp contrasting colors. The pairing should display the same sentiment.
This upcycling project requires you to pick out different clothing items from your wardrobe and creating contrasting color combinations. You can even get them dyed if you wish to create customized combinations.
Upcycle Your Wardrobe Right At Home
These DIY projects for upcycling your wardrobe are simple, fun, creative, and the best part is they don’t require you to spend any money nor discard anything from your wardrobe.
So, it’s time to bring out all those clothing items that you had put aside and transform them by adding some color, detailing, and spark to them!