Give New Life to Old Bed Sheets

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I’ll be honest, when I woke up this morning to write, I was drawing a blank. I had several topics in mind, but all of them required me photographing steps. I just wasn’t feeling ambitious enough to pull out the camera. I was sitting in front of a blank screen and blinking cursor, scanning the house for inspiration. Something really cool to share with you. Something brilliant I had discovered. All of a sudden my eyes landed on the perfect something. A bed sheet hanging loosely from the corner of a window, blowing gently in the breeze.

Bed sheets are free or inexpensive fabric sources. Instead of hauling old sheets away in boxes, figure out if there is some way you can give them new life.

Why would I have a bed sheet hanging from my window, you might ask? I have no shades in my kitchen, only a frosted panel in the top (with little cutouts of cutlery) to keep the sun from your eyes while eating your toast. On really hot days the sun comes blazing in through my front windows causing the A/C to work even harder than it needs to. The bed sheets filter the sun so we can stay cool without having to feel like we’re living in a dark cave.

I’ve also used Thomas the Train bed sheets to make a curtain and valance for my toddler’s room. The big fold in the top of the flat sheet is perfect for sliding a rod through (you just need to remove a few stitches to open the ends) and the “extra” at the bottom can be turned into a valance. Just last week I recovered a small arm-chair with a nice satin pinstripe bed sheet. It won’t last as long as upholstery fabric, but I got the bed sheet for $2 at a thrift store and the upholstery fabric costs twice that a yard. I’m okay with doing it again in a few years.

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This got me thinking about all the ways you could repurpose or upcycle an old bed sheet.

Repurposed & Upcycled Bed Sheet Ideas

#1 Obviously they can be cut down used as rags & cleaning cloths.

#2 Gardeners use them to cover crops during light frost.

Bed sheets are free or inexpensive fabric sources. Instead of hauling old sheets away in boxes, figure out if there is some way you can give them new life.

Image courtesy of Whole Lifestyle Nutrition

#3 You can keep one folded up in your trunk for an impromptu picnic lunch or in case you need to change a tire in nice clothes.

#4 Two full-sized sheets sewn together are the perfect size and weight for a beach blanket. You can do some random lines for quilting to keep the bed sheets from slipping. It will dry in no time on the line when you get home or you could just toss it in the dryer.

#5 A quick and easy drawstring bag with hundreds of possibilities – shoes, kid’s toys, toiletries, etc.

#6 A solid colored bed sheet might be just the thing to line see-through clothing for cheap.

#7 Pillow cases make awesome reusable grocery sacks. Check out the tutorial here.  I did it and they work great (though I still prefer my tote bags for heavy items).

Bed sheets are free or inexpensive fabric sources. Instead of hauling old sheets away in boxes, figure out if there is some way you can give them new life.

Image courtesy of LuckyPalm

#8 Here is another great bag option using a pillowcase. It’s a bit easier than the one from #7, so if you’re new to sewing or you prefer simplicity, this might be the right one for you.

#9 If you live in an area with long periods of bad weather, a bed sheet rag rug might be just the project for you.

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#10 You can make a cute wreath like this one by Two Shades of Pink.

Bed sheets are free or inexpensive fabric sources. Instead of hauling old sheets away in boxes, figure out if there is some way you can give them new life.

Image courtesy of Two Shades of Pink

#11 You can make some easy-peasy jammie pants.

#12 Or maybe a skirt is more your style.

#13 You can create simple wall art from pretty bed sheets. This tutorial is in Spanish (I think), but you can figure out the steps even if you don’t have Google Translate.

Bed sheets are free or inexpensive fabric sources. Instead of hauling old sheets away in boxes, figure out if there is some way you can give them new life.

Image courtesy of Dcoracao

#14 You could make throw pillows for your bed or sofa.

#15 You can give your kids an awesome outdoor craft project.

#16 A bed sheet teepee is fun for kids and adults. Here’s a tutorial from The Handmade Home and another from My Poppet.

I think the important “take away” from this is that bed sheets are free or inexpensive fabric sources. Instead of hauling old sheets away in boxes, figure out if there is some way you can give them new life. That’s the homesteader way!

Do you have some awesome way of reusing old bed sheets? Tell us below in the comments. If you’ve got a tutorial, feel free to share the link. Just learning how to sew? Trying to hone in on your skills. Check out the Craftsy online sewing classes.

Bed sheets are free or inexpensive fabric sources. Instead of hauling old sheets away in boxes, figure out if there is some way you can give them new life.

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About Jessica Lane

I am a non-traditional homesteader. What is a non-traditional homesteader? I'd like to think we are the people who don't fit the mold. I am a busy mom on a small bit of property with not a lot of financial resources, but I am figuring out how to live the life I want. A homesteader's life.

Comments

Give New Life to Old Bed Sheets — 143 Comments

  1. I use them to put under the hedge when trimming, much easier to clean up afterwards.
    Also, in my mothers day, they would tear the sheet in half down the middle where it was worn and then sew the outer edges together, thus making them into a usable sheet again.

  2. Resale shop sheets are fabric of choice for many women’s costumes for our theater group. Especially for petticoats, bloomers, nightgowns and corsets. Sheets were used in all the daughters outfits for “Pirates of Penzance” last spring and all the fairies in this falls “A Midsummer Nights Dream”.

    Personally I have used 2 flat sheets to make duvet covers for decades and a twin flat sheet is just the right size for a bottom sheet for a queen size water bed, just add triangles to the corners to hold it to the mattress. Also used designer sheets to make wall covering in rental apartments back in the 80’s. Merimako had a lovely poppy design.

  3. I use queen size flat sheet to make sleeping bag for sleepover instead of using their bed sheets fold bedsheet in half and sew bottom and halfway on side, Just put that sleeping bag over any bed or sofa and just add a blanket Over it. You can also sew a pillowcase on top of that sleeping bag.. Just slide in a pillow .. You bring your sleeping back home to wash and you didnt use the bedding of where you were visiting…For winter use warmer sheets to make sleeping bag . Twin size sheet s are perfect for children sleeping bags.. Or Queen size flat sheets.

  4. I use an old sheet when I give my dog a haircut. When I am done I take it outside and shake over the garbage can. Saves clean up time.

  5. I’m going to give the jammie bottoms a go.

    I have made curtains from bed sheets,but pj bottoms that’s new…….thanks for the idea.

  6. If you purchase calico flat bed sheets, and sew a white ruffle around, you can use them for great drapes, and use the white ruffle for tie backs. They look really good in a log cabin, type home. My mom would use them for cleaning mirrors, as they don’t contain lint, and for curling my hair when I was little.

  7. I used sheets from the thrift store to give me enough fabric to make a quilt and bought an even bigger sheet there for the backing. Saved TONS of money on fabric (of course I picked only colors I like for my quilt).

  8. About ten years ago, I was given a bunch of odd sized white sheets. Maybe they were hospital bed sheets. They were too narrow to do much with, but with a little work, such as tearing on grain and from there I made pillow cases and pillow case covers (with back flaps,that I call pillow case underwear). I gave quite a few to our adult children a few years ago, and now it is almost time to start replacing the ones we have.

  9. I learned from Pinterest that you can use fabric for classroom bulletin boards. Bed sheets might be cheaper than fabric. Also, I use old bed sheets to cover up my books and computers during summer vacation to keep dust away.

  10. instead of using a plastic tarp to carry my leaves to the composite pile, I use a sheet, so much easier to handle.

  11. My grandmother and mother would keep white sheets torn into strips to use for bandages on us kids.cheaper than gauze and tape.worked greatm

  12. the wall art tutorial is Portuguese,by the way, from a fabric storeinRio, but we can figure it out thanks for all the ideas!!

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