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 found a cute kids patterned king size sheet set really cheap. From that set I made a sheet set for a toddler bed, pillow case, throw pillows,curtains, a chair pad for the rocking chair, a doll bed sheet set, doll blanket and pillow for the doll cradle, a little girls nightgown and a nightgown for her doll. And all from one kingsize sheet set! And all for $10! Sheets are awesome!

  2. I use my old fitted sheets to cover the box spring..got tired of fighting the bed skirts and I use old pillow cases to make dog beds for my pups

  3. I made a beautiful dress for my daughter from a double-sided duvet that was pink on one side and polka dotted on the other. I got TONS of material for $4. The first dress that I made didn’t fit so I actually made 2 dresses from this one cheap purchase. I’ve been hording thrift store sheets ever since then for my sewing pleasure!

  4. Some churches still roll bandages that are used in the African mission field and use old cotton sheets for them. They are cut into 1 1/2″ strips and rolled into tight coils. At our church we made little rolling machines that make the job very easy. In many areas of Africa the hospitals and clinics do not have sterile one use supplies and use these bandages that can be washed and sterilized and reused.

  5. I use old fitted twin sized sheets as tablecloths for those picnic tables at campsites or parks. They fit perfectly on the corners and the wind doesn’t blow them all over the place. I just throw them in the washer to clean them, and store them in the cooler until the next time!

  6. You guys are genius! I love the hauling weeds one, will have to use this idea this spring when we have to trim back the hedge trees! That is some very prickly work.

  7. I use old sheets in several ways. But I use them often to make copies of patterns I like as the paper wears out where pinned but the sheet fabric doesn’t! I use sheets to line non-lined drapes, lining for upholstery fabrics, practice fabric when teaching my grandkids to sew. They get well used around my house, lol.

  8. I use a twin size sheet that matches my car’s interior to hide what I’m carrying in my hatchback car. It’s a good idea when traveling at Christmas time to cover gifts and keep them out of sight to discourage a break-in.

  9. Sheets are perfect for kantha or sashiko embroidery. I love to use quilts done that wa for pillowcoverings or upholstery.

  10. Noni, I love your sheet idea for overalls. I do not sew very much, some hair scrunchies here and there, but that it. Would actually pay money for a pair of those. They sound so comfortable. Great idea.

  11. I used an old stripey sheet to try out an overalls pattern for size. Loved the look and wore them! Didn’t like the “proper” overalls I eventually made nearly as much 😊

  12. I have been using bed sheets to make quilts! I am on my 7th one and in most cases I have $10-$12 in each one. You can also use them in the place of batting and ,or backing for a softer touch and not so heavy quilt. Years ago I made a beautiful dress out of a sheet. No one ever knew!

  13. I used my old flannel sheets to make diapers for my daughter’s first baby; she’s still using them on their second one. Used strips from old towels in the middle for added absorption. Cheap, and cute, too!

  14. I have sewn 2 flat sheets together to make a duvet cover. It seems the flats are always in much better shape than the fitted sheets when we move on to new sets. Even simple duvet cover seem so highly priced that I just couldn’t justify paying what was being asked in stores and online.

  15. GREAT IDEAS!!!! I save ALL our old bed sheets to make curtains, kitchen towels, fabric yarn, ANYTHING that requires fabric yardage!!! Also, if I need/want more, I just pop over to my thrift store and see what they have for sheets – I got 3 all-cotton queen sets for $1.50 each (it was their monthly half-off day)!!!!

  16. I have been wanting to get some clearance fabric to make hot rice bags to put in the microwave to heat…I am thinking that my old sheets would work great for this! Thanks for getting the ideas in my head spinning!

  17. I’ve used them as wall paper! Acouple flat sheets with a print/pattern you love & a staple gun ….you’re good to go!
    I wouldn’t necessarily recommend doing more than an accent wall this way, but if you’re that ambitious you go right ahead!

      • Actually, this is an awesome idea! I have a laundry room with walls that resemble a dungeon. Wondering if a sheet would spruce things up a bit.

        To the author of this blog post, thanks for all the ideas!

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