Beauty & Fashion

9 Easy Ways to Modify Clothing and Breathe New Life Into Your Closet

Is your wardrobe feeling a little drab or outdated? Don’t just buy new clothes – refashion your closet by learning these easy ways to modify clothing!

On average, each American throws out 81 pounds of clothing per year. As you can imagine, this creates a significantly large pile of textiles in landfills. Not only that, but it’ll take forever for it to decompose as well.

We understand that you get tired of looking at the same old garments in your closet. But before you throw away your old clothes, wait! Try these 9 easy ways to modify clothing instead.

  1. Turns Long-Sleeved Shirts into Skirts

Maybe it’s summer and you have a drawer full of long-sleeved shirts that you don’t even want to think about wearing right now. On one hand, it’s taking up valuable wardrobe space. But on the other, you might want to dig these shirts up again when the weather gets cold.

What you can do is turn these currently useless shirts into skirts! And you don’t need any supplies to do this either.

For a quick and cute skirt, put your legs through the neck hole. Then, bring the arms around to the front and tie a bow. Voila, you’re done!

  1. Upgrade Your Tanks

Many of us are guilty of buying cheap basic tanks in every color. The next thing you know, your drawers are bursting with them.

Turn these basic tops into something you can wear to an event. All you have to do is attach some lace to the straps, and they’ll become elegant shirts. Pair them with jeans for some casual wear, or a dark skirt for a night out.

  1. Turn T-Shirts into Crop Tops

Here’s another easy DIY project almost everyone can tackle. Can you use scissors? If the answer is “yes,” then you’re set!

Take an old t-shirt and first cut the sleeves off. Then, cut a bigger u-shape for your neck.

Finally, cut about 4 or 5 inches off the bottom of the shirt. If you’re not comfortable with a true crop top, then you can leave the bottom untrimmed to have a longer tank top. If you’re good with sewing skills, you can hem the bottom so it doesn’t become frayed.

This crop top is a great cover-up for your swimsuit, sports bra, or even another fitted tank top.

  1. Create a Blocked Maxi Dress out of T-Shirts

If you have several old shirts you want to throw out, then they’re perfect for this project. You’ll need to have basic sewing or sewing machine skills.

Basically, you’ll want to take 4 t-shirts and mash them together. The top should be the smallest t-shirt, then each “block” that follows will increase in size to create a nice a-line.

Take each shirt and cut across it to make chunks. Then, attach each one to another, and then to the top shirt. You’ll definitely have a unique looking maxi dress!

  1. Paint Your Jeans

This will work best on jeans that don’t already have prints on them. It’ll be like you have new pairs, but you won’t have spent the major bucks to get them!

Get some fabric print and cut out a pattern that you like, such as hearts or diamonds. Put the pattern over your jeans and go over it with fabric paint.

Take care that you give your jeans adequate time to dry, or else all that hard work will be for nothing if you smear the paint!

  1. Add Lace Inserts to Your Shirts

This one might sound hard, but we promise you, it’s not! All you need is scissors, construction paper (to create a pattern for your insert), lace, hem tape, a marker, and an iron.

Decide on a basic design you want to cut into your shirt, such as a star. Trace it onto the construction paper, cut it out, and trace it onto your shirt. Cut out the shape.

Now turn your shirt inside-out and lay a piece of lace across it, taking care to ensure it covers the entire cutout. Attach it with the hem tape and iron.

  1. Shorten Longer Garments

If you’re sure you don’t want them anymore, you can shorten your longer garments. For instance, you can take a pair of old jeans and cut across them to instantly create some shorts.

Or, you can take a baggy dress and cut a good chunk off to make it a short dress. Then, tie a belt across your waist, and it’ll instantly go from frumpy to cute.

  1. Add Some Patches

If you’re not so good with needles, threads, or scissors, this one’s for you. While some patches have to be sewn on, others just need to be ironed on.

If you have a pair of holey jeans in the back of your closet, waiting to be tossed, then dig them out! All you need to do is put on some beautifully embroidered patches from embroidery shops and you’ve completely renewed them. You can even add some patches to clothes without holes or rips in them to change up their looks.

If you’re interested in patches, shop this site. Not only do they have well-made patches available, but they can also make custom ones to your exact specifications.

  1. Create a Fringe T-Shirt

Fringe t-shirts are all the rage nowadays, especially at festivals. Old t-shirts are perfect for this since the faded designs can add to the vintage look.

Take a pair of scissors and cut straight up for a few inches. Do this with a spacing of around half an inch, and you’ll get fringes all around your t-shirt.

Modify Clothing Instead of Trashing Them

With these 9 simple tips, you can modify clothing instead of tossing them into the trash. Not only does this help you recycle garments, but it can also bring out the creative side of you!

So the next time you take a look into your wardrobe and think you’ve got nothing to wear, think again! With a little bit of magic, you’ll be able to repurpose your pieces and create fabulous new outfits.

Would you like to read more about clothes? Then check out our fashion section!



Welcome to the Night Helper Blog. The Night Helper Blog was created in 2008. Since then we have been blessed to partner with many well-known Brands like Best Buy, Fisher Price, Toys "R" US., Hasbro, Disney, Teleflora, ClearCorrect, Radio Shack, VTech, KIA Motor, MAZDA and many other great brands. We have three awesome children, plus four adorable very active grandkids. From time to time they too are contributors to the Night Helper Blog. We enjoy reading, listening to music, entertaining, travel, movies, and of course blogging.

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