www.moms.com

10 Ways to Utilize Your Kids Old Clothes (That They Outgrew)

One of the most enjoyable parts of parenting, especially for a mother, is getting to dress your kiddos up in all kinds of adorable outfits. Whether you’ve got a son or a daughter, you can have tons of fun shopping for exciting styles all year round.

RELATED: 10 Awesome Arts & Craft Projects That Teach Kids Something

Unfortunately, kids tend to outgrow their clothes almost as quickly as you can buy them! In fact, young children can grow as much as 5 inches in one year! Without some tricks to take care of your kiddos’ old clothing, you’ll end up with mountains of too-small shoes and too-short trousers! Luckily, there are plenty of ways to utilize old, unwanted clothing!

10 Turn Them Into Toys!

While toys are an exciting part of childhood for all kids, they can be quite costly to parents! According to experts, the average parent spends over $6000 on toys for their kids.To save money and make good use of your kids’ discarded clothing, try creating some DIY toys from them.

Although sock monkeys are usually the only toy people really think of when they consider reusing clothes, there’s so much more potential. From stuffed bears made out of old baby onesies to a patchwork elephant, the possibilities are endless. Plus, this will be a perfect opportunity for you to practice your needlework in a fun, relaxed manner!

9 Use Them To Clean

To keep a house neat and tidy, cleaning rags are absolutely necessary. Instead of wasting both money and resources on buying flimsy rags from the store, simply use your child’s old clothes! You can use them as-is or cut them into squares for better storage and maintenance.

Plus, most clothing for young children are made of cotton, which acts as a better cleaning agent than most synthetic materials. If you have an abundance of old jeans, cut them up as cleaning squares, too! They will scrub at tough spots almost just as well as stainless steel, without being abrasive to your countertops!

8 Put Them on Stuffed Animals

Another great way to use old clothing is to give them to your children to play with! Let them cut, sew, and redesign outfits for their stuffed animals, or simply put them on their new teddy bears as is. Build-A-Bear Workshop sells clothes specifically for toys at a jaw-dropping price, so why not save some money and just re-use your kid’s old baby clothes?

Letting your children redesign clothing is also a wonderful way to stimulate their imagination and creativity without spending tons of cash on materials. Plus, if they have clothing that they are allowed to cut into, your kiddos will be less likely to ruin your best sheets and towels!

7 Stitch Them Into a Pet Bed

If you’ve got a dog or a cat at home, a pet bed could be the best way to utilize your kids’ old clothing. Although this task may sound strenuous, there are tons of online resources that walk you through the process step by step. Not only will your pet love their new comfy bed, but you’ll also be able to use a ton of old clothes in the process.

In fact, it is recommended that you use even more old clothes to stuff the bed after construction instead of store-bought cotton or polyester for a firm cushion. Ask your kiddos to pitch in and help out with the new pet bed to incorporate some family bonding time!

6 Repurpose for Younger Kiddos

Hand-me-downs are one of the easiest ways to reuse old clothes if you’ve got multiple babies! While it’s only natural for little kids to get dirty and tear up some of their clothes in rough play, you will find that most of your little one’s outgrown clothes are still in amazing shape.

RELATED: 10 Essential Fall Clothing Items For Babies

Rather than cutting these up for a pet bed or cleaning rags, simply save these items for when their younger siblings can fit into them! According to certain reports, many families spend over a thousand dollars every year just on clothes for their kids. Save money and precious resources by utilizing your older children’s clothes as hand-me-downs!

5 Gift Them to Family Members

For the moms of only one child, you can still turn your kiddo’s clothes into hand-me-downs by giving them to family members. If your cousin is expecting a baby, sort out some of your children’s old clothing that are still in wonderful shape and offer it to them. Just be sure to gift only the clothes that are in good shape, and always be clear that they’ve been worn by your child!

You’d be surprised at how grateful new parents are at receiving baby clothes. After all, it’s one less expense they have to worry about. You’ll also be doing the environment a big favor by getting some more uses out of old clothing before they get tossed!

4 Sew Them into a Quilt

Not confident in your abilities to sew complicated projects? Instead of diving into creating a teddy bear or a pet bed, practice your skills by making an adorable quilt from your little one’s old shirts. Creating a quilt just requires the simplest of straight line cutting and stitching, and will be a perfect bonding activity for you and your kids.

You could even eliminate the need for stitching altogether by cutting fringes into the squares and tying them together. Not only is this a great way for you to practice your needlework, but it also works to promote your kiddo’s fine motor skills. Plus, the finished product will be a sweet memento of your little one’s childhood.

3 Create Halloween costumes!

With the month of October coming up, your little ones are no doubt very excited about Halloween. Aside from candy corn and scary movies, one of the best traditions for Halloween is to go trick or treating, of course!

Your kiddos will need costumes before they can hit the streets, and there’s no better way for you to save both money and time than to make some easy DIY outfits from your kids’ old clothes. For example, you could sew some sequins and lace onto a plain dress to turn it into a royal gown, or paint some white t-shirts into a bee costume!

2 Salvage Them for Spare Parts

There’s nothing more frustrating than a broken zipper or a missing button on a favorite piece of clothing, but these tragedies happen quite frequently in any household. To be prepared for such a situation, try collecting spare zippers, ties, buttons, and decorations from your kids’ old clothing.

If you’re planning on cutting a shirt up for cleaning rags, for example, also remember to remove any useful items for future accidents. It’s always good to have a handy bag of different sized hooks, zippers, and buttons for those clothing emergencies, and sewing them on will be much easier than finding a replacement outfit!

1 Donate them!

Lastly, you can also donate the pieces of clothing that you do not want to keep or reuse. Especially if you’re a working mom, you may find that you simply don’t have enough time to partake in the sewing projects mentioned above. Instead of stockpiling old clothes in a storeroom, try dropping them off at your local Goodwill.

There are tons of people out there in need of clothing for their children, and you’ll be helping to keep those little ones warm and comfy by donating the items you don’t need! Make it a habit to bring a bag of clothes with you when you leave the house, so that you can remember to drop by a donation center on the way home!

NEXT: 10 Effective Ways To Develop the Habit of Sharing

More in House and Home