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5+ Creative Ways to Repurpose Old Linens

I love that “saving money” no longer has the negative connotation that it did when I was growing up in the 80’s. Back then, it wasn’t considered cool to shop at thrift stores or to repurpose furniture. We could never have imagined that drinking from recycled Mason jars while sitting in mismatched chairs at a table that used to be somebody’s barn door would EVER be something to be proud of.

When our family shifted from 2 incomes to 1 a little over 20 years ago, I became a money saver out of necessity. I guess you could say I was a trend setter, ’cause our family was doing the whole “reduce, reuse, recycle” thing long before it became a catch-phrase!

many household items that would normally be thrown away can be used for other purposes. Old towels make perfect dust rags. And old sheets are great for a kids' craft-day table cloth. And, thanks to my mom, I learned that old clothes make beautiful quilts. In that vein, here are some easy ways to creatively repurpose old linens to save some money and brighten up your home in the process!

It didn’t take me long to learn that small changes can make a huge difference in our budget. Something as simple as leaving the paper napkins on the store shelf in lieu of cloth napkins that were purchased on clearance or, better yet, made by hand can save loads of bucks each year. Swapping store-bought diapers for homemade, cloth diapers…well, you can just imagine how much money we saved there!

I’ve also learned that many household items that would normally be thrown away can be used for other purposes. Old towels make perfect dust rags. And old sheets are great for a kids’ craft-day table cloth. And, thanks to my mom, I learned that old clothes make beautiful quilts.

Recently I found several great blogs sharing easy ways to creatively repurpose old linens. I was definitely inspired and I couldn’t resist sharing them with y’all.


1. Reusable paper towels!

Amy from Our Sew Good Life shares an easy-to-follow tutorial for making “unpaper” towels.  These can be made using old towels or terry cloth you have left over from other projects as the absorbent layer. Flannel or cotton fabric (think old sheets!) can be used as the decorative top layer.

reuseable paper towels

2.  Bowl Covers!

Nicole from Going Green shows us how to turn old tablecloths into bowl covers. Eureka! The thought of no longer fighting with a sanity-testing roll of plastic wrap makes my day. 🙂 This post also links to other great ideas for reusing those old tablecloths.

reusable bowl covers made from old tablecloths

  3.  A Rug!

Brooke from Artistic Endeavors 101 teaches us how to use old sheets, either ours or thrift store finds, to make a cute-as-a-button rug. Granted, this process does look a bit involved, but I think it would be worth every bit of effort.

rug from repurposed sheets

 4.  Bath Mat!

Buzzmills shares an easy way to make a super absorbent, washable bath mat using old towels.

Recycled linens bath mat

5. Home Decor!

We recently shared this easy-peasy fall wreath. The beauty of this project is that it can be made for any season depending on your color choices. You can use old sheets or even clothes that the kids have outgrown. Lots of possibilities!

home decor from repurposed sheets

5+.  Learn a new skill!

How ’bout using them in a cozy, comfy quilt? Don’t know how? Well, Craftsy has lots of classes you can take to learn online… Get started here!


OK, have we got you thinkin’ now?  Do you have any great suggestions to add to these neat ideas?  Please add them in the comments below…and include links if you have ’em!

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Candy is a southern girl who enjoys the simple things in life. Dirt road drivin’, Sunday afternoon nappin’, back yard swingin’, and sunset watchin’ are a few of the things that make her smile. She’s been married to her best friend and the love of her life for almost 25 years and is navigating motherhood with her 4 children, aged 23, 19, 14, & 11. Homeschooling for over 18 years now, she is also a bit of a word-nerd (ok, maybe more than a “bit” – she actually considers making lists of homophones to be entertaining), a lover of books and chocolate, a survivor of cancer, an author, and a hula hoop maker.

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21 Responses to 5+ Creative Ways to Repurpose Old Linens

  1. Sapana V April 10, 2017 at 2:46 pm #

    These are awesome ideas for re-using the old linens. Thanks for sharing such useful details.
    Sapana V recently posted…Top 5 Baby Carriers in India for Around Rs 500My Profile

  2. Gina Marie July 17, 2015 at 4:06 pm #

    These projects are so creative and useful! I can wait to try my hand at the bowl covers! Dropping in from Frugal Friday Link Up party! So happy that I click your link! Hope you have a great weekend!
    Gina Marie from Always Savory

    • Candy July 17, 2015 at 5:03 pm #

      So glad you found us! I’d love to see pics of the bowl covers when you’re done. 🙂

  3. Julie at Logger's Wife July 17, 2015 at 12:30 pm #

    I really like that rug idea! We use them for drop clothes. And for a strange reason. My husband cuts his own hair using electric clippers. Unfortunately, his hair is like wire and goes everywhere. So hard to clean up the bathroom. So we use an old sheet to cover the sink and counter. He does his best to aim for that and then I just shake it out outside when he is done. (visiting from Frugal Friday)

    • Candy July 17, 2015 at 12:55 pm #

      Oh, wow! I didn’t even think about using a sheet to cover the sink and counter when my hubby cuts his hair…Eureka! I’ll be using that idea next time. That’ll definitely make life easier. 🙂 Thanks for the tip and I’m glad you found an idea you could use as well!

  4. Gentle Joy May 27, 2015 at 8:57 am #

    There are so many great ways to save money…. without feeling deprived! I, too, am glad that the stigma is gone, or at least reduced, from saving money. 🙂

    • Candy May 27, 2015 at 10:45 am #

      Absolutely! It’s crazy (and refreshing!) just how popular recycling has become. I mean, seriously, who would’ve ever thought that decorating your home with art made from old toilet paper rolls would be considered chic?!

  5. Terri Presser March 6, 2015 at 2:14 pm #

    What wonderful ideas, thanks for sharing at Good Morning Mondays. I just love the rug, maybe its the colours but it is beautiful. Blessings

  6. Gentle Joy March 2, 2015 at 10:43 am #

    Good ideas…. yes, it has become the “in” thing to save money now… thankfully… but we have been doing it for years and it is just second nature now, although we still can learn new things. Thank you for sharing these. 🙂

  7. Barb @ A Life in Balance October 18, 2014 at 12:15 pm #

    Oh, I love the bowl covers! What a great way to reuse old towels! Thanks for sharing at Motivation Monday!

  8. Lauryn October 13, 2014 at 10:39 pm #

    Great ideas! I can’t wait to try the bath mat and I have TONS of old linens to use!! Thanks for linking up to Motivation Monday!

  9. JES October 9, 2014 at 5:21 am #

    I love repurposing projects! 🙂 Thanks for sharing at the Art of Home-Making Mondays this week!

  10. B October 8, 2014 at 3:37 pm #

    I recently purchased an oval linen tablecloth edged with 5 inch wide cotton lace for 75 cents at an estate sale. The tablecloth has a few stains, but that’s no problem. I removed the lace earlier today and measured the tablecloth. I can make at least 10 -16″ napkins plus 2 tea towels from the linen. Who knows what I will use all that delicious lace for…

  11. Adrian October 6, 2014 at 6:13 pm #

    OMG! I love ALL these! I’ve pinned to my frugal board so I can come back here as a reference:) Thanks for sharing with us at the Teach Me Tuesday Linky Party!

  12. Gentle Joy October 6, 2014 at 10:15 am #

    Great ideas… I agree that I am glad the stigma that used to be attached to saving money is gone now… now it is in style and all of the money saving things we have been doing are now being newly “discovered”. 🙂 Thank you for the post.

  13. Carole West October 5, 2014 at 6:31 pm #

    This is a great post and I love the rug idea. I’ll be featuring this post on Tuesdays with a twist at Garden up green. Look forward to you stopping by so excited to share your post.

  14. Erin October 4, 2014 at 6:14 pm #

    Great ideas- never would have thought of them! PInned it. Found your blog on TGIF link party and started following on Google +,


  15. Gertrude Nonterah September 30, 2014 at 8:25 am #

    Actually, my mom used to make the door mats from old linens too ! I grew up in West Africa so saving money was always a “thing”. 😀

    Great post. Thanks for the ideas.

    • Candy October 1, 2014 at 1:31 pm #

      Glad you liked them. They definitely inspired me! I bet your mom has a ton of ideas she could pass on. 🙂

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