Do you have a skirt, or a dress, or a shirt, or a bag, or a pair of shoes that are almost – but not quite – perfect? Many of us have pieces in our wardrobes that we really like but don’t quite fit right, or are slightly the wrong colour, or are just missing a certain something. The result is that these pieces that have a lot of potential, and that we may have paid a pretty penny for, go unworn. One solution is to take these pieces on as DIY projects. It’s a way to save money and get more life out of your clothes. It’s also a great choice for green fashion buffs, since revitalizing or repurposing an existing piece has a lower environmental impact than tossing it and buying something new.
If you’re not very crafty, taking on a fashion DIY can feel a little intimidating. You don’t have to be Martha Stewart to DIY some seriously cute green fashion, though. If you’re on the hunt for some easy projects to get you started, we have five suggestions.
5 Easy Green Fashion DIY Projects
1. Update a Necklace with Nail Polish
We love Raj Thandhi of Pink Chai Style. She was the runner-up in our Top 30 Vancouver Mom Bloggers voting for 2013. She’s been a guest contributor, too. And we simply adore her sense of style. You can find lots of DIY projects on her blog, but one of our favourites was a fast and easy makeover of a statement necklace using nail polish. If you have an old plastic necklace you’d love in a different colour, apply a couple of coats of polish. To up the green fashion cred, choose a less-toxic polish.
2. DIY Polka Dot Patterned Denim
Like we said, we love Raj. Another fast-and-easy green fashion DIY she wrote up on her blog involves updating an old pair of jeans with a polka-dot pattern. All you need is denim, a circle stencil and a fabric pen (although Raj used a metallic Sharpie). The patterned denim trend isn’t new, but it looks like it’s here to stay for 2014, and this is a cheap way to get on the bandwagon and get new life from old pieces.
3. Turn an Old Sweater Into a Cute Bag
Unlike the first two, this green fashion project involves a little bit of sewing. The result is worth it, though, as you turn an old sweater into a super-cute bag. If you have ever accidentally felted a wool sweater by throwing it into the washing machine, this is a way to turn those lemons into lemonade. You can also find old wool sweaters at the thrift store and felt them yourself. A lot of cutting and a little bit of sewing turns it into a handbag with floral embellishments, which you can take pride in because you made it yourself.
4. Turn an Old T-Shirt Into a Halter
Have a large, plain T-shirt that you never wear? Or does your partner have an overabundance of T-shirts in his closet. Create a DIY halter with these easy project. No sewing is required, just cut and tie. No matter how not-crafty you are, you can do this. You’ll have a new piece for summer, just perfect for wearing to the pool, beach or spray park.
5. Make a Clutch From a Placemat and Belt
Your green fashion DIY efforts don’t need to be confined to your closet. In this no-sew project you combine a placemat and a belt to make a super-cute clutch. Looking for the perfect bag for your next date night? All you need is a placemat, a belt, glue, scissors and clothespins or clips to hold everything in place while the glue dries.
Amber Strocel is a writer, aspiring math teacher, suburbanite, wife and mom of two. She believes in the power of the Internet to connect people, and she believes that numbers are the poetry of the universe. You can often find her knitting, sewing, volunteering, working in her garden, and sneaking chocolate when no one's looking. She blogs at Strocel.com and shares her photos on Instagram as @AmberStrocel.