Homemade Christmas Decorations Made from Recycled Clothes: Frugal + DIY!

how to upcycle old clothes into Christmas decorations

Ho, ho ho! Who doesn’t love that most wonderful time of the year, Christmas, right? But we ask, is it possible to bring on that holiday cheer while being practical, too? We found out it is! So, we’re kicking off our series on “Festive and Frugal Christmas Ideas” right here—with these adorably doable homemade Christmas decorations using recycled clothing!

From wreaths to stockings to tree ornaments to mantel accent pieces to throw pillows, these creative DIY projects have your holiday decor needs covered (literally) with scraps and cutoffs from things you wear. Think upcycle!

DIY Christmas Decorations from Sweaters, Socks, and Fabric Scraps

How fun and fulfilling would it be to decorate your home with handcrafted Christmas decor! Think holiday accents for your doors, walls, tables, and couches—all made with clothing discards you already have.

Christmas wreath, tree, and pillows made from old sweaters, socks, and ties

Mini Christmas Trees – See how Pillar Box Blue crafted these cutest little holiday trees (1) from scraps cut from “felted” sweater fabric (shrunk down in a hot wash), then glued on to a cardboard cone with twig-trunks and wood slice bases.

Coffee With Us 3 shows how to make charming mini trees (3) using fabric scraps from old clothes, glued onto cardboard cutout tree shapes, then trimmed with buttons, ribbon, lace, and whatever you have on hand.

Wreaths – On Crafts N’ Coffee, we found this stylish Recycled Silk Tie Wreath (2) that winds old tie strips around a styrofoam form and has fabric roses, also made from tie scraps, as trimmings!

While from Fynes Designs, here’s a cozy Wool Sock Christmas Wreath (4), made with discarded socks stretched over a straw wreath form, then decorated with cheery holiday accents and baker’s twine.

Throw Pillows – Speaking of cozy! We just love these snuggle-worthy throw pillow covers (5) sewn by Grosgrain Fab from thrift store holiday sweaters, and this white huggable one (6) from Welcome to the Woods, also using a thrift store sweater find. Trimmings can be cute pompom trim, Christmas ribbon, and ornaments like snowflakes, holly, bells, etc.

Sock Snowmen – More adorable-ness here with these little snowman figures (7) made from discarded socks! Check out the fun tutorial over at Darkroom & Dearly to make your own, then decorated with fabric scraps, buttons, and map pins.

DIY Christmas Mantel Decorations from Recycled Apparel

Loving these finds for even more cute Christmas decor crafts—all made from stuff you wear (or have worn!). These five are for dressing up your holiday mantel in the most heartwarming way!

DIY Mantel Decor Using Old Socks and Mittens

Garlands – From Caught on a Whim, see the coziest mitten garland (1) crocheted by blogger Erica. But she does offer “thrifted” alternatives: using old kids’ mittens, buying some at a thrift store or getting out-of-season discounts, then stringing them on string, ribbon, or twine.

How sweet (and super simple!) is this baby sock advent calendar (2) from Martha Stewart, that would be perfect to trim a mantel, too.

Stockings – Capture the festive feel by transforming an old sweater with a holiday pattern into a DIY Christmas stocking (3), as shown on Sweet Paul Mag.

For a homespun, country look, recycle a plaid shirt into a set of holiday stockings (4), as found on Sustain My Craft.

Or take this idea from One Hundred Dollars a Month, showing a pair of Christmas stockings that were once sleeves on an old sweater (5).

DIY Christmas Tree Ornaments from Fabric Scraps and Sweaters

Of course, let’s not forget ornaments for the tree! Since these are smaller in size, you can make several from even just 1 or 2 recycled garments.

Make CHristmas Tree Ornaments from Old Sweaters, Mittens, Flannel Shirts

Mini mitten ornaments – See how Creme de la Craft created these sweet little mitten ornaments (1) from a wool sweater, finished with buttons, yarn stitching, ribbon and fabric scraps.

Christmas balls(My Life in a) House Full of Boys shares a clever knock-off of Pottery Barn buffalo plaid ornaments (2) made with strips of plaid fabric (store-bought in this example, but an old plaid shirt would definitely work, too!).

For rustic-look ornaments, My Husband Has Too Many Hobbies has a great how-to for using old wool socks to cover foam balls (5). These can be strung into a garland with red jingle bells, as shown here, or hung individually with your choice of trimmings.

Little pillow ornaments – Going for a “bundled-up Christmas” theme, Reese Dixon crafted these adorable DIY pillow ornaments that resemble a buttoned up shirt (3). And they can be made from actual flannel shirt scraps, so they’re thrifty and cute! (Hint: You could use the same “pillow” concept for all kinds of tree ornaments, with your choice of fabrics, colors, patterns, and trimmings.)

Fabric snowflakes – Guess what these are made of! These snowflake ornaments are twisted and knotted from t-shirt scraps (4). Head over to Happy Hour Projects for the tutorial that needs just 3 simple supplies.

DIY Christmas Gift Packaging for Wine Bottles Using Sweater Scraps

Take that old sweater and make it into pretty wine bottle “scarves” as seen in Bellenza’s Christmas styled shoot for decorating wine bottles during the holidays.

Old sweater used for making wine bottle scarves

Excited for the second post in our “Festive and Frugal Christmas Ideas” series? We definitely are! Head back here to see what’s up next!

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