We all have old sheets that we just can't seem to let go of. I changed bed sizes, and still have my old double bed sheets. Thank goodness, though, that I didn't toss out my son's old twin bed sheets, because that's what I'm using now. I'm still trying to find uses for the old double sheets. The elastic has lost its stretch, and they are getting worn. Some of these ideas require basic sewing, but they don't require a sewing machine, so if you know how to do a straight stitch, you're set.
- Use old sheets as summer bedspreads. Since I'm in a twin bed now, my full sheets are the perfect size to use as a summer bedspread. I have the matching pillow cases, too, to make it look like I have shams. I don't like regular bedspreads in the summer, since I keep the house rather warm to save money. One sheet is not enough and a sheet and bedspread is too much, but two sheets are perfect. My bedroom isn't seen by anyone outside the family or close friends, so why not?
- Wrap presents with your prettiest old sheets. If they aren't too worn, you can use your pinking shears to cut a piece out and make a wrap for a gift. Tie the top with a pretty satin ribbon and you're set to go.
- Make furoshiko bags. What is a Furoshiko bag? It's a square piece of material the size of a large scarf that you can tie to carry groceries or whatever you want. You can make them any size, and there are several ways to tie them for different uses. Since printed sheets only have designs on one side, I back mine with a solid inside color, then finish the edges with a small double seam. Doubling the fabric also makes them stronger. The best part is they're washable in case something inside spills on them.
- Make doll clothes and accessories. When I was little, my mother used old clothes and sheets to make all kinds of beautiful clothes and other things for my dolls. Growing up in the depression, she knew how to use everything as many times as possible before she threw it out. My dolls had unique, designer-worthy bed covers and even cute little cloth ruffled Mary Jane shoes. I had the best dressed dolls in town!
- Make funky shower curtains. The cutest shabby-chic shower curtain I've seen was made of old sheets, cut in strips and sewn together . If you want to get even more creative, cut different sized blocks and create a patchwork pattern.
- Make rag rugs. Since she never let anything go to waste, my grandmother had rag rugs all over her house, made of bits of old linens and clothing that wasn't suitable to use in quilts. She created some beautiful patterns in some, and some were just multi-colored. You can find instructions for a no-sew rag rug here.
- If you want to put those old sheets to use helping someone, make rag dolls to give to children in hospitals and shelters.
More by Deborah Aldridge