16 Ways to Save Kids' Worn Out Clothes

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Kids are hard on their clothes, and frequently come home with stained t-shirts, ripped jeans, or small holes in garments. Before you donate or toss these worn out clothes, check out these 16 ideas for salvaging your kids' clothing! 
I remade all these garments, and have used all the products recommended in this article. They hold up through repeated washings, and are all easy to use.
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1. Tetris-Inspired Paint Job Covers Stained Hoodie

Use dollar store  foam shape stickers to create a Tetris-inspired motif on a stained hoodie. 
To Make: Put the stickers over clean areas on the garment, then spray with a fabric spray paint such as  Simply Spray or  Tulip Colour Shot
Remove stickers, and let paint try according to package directions. Repeat for backside of garment.
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2. Faux Vest Covers Holes

Up cycle a too-small suit vest from last Easter into a hip new t-shirt, and cover rips or stains on the t-shirt while you're at it! 
To Make: Cut front of vest away from the old vest, including interfacing and the back lining. Glue onto a stained t-shirt with  Aleene's Fabric Fusion glue, and let glue dry according to package instructions.
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3. Jeans Pockets Protect Knees


What do you have when you have two pairs of ripped jeans? Sacrifice one for the stylish back pockets, and attach them to the holey knees of the other. 
To Make: Cut back pockets from the worst pair of jeans, trying to get as much fabric around the pocket as possible. Then, either glue pockets onto knees of other pair of jeans with  Aleene's Fabric Fusion, or sew onto pant legs. Use an  iron-on patch on the inside of the jeans to reinforce the hole as well.
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4. Iron-On Patches Cover Knees & Add Style

Make old trousers new again with the addition of cute and stylish neon iron-on patches. 
To Make: Cut hearts or other shapes out of  Twill Neon Iron-On Patches, then iron over holes in clothing. If desired, add additional patches to the inside of the garment to add more reinforcement.
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5. Stamp a Pattern on a T-shirt

Regular old  acrylic craft paint works wonders for creating a repeating pattern that camouflages stains on a t-shirt. 
To Make: Choose your child's favourite  rubber stamp, and stamp a repeating pattern onto t-shirt with acrylic paint. Let paint dry, and then tumble in a dryer on high heat to set. Alternately, you can use fabric paint, but it's not necessary. 
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6. Cover Spot Stains With Stencils

Does your garment have a few small stains? Cover them up with some strategically placed stencils! 
To Make: Cut stencils from  freezer paper (one side is plastic, one side is paper). Iron the plastic side onto the garment with the stains showing through the holes in the stencil. Spray with fabric spray paint such as  Simply Spray or  Tulip ColorShot.
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7. Spell Out a Message While Covering Stains


If your garment has a large amount of staining, create a message T-shirt with alphabet stickers and paint. 
To Make:  Spell out your favourite message with dollar store  alphabet stickers, making sure the letters are stuck over areas that are NOT stained. Then spray the garment with  fabric spray paint such as Simply Spray or Tulip ColorShot. Remove stickers and allow paint to dry according to package directions.
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8. Fabric Paint Drawing to Cover Stains

If your garment has a small amount of staining, you can cover the stain with a strategically placed  fabric paint drawing. 
To Make: Practice your drawing ahead of time, then draw onto the stained area of the shirt with fabric paint.
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9. Tie Dye to Hide Stains

A light coloured shirt can be revitalised by a cute tie-dye job! 
To Make: Use a tie-dye kit such as  Tulip One-Step Tie Dye to create a unique tie-dye design on 100% cotton t-shirts. For some eye-catching tie-dye design ideas, check my article:  3 Easy & Impressive Tie Die Designs for Kids.
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10. Cute Fabric Covers Up Onesie Stain

There are so many cute fabric prints on the market - choose your favourite and use it to cover up a stained onesie or t-shirt. 
To Make: Cut out your favourite motif on a fabric print with  pinking shears (to keep the fabric edges from fraying), and glue onto garment with  Aleene's Fabric Fusion.
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11. Combine 2 T-shirts Into One

When you grow out of a t-shirt, or it gets too worn out to wear, combine it with another shirt to make a whole new look! 
To Make: Cut designs off of worn out or too-small t-shirts, and glue them onto another t-shirt with  Aleene's Fabric Fusion. This technique works well to cover stains and small holes, as well.
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12. Paint Tread With Trucks to Cover Stains

Camouflage stains with a cute truck tread pattern on a t-shirt. 
To Make: Roll a  toy truck's wheels into black or brown acrylic paint, then roll the wheels onto the stained areas of a t-shirt to create a cute tread pattern.
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13. Ransom Note Style T-shirt Save

What do you do with a stack of old t-shirts? Cut them up and save the letters for a ransom note-style logo. 
To Make: Save old worn out t-shirts for their words, and cut out individual letters, then use the letters to spell out a message on a t-shirt. Glue letters onto shirt with  Aleene's Fabric Fusion.
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14. Turn a T-shirt into a Tote Bag

T-shirt too small, but still has a great design? Cut it into an easy-sew t-shirt tote bag! 
To Make: Cut the sleeves and collar off of a t-shirt, then turn t-shirt inside-out and sew across the bottom hem. Turn right side-out to reveal your new tote bag!
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15. Stamped Onesie to Camouflage Stains

Onesies seem to always get stained with milk or formula. Get a little more life out of them by stamping a repeating pattern. 
To Make: Stamp a cute stamp pattern onto onesie with acrylic paint or fabric paint such as  Tulip Puffy Paint.
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16. Glitter Kid Drawings to Cover Stains

Use iron on glitter sheets to give t-shirts the rock star treatment, featuring your child's own drawings to make a one-of-a-kind t-shirt. 
To Make: Let child make a drawing on the Tulip Shimmer Sheet with a permanent marker, then cut out around the drawing and iron on according to package directions. Add details with fabric paint, if needed.

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