DIY Ways to Spruce up Your Wardrobe While on a Budget

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Making Old Things New

Clothing that no longer fits too well or that have some tears or holes in them, can be made into a brand new outfit. An old suit jacket or blazer that is too tight to fasten at the waist can be shortened into a cropped jacket that buttons at the bust line. Add a couple of button accents on the sleeve near the wrist and a patch pocket from the leftover material and no one will recognize it as the same old jacket.

Do you have a pair of slacks that fit a little too snug around the hips and thighs and a pair that are torn or marred in some way? Extend the seams of the snug slacks by changing them into sporty side stripped pants using the fabric from the torn slacks. This works really well if both pairs of slacks are in contrasting colors.

What about that purse with a broken strap? Purchase one or two cheap large link chains and two or four metal rings at an arts and crafts store and make a new strap. Simply remove the old strap and attached the chain in its place. If your old strap was sewn to the purse you can do the following:

  1. Leave a 1.5 inch extension of the old strap on the purse
  2. Pull the strap remnants through the metal rings
  3. Fold the straps and whipstitch them closed.
  4. Attach the chain(s) to the loops.

Adding Flair to Your Wardrobe

A really good project for the family is to have a craft night. One way to spruce up the family wardrobe and have fun together is to add embellishments to your clothing. Make stencils of fun designs and use glitter, fabric paint, or iron on patches to create a new look for shirts, pants, dresses, and any article of clothing you wish.

One great project for fall and spring is for each family to take an older item of clothing and create nature motifs. Here is what you can do:

  1. Take construction paper and make stencils of seasonal plants and flowers.
  2. Have ready fabric glue, glitter, fabric paint, and or iron-on fabric patches.
  3. For glitter and paint designs, place your stencil on an area of the clothing item, apply glue in the open spaces of your stencil and sprinkle glitter over the glue or take a paint brush and brush over the stencil with the fabric paint.
  4. Lift the stencil off the clothing carefully and allow to dry. Now you have a new design on your clothing making it look new.
  5. Another option is to place your stencil over an iron-on patch of fabric, take an Exacto knife (parents you may wish to do this for small children) and cut out the design.
  6. Following the directions on the package for your iron-on patch, use your iron to apply the design to your clothing. You now have a new item of clothing with appliqué details.


Sprucing up your wardrobe can be a money saving experience. With a little DIY, you and your family can update your wardrobes and have fun in the process. Go out there and visit those arts and crafts stores, keep those extra buttons and fabric scraps because you never know what new article of clothing they can help you create.