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11 Ways to Recycle Your Old Bedding and Towels

May 03, 2018 4 Comments

11 Ways to Recycle Your Old Bedding and Towels

Nothing lasts forever, not even bedsheets. Whether they’re the most expensive, ethically made sheets, or a cheap set you’ve had for years, the lifespan of a set of sheets must come to an end at some point. At Jefferson Lane, we believe in making the highest quality sheets that will last you for years and years to come, but we also know that when a sheet’s lifespan has ended, we’d rather see them upcycled responsibly, than tossed in the trash destined for landfill.

Even though you can’t recycle most sheets, not even organic cotton ones, you can upcycle and repurpose them. You might be surprised at the seemingly limitless ways you can reuse your old sheets. Most of these ideas require little to no “craftiness” or sewing abilities and most can be done in a matter of minutes.

Before you toss your old or unused sheets in the garbage, think through some of these ideas for giving them a brand new life.


  • Use Them As Picnic Blankets

A no-fuss way to reuse your sheets it to keep them intact to toss down on the ground at picnics, concerts, outdoor parties, or even inside underneath a messy table or an indoor picnic.

  • Cut Them into Cleaning Sheets

You can never have too many cleaning towels. Cut your unneeded sheets into squares or rectangles and store them with your cleaning supplies to use instead of paper towels. You can even roll them up neatly and display them in a basket in your bathroom to encourage guests to use them for handwashing.

  • Donate Them

If your sheets are gently used, you can donate them to a local thrift store, homeless shelter, or pet rescue center. Most charity centers are always in need of  sheets, and it gives your set a worthy second life.

  • Store A Set in Your Car for Auto Emergencies

Do you have an emergency kit in the trunk of your car? If not, consider adding a sheet folded neatly to your trunk. You never know when it could come in handy, and it’s out of your house taking up space.

  • Use Them as Quilt Backing

If you’re the crafty-type, consider using your old sheets as backing for your next quilting project.

  • Turn Them into a Braided Pet Toy

If your dog is always in need of new chew toys, your sheets are the perfect fabric for a quick DIY project. All you need is an old bed sheet and a pair of scissors. Follow this quick tutorial from Instructables to learn more!

  • Upcycle Them into Curtains

Another idea that requires minimal sewing knowledge is to quickly transform your twin size bed sheets into floor length curtains. Use this tutorial from the Frugal Homemaker for more.



  • Create Zero Waste Gift Wrap

Never buy disposable gift wrap again and add an extra boost of character to your gifts by cutting your bedsheets into squares or rectangles and wrapping gifts with them. You can even cut smaller strips to use as a bow to top it all off.

  • Create a Fort or Tent for a Child’s Room

    Any parent knows the endless hours of entertainment that a fort or teepee will provide your kids. Use this tutorial from Making Lemonade to construct a simple hanging canopy tent that will add a bohemian flair to your child’s room and give them a secret space all their own.

    • Use them as a Drop Cloth for Messy Projects

      Painting projects are their own category of messy and every painter knows that drop clothes are essential to keep the rest of your house unstained. Keep your unused sheets intact and throw them down on the floor whenever you have a big project that needs an added layer of protection.

      • Keep your Garden Safe at Night

        If you have an outdoor garden, your bed sheets can be the perfect size for covering your plants or raised garden beds at night. Covering them with a sheet provides protection from the elements and pests and is light enough to not damage the plants.

        If you’re looking to reduce waste in your home, using any of these tips to upcyle and give new life to your old sheets is a great way to do just that. Believe it or not, this list barely scratches the surface of all of the ways you can reuse your bedsheets. Which one will you try?


        4 Responses


        October 06, 2020

        Car emergency kit and gift wrap? I would never have thought of that! Thank you for the great ideas.


        July 26, 2020

        Wow ! These ideas are actually very fresh and helpful ! Thank you !


        July 26, 2020

        I have lots of sheets. Some used a few are brand new.. they are in good condition and clean. I am elderly now and I do not need so many.. I am Quite sure that would be of good use to someone somewhere.. thank you.


        May 09, 2018

        Great ideas!!

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