31 Terrifically Thrifty Ways To Use Your Old Bed Sheets

31 Terrifically Thrifty Ways To Use Your Old Bed Sheets

There's no greater feeling than climbing into bed after treating yourself to fresh, new bed sheets, but what's supposed to happen to your old bed sheets?

Don't throw them out - there's life left in them yet! From picnic blankets to tote bags, here are 31 genius ways to use your old bed sheets and save them from the dump.

1. Reuse your old bed sheets on a picnic

vintage picnic basket & sheets

Who doesn't love a picnic?

One thing that dampens the mood, however, is a muddy bottom. There's no need to invest in expensive tartan blankets - keep your clothes dry and mud-free by laying an old sheet down before you start feasting.

 2. Drop cloth

There's no point redecorating one area only to make a mess in another!

When you're painting (or doing any sort of DIY work, for that matter) use an old bed sheet as a drop cloth. You can either spread it across the floor, or use it to cover up furniture to protect it from dust and paint.

3. Create a fort with your kids

Just because it's raining outside, doesn't mean you can't show the kids a good time.

All you need to take them on a big, imaginative adventure is a bed sheet (or two). Drape them over high furniture to create a fort of sorts, then pile duvets, pillows and teddies inside to make it snug as can be.

They'll spend hours in their new little home!

4. Give them to your pet

shichon on sofa
Give them something to snuggle up in.

You can spend a fortune on plush, posh pet beds, but there's really no need.

Know what they'll appreciate much more? One of your old bed sheets. Not only will they be able to snuggle up in them, but they'll also smell like your pet's favourite person - you!

5. Make an apron

This one is super easy, and ideal for everything from cooking to DIY.

To make an apron from an old bed sheet, simply cut a hole in the middle that's big enough for your head to fit through.

These are particularly practical when doing crafts with the little ones - just make sure to cut the sheet shorter if it's dragging on the floor to prevent any falls.

6. Use your old bed sheets at your next car boot

Are you a fan of car boots? They're a great way to make a bit of extra money and also declutter the house.

It's surprising what a difference appearance makes when you're trying to sell your wares. Use old bedsheets to cover your paste tables to make your stall look smarter - you'll be amazed at how much you can sell!

7. Design a cute tote bag

Tote bags are so much more environmentally friendly than plastic bags.

Do you know what's even better, though (and cheaper too)? Using your old bed sheets to make your very own cute tote bags.

It's really simple to do so there really are no excuses. Watch the video above to learn how to make yours.

8. Make curtains & reuse your old bed sheets

homemade curtains from bed sheet

I bet you never imagined you could use those old bed sheets to give your living room a new look? 

Let The Frugal Homemaker show you how to add a touch of elegance to your room with some floaty, DIY curtains that are easy and inexpensive.

9. Sleeping bag liner

It's something we rarely think of, but sleeping bags can actually be highly unhygienic.

Often the environments we use sleeping bags in are unhygienic themselves - camping normally means a lack of showers, mud and sweat from all that walking, be it at festivals or on a hike, meaning we're often less than clean when we get in them.

All this ends up on the inside of your sleeping bag, making it pretty grimy to say at least. The answer? A sleeping bag liner.

This acts like a normal bed sheet between both you and the mattress and the duvet. Even better, you can actually make your own sleeping bag liner from an old bed sheet.

Watch the video above to learn how to make yours - easy!

10. Create an ironing board cover

If your once colourful ironing board cover is now looking dull and stained, it could be time for a new one.

Don't worry, you needn't spend any money - upcycle one of your old bed sheets instead!

You don't need to be a sewing whizz for this simple DIY either. Watch the video above to learn how to make a brand new ironing cover today.

11. Make a dog toy

You can even use your old bed sheets to keep the dogs entertained! Just like kids, often it's the simpler, the better.

To make your pet a new toy, cut an old bed sheet into strips, then braid them together. Knot the end, and you'll have a homemade tug of war rope that will provide you and your furry friend with hours of fun.

12. Garden protection

Don't let the frost ruin all your hard work!

Pop an old bed sheet over your plants during the night or when the temperature drops to give them a layer of protection.

13. In the car

car frost in winter
Brrr - make sure you keep warm!

Breakdowns can happen at any time.

Whilst we can't guess when they're going to happen, we can make sure we're prepared. An old bed sheet will be surprisingly helpful when it comes to bringing comfort in emergencies.

It can be used as a cover to keep warm, but also as a floor mat to keep your clothes clean if you're trying to repair the problem yourself.

14. Cleaning rags

Cleaning rags are something you should never be paying for.

Why? You can make your own for free! Cut your old bed sheet into large rectangles, fold them in half and sew around the edges. They'll be good for all sorts of tasks, especially dusting.

15. Bath mat

homemade bath mat bed sheet
Isn't it gorgeous?!

The same technique that you used to make your dog a new toy to play with can also be used to DIY your very own bath mat.

These look surprisingly pretty and professional, even with plain white sheets. Plus, if your old bed sheets have any marks on them, they'll be unnoticeable after you've braided strips around one another.

Head over to The Common Thread to learn how to make yours.

16. Heating pad

If you're feeling sore, why not try a homemade remedy before heading to the doctors?

A homemade heating pad will soothe muscle tensions and make you feel much more relaxed.

All you need to make one is some old fabric (your old bed sheet will do perfectly) and some rice. Head over to Scratch Mommy for the full tutorial.

17. Shower curtain

shower curtain made from old vintage bed sheet
We're obsessed!

It's time for a bathroom overhaul! If your shower curtain is looking a little dirty and drab, you can make yourself a brand new one using an old bed sheet.

This works particularly well with patterned bed sheets, and can bring a real pop of colour and brightness to your dull shower room.

Sound good? See how Sadie Seasongoods transformed an old vintage bed sheet into a gorgeous new shower curtain over on her blog.

18. Napkins

Hosting a dinner party can be pretty expensive, but it doesn't have to be. For your next get together, try making your own napkins using old bed sheets.

All you need to do is cut them into large, even rectangles, then fold them in half and sew around the edges. Don't forget to choose a colour or pattern that will complement your dining room setup.

19. Projector

If you're lucky enough to have an old projector hiding somewhere, it's time to put it to good use.

There's no need to invest in fancy projector screens, simply hanging up an old white bed sheet will do the job. Let film night begin!

20. Pillowcases

Perhaps you've upgraded or downsized your bed, and now you've suddenly got lots of old bed sheets to use. If this is the case, why not transform them into pillowcases instead?

These can either be used for your own bed, or a spare bed. Besides, it's always handy to have some extras for party sofa sleepers or unexpected guests.

21. Plastic bag holder

Just because you should avoid buying new plastic bags, it's not to say you should throw the old ones out.

If they're taking over your home, a plastic bag holder could help you keep everything tidy and organised.

They're surprisingly simple to make, practical, and can look pretty too! Gather your old bed sheets, pick out a nice pattern, then follow the video above to make yours.

22. Draft stopper

A similar project when it comes to the sewing skills and material needed is a DIY draft stopper - especially useful in colder months!

If you live in an older house with doors that don't quite reach the floor, a draft stopper could really help keep the heat in, the cold out, and that electricity bill low.

To make yours, all you need is an old bed sheet and some rice. The video above will take you through the process step-by-step.

23. Maxi dress

Have you got a particularly pretty old bed sheet than no longer matches your room? Why not upcycle it into something you can wear?

Maxi dresses are a Summer staple and you can never have too many. Making your own clothes can seem like an intimidating prospect, but the tutorial above really is basic enough for anyone to follow. Plus, you'll just love the final result!

24. Homemade headband

Another lovely way you can transform old bed sheets into something wearable is by making a headband.

Who says headbands are just for kids? With a sophisticated pattern and the right outfit, they can look absolutely gorgeous.

This easy craft is the perfect way to fill a rainy afternoon. Learn how to make yours from scrap sheets in the video above.

25. Cover hangers

One of our favourite ways to reuse old bed sheets is making wrapped hangers. These will make any kind of plastic hanger look much more sophisticated, and stop your clothes from slipping off too - bonus!

You'll have to have some patience when it comes to cutting your bed sheets into thin strips, but apart from that, this project is super easy - you could even do it whilst watching the TV!

26. Pyjama set

Got some cute floral bed sheets hiding in your cupboard? It's time to give them some TLC. Start by giving them a wash, then turn them into a brand new set of pyjamas.

Patterned sheets make absolutely adorable pyjamas for the kids, but that's not to say the adults can't wear them too.

Don't spend money - try making your own next time you need a new pair of PJs.

27. DIY teepee

DIY teepee
Any room for us?

Bring some magic to your garden this Summer with a DIY teepee!

Although they look impressive, you don't need to be a skilled carpenter to make one.

Do It Yourself Divas will show you how to make one using old bed sheets - head over to their blog for the tutorial.

28. Fabric gift wrap

Waste not, want not.

An alternative to wrapping paper is using up old bits of fabric, or, your old bed sheets!

Tape may struggle to stick, so we'd advise using either glue or staples to keep things in place.

TOP TIP: Be sure to give your fabric an iron first for a super-sharp look.

29. Handbag liner

Go take a look into the bottom of your handbag - pretty gross, right?

Crumbs, bits of old paper and even pen marks can make the inside of your handbag look pretty scruffy and even damage it.

Similarly to a sleeping bag liner, a handbag liner will put a layer between your belongings and the handbag itself, helping to keep it in good nick. 

They're also very practical for those bags without any pockets or sections - with a handbag liner you can incorporate as many as you like to keep everything from lipsticks to keys separated.

CloverSac has an easy tutorial you can follow and even download for free on their site.

30. Dolls clothes

 Are your little ones getting bored of their current selection of dolls' clothes?

Give them something to get excited about (without spending a penny) by making some brand new items from your old bedsheets.

There are loads of free sewing patterns online you can get your hands on. Get the kids involved with picking the designs and embellishing them for even more fun!

31. Bird nesting

floral bedding
The birds will love your old floral sheets.

Do we have some animal lovers out there? This one's for you!

You can give the birds a helping hand by cutting your old bedsheets into thin, shortish strips and leaving them outside for them to help themselves to. They'll collect them to incorporate into their nests for extra warmth.

 Now there's no excuses to ever throw your old bed sheets out again! Have you got any other uses to add? Share your ideas with us in the comments below.

Stephanie C


Lover of all things fashion & foodie...I look to satisfy my tastes without obliterating my budget. Wannabe interior designer, I'm an avid cushion cover maker and charity shop hunter.

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  1. Author Jane Kelly on October 26, 2018 at 9:57 am

    Not sure about the shower curtain idea. Bed sheets aren't waterproof.

    1. Author Joanne A on October 26, 2018 at 11:25 am

      Hi there Jane! You are very right, bed sheets aren't waterproof! In the USA, you have a shower liner (like the shower curtains we have in the UK) and then normally a fabric shower curtain over top for decoration. The idea would be to have a waterproof material on the inside to protect the fabric. You could sew a waterproof backing onto it or layer the fabric curtain over top of another cheap one.

  2. Author Evelyn on October 26, 2018 at 11:37 am

    These ideas can be used with old curtains to

    1. Author Joanne A on October 26, 2018 at 12:06 pm

      Great idea, Evelyn!

  3. Author Marie Evans on October 26, 2018 at 10:04 pm

    For yrs though my life I recycled bed sheets especially the plain coloured flanellette type usually the feet end go first so cut the thinned worn bottom bit off & made single sheets by turning them sideways, Or if single size go to make cot sheets or has you have said pillowcases. Cut off or final remnants go to make window cleaners or shoe polishers also hubby likes cut off remnants for car stuff . I usually use old towels as floor clothes or cut into rectangles & use with my carpet cleaner just rewash or throw if really dirty. Thanks for interesting write-up.

    1. Author Joanne A on October 29, 2018 at 9:14 am

      Great to hear, Marie! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Author Lisa Guest on October 27, 2018 at 2:02 pm

    Just saying, that I've tried using old bed sheets and quilt covers as drop cloths for painting, but the paint just soaks through the fabric and went on our carpet, so, not a good idea really, so just use the plastic ones you can get cheap from discount shops, or use old shower curtains, they might work.

    1. Author Joanne A on October 29, 2018 at 9:16 am

      Shower curtains are perfect for that sort of thing!

  5. Author Donatello46 on January 29, 2020 at 9:19 am

    My cooker has two ovens, one also doubles as a grill, quite common these days, they both have removable glass panels on the inside of the doors which, obviously, need cleaning on a regular basis. I use a folded white cotton sheet on my worktop and place the glass panel on that, it show up where any accumulated grease lies and makes it much easier to clean properly.

    1. Author Joanne A on January 29, 2020 at 11:42 am

      That's a great idea!

  6. Author Julie Trent on February 2, 2020 at 10:55 am

    Patterned bed linen can be made into pretty lavender bags and tie with matching ribbons. Ideal for fetes etc,

    1. Author Joanne A on February 4, 2020 at 4:27 pm

      That's a lovely idea, Julie!

  7. Author Vanessa Richardson on August 13, 2020 at 10:37 pm

    They are ideal for animal beds for your cats or dogs and for charities and for creating different nests for animals in need. Australia recently had a great need for them.

    1. Author Joanne A on August 14, 2020 at 4:34 pm

      That's a great idea!

  8. Author Eve A on October 23, 2020 at 11:47 am

    Sometimes there’s not a lot of tuck in especially with a deep mattress. I had some single sheets I wasn’t going to use again so I tore them into three strips and sewed 1 each to a double sheet The seam is right at the side of the mattress so your not sleeping on it with plenty of tuck in for both sides

    1. Author Joanne A on November 3, 2020 at 12:01 pm

      Interesting idea!

  9. Author Joann on January 27, 2021 at 2:06 am

    Turned my master bedroom from blue to white. Couldn’t find the perfect curtains so I cut queen size flat white sheet in half and hung. I love love love the look. White comforter white fluffy pillows and my flowing curtains. Gorgeous. I would have paid quite a bit if I bought those curtains. Glad I saved the sheets

    1. Author Joanne A on March 30, 2021 at 4:02 pm

      That sounds beautiful!

  10. Author Monika Venthien-Schubert on March 5, 2021 at 6:20 pm

    Enjoyed yiur website. I used oldpillow cases to make masks

    1. Author Joanne A on March 30, 2021 at 12:45 pm

      Fantastic idea!

  11. Author Rose Ann on March 7, 2021 at 8:31 pm

    I used an old sheet as a dust cover for my luggage which is sitting in my basement. Also can be used as dust covers in other ways, such as covering up equipment in a workshop.

    1. Author Joanne A on March 30, 2021 at 12:41 pm

      Lovely idea!

  12. Author Carolyn Batts on May 21, 2021 at 2:30 am

    I folded my old bed sheets the size of my purses so they wouldn't go flat and crack in the seams. And it helped when I conditioned my leather bags. Got rid of the paper stuffing.

    1. Author Joanne A on October 17, 2022 at 9:24 am

      Brilliant idea!

  13. Author Liz Hammond on November 18, 2021 at 4:50 pm

    I use an old bed sheet to lay down right up to the hedge when trimming it. All the trimmings can be just rolled up and are easily put into the garden waste bin

    1. Author Joanne A on September 14, 2022 at 5:09 pm

      That's a brilliant idea!

  14. Author GreatGrandma4 on November 23, 2021 at 9:35 am

    Re the draught excluder: rather than buy rice, use old laddered tights to make the cylinder, and stuff with either more old tights or bits of fabric you have left from other projects as mentioned above. Then your draught excluder is washable!

    1. Author Joanne A on March 21, 2023 at 11:46 am

      That's a great suggestion! Using old laddered tights to make the cylinder is a sustainable and cost-effective way to repurpose something that might have been thrown away. And stuffing it with old fabric scraps is a great way to reduce waste further while providing insulation. Making the draught excluder washable is a practical idea that makes it easy to maintain and keep clean. Thank you for sharing this tip!

  15. Author Annie Jay on November 23, 2021 at 10:03 am

    When we holiday in a rented cottage with our dogs, we take a couple of old bed sheets and throw them over the settles and armchairs. Then, even if the pooches are naughty and jump up on the furniture, they won’t do any harm to the fabric or leave dog hairs behind.

    1. Author Joanne A on November 10, 2022 at 1:01 pm

      That's a fantastic idea!


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