It’s a common question and one that can have quite the variety of answers, depending on exactly who you ask. It is a question that we all stumble across at least once throughout our lives and the type of question that depending on your personal mood; make you change your answer more than once.
What is this question? It is actually quite simple – “what should I do with these old bed sheets?” We’ve all come across a set of bed sheets that have definitely seen better days, months, or even years! Maybe you’re looking at a set of bed sheets that has enough stains you can’t even identify them anymore but you know that they came from your child’s bed or perhaps the bed sheets in question are like that comfy sweatshirt in the back of your closet – not quite the right fit and the material is thin enough to rip at the slightest bit of tension.
It’s a common thing to find in your linen closet and wonder why you are keeping them. You might be holding on to old bedsheets for multiple reasons. Maybe for sentimental reasons or perhaps those old sheets are still in pristine condition if you overlook the fact that certain pieces of the set are missing. Whatever the reason, there are things that can be done with your old bedsheets! Let’s find out what those things are!
What Can You Do With Old Bed Sheets?
Most people just use them for guest bedrooms or even the cabin, but the list is endless when it comes to ways to use old bed sheets that still have plenty of life left in them. They might not be suitable for a bedroom or maybe you have simply changed your color scheme. Whatever the reason, there are ways to recycle your old bed sheets into a new item. This not only saves the environment but also can save on your wallet.
Here are some of the following ways you can recycle and reuse your old bed sheets:
See Related Article: How to Fold Bed Sheets Properly
Use Them on Outdoor Adventures
You can re-purpose old bed sheets for your outdoor adventures. Whether you are heading the beach or a picnic with your family, a bedsheet is big enough to cover a large area of ground. Blankets can be heavy and cumbersome to pack or carry, whereas a bedsheet not only protects your clothes and self from the outdoor elements, but it also folds easier and smaller than a blanket.
If you have children, you know just how messy they can be. Use old bedsheets for activities such as painting or arts and crafts to protect your flooring and furniture. Cut a hole in the center of the bed sheet big enough for a head to fit through to instantly create smocks or aprons for those messier projects.
Maybe your child loves to build forts for them and their friends to hang out in or perhaps they need props for their next big production! Whatever the reason, a set of old bedsheets is essential in your child’s toy box. It can also be essential for mom or dad to avoid damage to expensive furnishings or flooring.
Most pets spend their life waiting on their person’s return, which can lead to potentially damaging anxious behaviors in the animal. Use an old bed sheet to cover their bed to not only add additional layers of protective material but also leave them with your soothing scent. The scent of you and your family on your pet’s bedding leaves them with a sense of peace.
If you are deep cleaning your house or changing the oil on your vehicle, you always reach for a rag of some sort for drying your hands or cleaning up those spills. Take an old bed sheet and cut it into strips to create instant rags. Depending on the size of your rags, a twin flat sheet can warrant you up to 50 rags!
The cost of cleaning rags at your local department store can range up $15.00 for one, so why not use material laying around your linen closet to create soft, absorbent rags for your next project.
Old flat bed sheets can be turned into curtains or shower curtains with a little bit of time and thread. Fold along the top of the bedsheet to create a flap with a seam. With thread and a needle (or sewing machine), stitch this seam to create a topper on your sheet. If making window hangings, you can insert a curtain rod through the opening in your topper and hang.
If you chose to make a shower curtain, cut holes along the top of the material for the curtain rings to fit through. Make sure you stitch around each hole for added strength. Tutorials for making curtains can be found in various places, from a local sewing club to internet forums.
Donate to a Goodwill Store or Pet Shelter
If your sheets are still in fairly good shape with life left in them but you wish to discard of them for your own personal reasons, donate them to your local Goodwill store. They will dry-clean and repurpose your old bed sheets for a family that needs them to warm their bed at night.
Numerous pet shelters will also accept donations of old bed linens that are still in good condition to provide bedding for animals. The soft material and comfortable fabric will soothe those wayward souls looking for a forever home.
Create Reusable Shopping or Storage Bags
Bedsheets are typically made from sturdy material that doesn’t rip or damage easily. Use old bedsheets to create your own reusable shopping or storage bags. With a bit of time and thread, a rope handle that can be found in your local craft store, and a tad of imagination; you could have unique and stylish reusable bags.
Take a look at this great tutorial. While titled how to make your own DIY laundry bag, the steps are the same to create shopping or storage bags. Bonus: this reduces the amount of plastic bags your family needs and discards to local landfills in your weekly trash.
Let’s Get Creative
If you are a creative person who enjoys the look and textures of unique art, use an old bed sheet to create your own! Take a flat canvas from a craft store and glue the sheet right to the canvas for funky wall art. Use canvases of varying sizes with a range of sheets to create one-of-a-kind wall hangings that will fit the aesthetics of your room and cost pennies from your pocket, instead of pricey dollars.
The majority of gardeners know the importance of covering delicate vegetation during colder nights. Frost can damage or even kill plants that have been growing for months due to an upset of their natural evolving process. Gardeners will use old bed sheets to protect plants from frost and other natural elements. If your garden is experiencing an influx of insects or perhaps the climate is dry and arid, an old bed sheet can protect your plants.
The material in a bedsheet is breathable enough to let air circulate through your plants without them being uncovered. Use light colored sheets to protect your sheets during hot days. The light color will absorb the sun and filter the light to your plants without burning the leaves or drying the plant out. You can even mist a layer of water over an old bed sheet to slowly water your plants without drowning them or allowing the sun to burn the leaves.
Have you ever been forced to purchase expensive packing material from your local post office or moving agency? Use an old bed linen to wrap those fragile items from your kitchen and bedroom. It is an easy and inexpensive way to protect your delicate items.
If you are sending gifts through the post to your family and friends, use an old sheet to line the inside of the box and reduce the chance of damage. Sheets are light enough in weight that they won’t add to the cost of sending your package but cushiony enough to stop jostling during transit.
Why Should You Recycle Your Old Bed Sheets?
In an environmentally conscious society, it is important to reuse and recycle wherever you can. There are numerous items that are currently clogging landfills around the world that do not break down into biodegradable material. Garbage and debris have been found in the remains of animals who mistake items for food or shelter.
Recycling old bed sheets ensures that the starchy material used in bedding doesn’t find its way into the atmosphere. Human interference has destroyed countless habitats for the wildlife and vegetation that calls this place home, just like us. The earth can only naturally do so much to prepare for a sustainable future, so why wouldn’t you want to do your part and help save the planet we all call home?
Now that you have some ideas on what to do with all those old bedsheets lying around your house, why not put them to use! Typically you would think that something such as old bedsheets would be destined for the garbage the minute they cease to be of use, but that isn’t the case! Take your old bed linens, recycle them, reuse them and feel pleasure knowing that you are doing your part to take care of the environment around you!
If you enjoyed this tutorial, feel free to share it with your family and friends! If you have other ideas for ways that old bedsheets can be used or you’ve tried one of the ideas listed here, let us know in the comments below!