Upcycling Old Bedding – Repurpose Sheets and Duvet Covers

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As you know, I hate seeing any cloth going to landfill, and try to find uses for most cloth rather than throw it away. I already have a pile of old clothes to repurpose. But what about other furnishings around the house? Here are some great ideas for upcycling old bedding.

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Upcycling Old Bedding – Repurpose Sheets and Duvet Covers



Just after Christmas we bought our little girl a new bed. She had grown out of her cot bed, so at 4 years old we bought her a new full sized single. 

But this put me in a bit of a quandary. She had 4 sets of old bedding. None of which fitted the new sized duvet as they were cot sized. What were we to do with her old bedding and bed clothes?

Well, here are some great ideas on how to repurpose your old bed sheets, duvet covers and bedding. Don’t just send them to landfill. Recycle them and make something new!

Old Duvets And Pillow Pads

Old duvets and pillows are great to use as stuffing for other projects. My Closet Case Pouf is packed with an old duvet and several of my old pillows. (It’s surprising how many are needed to make it firm!) Just remember to wash duvet covers and pillows before you do this.

The finished pouf

Or why not use the innards to stuff other smaller projects, such as padded fabric Christmas trees, fabric hearts, memory bears or a pumpkin garland? It is a much better reuse of this material than buying new stuffing (unless you are looking to sell – where you’ll need to buy clean stuffing)

Padded items using recycled stuffing

Finally, you could consider making something like a dog or cat bed from an old duvet.

Old Pillowcases

Pillowcases are already remade bags, so if you need large unlined drawstring bags then why not upcycle an old pillow case? 

My produce bag tutorial shows you how to make a casing at the opening, just thread a cord or ribbon through the casing and you’ve given an old pillowcase a brand new lease of life!

DIY Reusable Zero Waste Produce Bags - This easy step by step sewing tutorial shows you how to make DIY produce bags. Unlined Drawstring bag tutorial to show you how to make these zero waste shopping bags for weighing out your loose produce at the shops or supermarket. How to make reusable produce bags to reduce or stop your daily plastic use at home, in the kitchen or when grocery shopping. Perfect for Plastic Free July

Alternatively, pillowcases are the perfect base for a little girl dress. This is such a simple upcycle too!

See my Pillowcase Dress tutorial to see how I made a dress for Elizabeth from one of her old cot pillowcases.

The finished pillowcase dress


Old Duvet Covers

Even though I wash duvet covers twice a week, they do eventually need to be discarded. But as long as they are not too soiled or faded, they are brilliant for using as fabric for trial garments (or toiles as they are known to seamstresses) and I have a couple of great dresses that I have made this way. 

People even now go and buy cheap or discounted duvet covers to use to sew with. And it is a great way of saving money as fabric can be quite expensive. 

However, with E’s old cot bed duvet covers, they are quite small compared to a double or king size. So what can you do with these often large print and brightly coloured covers?

Produce bags

Duvet covers are often polycotton, and the polyester content makes them really unenvironmentally sound.  What better way therefore to make an old duvet cover into something useful and practical than to make them into reusable produce bags?

Weigh out your loose product at the grocery store with light unlined drawstring bags made from your old duvet sets? It stops this fabric going to landfill AND saves on plastic use at the supermarket.

Shopping Tote Bags

Similarly, you can make reusable foldaway tote bags for shopping out of your old duvet sets. Coordinate the inner and outer layers. And again reduce your plastic use by always having one in your purse or pocket, so that you never need buy a plastic bag again!


Lined Drawstring Bags

Duvet covers often come with 2 coordinating sides, which makes them perfect for making lined drawstring bags, as you can use pieces of each side for outer and inner layers. 

Handmade drawstring bag

I’ve made drawstring bags from one of E’s old covers. The large pattern doesn’t always work on clothing, so this seemed a much better idea.

But you can also make clothing…

Upcycling A Bed Sheet


If the pattern is too large, it doesn’t always lend itself to being made into clothes. But sometimes it can work really well.

E loves the children’s programme “Octonauts”. So much so that we bought the bedding to go on her cot bed. But when we changed her bed the bedding was put on my repurpose pile. 


Octonauts Bedding


Because she still loved the programme so much, I quickly decided to use this to make her a new dress. It took a little bit of pattern placement to get the characters in the right places on the dress, as the pattern is quite large, but I did manage it, and she loves the resulting dress! I used the Geranium Pattern by Made by Rae, as it is one of my favourites.

Octonauts dress


What is more, the white lining of the bodice of the dress was made from a recycled fitted sheet from our own bed. 

So there you are. There is no end to what you do by upcycling old bedding. You can make so many new things with all this old cloth to save it going to landfill. What will you make? I’d love to see your creations. Comment below, or do find me to show me on social media at the links above.

And please do pin this post for later!

Upcycling Old Bedding - some great ideas & ways to recycle, repurpose or reuse old bed clothes, sheets & duvet covers. Be sustainable & make something new!



6 Replies to “Upcycling Old Bedding – Repurpose Sheets and Duvet Covers”

  1. Anne Sweet says:

    You are so talented. I am useless with a sewing machine but I wish I could transform all my old bedclothes like this. Fabulous ideas.

    1. Jo Boyne says:

      Thank you Anne. It also is possibly that I don’t like throwing much away! Lol

  2. Tina says:

    Ohh I love those Christmas trees! You are very talented 🙂


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