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DIY Recycled Skirt Ideas

Updated on April 2, 2016
relache profile image

Raye loved playing dress-up so much that she went on to study costume and makeup for her BA, then got an MFA in surface design.

The Fun of Eco-Fashion, Recycling Style!

Making your own clothes can be easier than you think, especially if you do it by recycling other cast-off clothing to do it. One of the most simple things you can sew is a skirt. But if the thought of picking fabric and a pattern is intimidating for you, why not try making a recycled skirt? By choosing to recycle some sort of clothing into another, you are keeping materials out of landfills, saving costs on what you'd need to buy to make your skirt and saving time and labor by using something that's already been sewn.

A really fun way to make a recycled skirt is from an old pair of jeans. You can use jeans that you have at home, or you can go out and look for a pair or two at your local thrift store.

Another fun way to make your own skirt is by using men's neckties! This guarantees that your skirt will be one-of-a-kind.

Make a Mini Skirt from Jeans

Blue Jeans Skirt

People started recycling blue jeans into skirts in the late 1960s and early 1970s and it's still a great way to make a a really fun skirt for yourself. To start, decide how long a skirt you want to make. If you want to make a mini skirt, you will need one pair of blue jeans. If you want to make an ankle length skirt, you will want to look for one pair of jeans that has flared legs and a second pair that is the same color for needed extra material. The jeans need to fit you in the waist and hips. You can do blue jeans, or black ones, or anything where you find enough material to work with.

What you are going to do is take a seam ripper or pair of scissors and cut the jeans open along the inside leg seams. If you are making a mini skirt, cut the legs off to be about two inches longer than you want and then cut open the inside seams. The open legs get sewn together to make the skirt and any extra leg material you cut off is used to make pieces to fill in any of the skirt area if the legs aren't full enough, or to make patches to fix any really worn areas. The skirt already has a zipper and pockets built-in from being a pair of jeans, so you don't have to do that part at all!

For a long skirt, it's really nice if you can find flare leg jeans as that can let you make a skirt with fullness at the bottom, also known as an A-line skirt. To get enough material to join the legs into a skirt you sometimes need a second pair of jeans to get enough fill material that's in long pieces. All this will vary depending on your clothing size and the cut of the jeans. Full-cut or baggy legs work better for this sort of thing than pencil leg jeans.

Turn Jeans Into A Pencil Skirt

Making A Skirt From Old Ties

A really fun way to make a recycled skirt is from men's ties! Depending on your size and how long or how full you want your skirt to be, you'll need two to four dozen ties. A good way to get a lot of ties is to find thrift stores that sell by the pound. This lets you really get a lot of ties for cheap.

It helps to pick a defining or dominant color for the skirt. Whatever color you pick, you want all the ties to have some of this color. That's one way to get so many different patterns to work together. Or you might choose all stripes, or all paisley, or all golf patterns. Go see what you can find and what catches your fancy.

For this skirt, the ties are sewn together along their long sides. You'll want to sew from the wider (bottom) end of the tie back towards the narrow end. This gives you an even skirt hem as you can always trim off any longer bits from the top end. The hem will already be finished and pointy. Leaving the ties long makes an A-line skirt as ties naturally get wider along their lengths. If you wish to have a mini skirt, you measure from the bottom to the top, as long as you wish and then trim off the extra. You'll have to sew a waistband at that point. Putting a side or back zipper into a skirt like this is really easy as the tie edges are perfectly finished and you just sew the zipper into a seam right where you want it to be!

Do You Recycle Clothing?

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    • prairieprincess profile image

      Sharilee Swaity 

      8 years ago from Canada

      I love these ideas! I'm not a sewer but I applaud anyone that do something like this. It would definitely make a signature piece. Lovely hub!

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      8 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      A great hub which I really like! I'm a huge recycle buff and lover trying my hand at making over clothes. Thanks for some awesome suggestions. UP!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      You can also recycle plastic bags into a number of pretty objects, for example, tote bags, purses and even jackets. I may write about it one day, if I learn how to upload photos by then. However, you can try anyway.

    • Eileen Hughes profile image

      Eileen Hughes 

      9 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      recycling is a great way of using old clothes. I made a top and short skirt out of a long black skirt. cut the bottom off in a pointy v at front and then turned the bit I cut off upside down put a fringe around top to go around my neck and did fringing around base of skirt to match it was all the fashion with fringing 15 years back.

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      10 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      Great ideas and very cool.

    • GiftedGrandma profile image


      10 years ago from USA

      This is a lot new ideas!

    • KCC Big Country profile image


      10 years ago from Central Texas

      Great ideas! I'll have to share it with my daughter, she'll go nuts over these! Thanks for sharing!

    • KyonSOS23 profile image


      10 years ago from Nabon

      It beautiful and Unique style.

    • Eaglekiwi profile image


      10 years ago from -Oceania

      I love recycled clothes (and new ones) lol , but the ability to recreate from old to new is a great skill to have . Thanks for the inspiration.

    • emdi profile image


      10 years ago

      thanks for the nice hub.

    • Ebower profile image

      Erin Bower 

      10 years ago from Georgia

      I love the skirt from neck ties idea! I've seen ties used as purse handles, but not like that! Thanks!

    • Gemsong profile image

      Madalain Ackley 

      10 years ago from Richmond, Virginia

      All thos neckties... I would never have thought of that.

    • Cathy profile image


      10 years ago from Oregon, USA

      Fun hub, I liked learning about that creativity website where the tie skirt was made. I guess the possibilities are endless.

    • creativeone59 profile image

      benny Faye Douglass 

      10 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

      Thanks for a great jean skirt hub. thanks for sharing. creativeone59

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      How cool is that Jean Skirt idea? Thanks Girl-great Hub!

    • relache profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Seattle, WA

      I've been thinking of a necktie skirt myself. But I want to go to the big Goodwill depot in town where you can buy by the pound and not by the item. Or as my mom likes to call it, "Good-Will Hunting."

    • Jennitasia profile image


      10 years ago from Arkansas

      Front Row! Great Hub!

    • BigGirlBlue profile image


      10 years ago from Eastern Ontario, Canada

      This is awesome. I have a pair of jeans that I've been wanting to make a skirt out of for months. Thanks!


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