26 Upcycled Gift Ideas

heather handmade sewing

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Save money and time on handmade gifts by making one of these upcycled gift ideas. These repurposed gifts are useful and thoughtful.

Are you looking for some quick gift ideas? Upcycling makes sewing quicker and easier since part of the process is already done. These gifts are great for neighbors, friends and family.

Some of these sewing projects are for the home and kitchen, and some of these are great accessories. Some of these are for adults and some of these are for children and babies.

Upcycled Gift Ideas

What is Refashioning?

Refashioning is to fashion clothing again or differently. I usually use this to describe when I’m sewing clothing to fit different or to look different, but the majority of the item stays the same.

What is Upcycling?

Upcycling is to reuse material to create something better than the original. I usually use this to describe when I’m sewing adult clothing into clothing for children or I’m sewing clothing into an accessory or house item.

upcycled baby shoe free sewing pattern

Why sew handmade gifts?

  • They are unique and custom. You can choose fabrics and colors that the recipient loves which shows that you thought about them. It could fill a need in a way that a store bought item can’t fill. You can also add a name to personalize it even more.
  • They can be more affordable than store bought gifts. Depending on what you have in your sewing area, you can make handmade gifts cheaper than store bought gifts. It can honestly go both ways with cost, so you have to be intentional about how you spend your money to get the most gifts from your money.
  • They are a great way to show your love and appreciation. Whenever I make a gift, I think about the love being poured into the item I make it. You can show lots of love with a handmade gift because it shows the time you thought about and effort you put into creating for the recipient.
Upcycled Shirt Cuff Pouch

Do you love to upcycle? Try one of these fun sewing projects:

Upcycled Gift Ideas

button cozy onto mug

DIY Upcycled Sweater Mug Cozy

Learn how to upcycle sweater sleeves into a sweater mug cozy. This beginner sewing project is great for keeping mugs warm, and makes a great handmade gift!

Upcycled Shirt Cuff Pouch

Upcycled Shirt Cuff Pouch

Learn how to make an upcycled shirt cuff pouch by turning a men’s shirt cuff into a tiny pouch. This fun beginner sewing project is so easy!

DIY Tea Towel Apron Tutorial

DIY Tea Towel Apron Tutorial

This is a fabulous and easy gift idea for neighbors, teachers, friends, and family. Use a tea towel to make a quick and simple DIY tea towel apron!

upcycle jeans tote bag

How to Upcycle Jeans Into a Tote Bag

Learn how to upcycle jeans into a tote bag. This beginner sewing project is a quick and easy bag to sew, and it already has pockets!

DIY Travel Toothbrush Bag Roll

DIY Travel Toothbrush Roll Bag

Learn how to make a DIY toothbrush roll bag for traveling with a hand towel and a ribbon. Organize your hygiene items with this simple sewing project!

sweater to cardigan refashion

Sweater to Cardigan Refashion Tutorial: 3 Ways

Use one of these three ways to make a sweater to a cardigan refashion. Each tutorial works differently for different sweaters.

diy men shirt to skirt

How to Turn a Men’s Shirt to Skirt

Learn how to make a men’s shirt into a skirt. This upcycling project is quick and easy, and you keep the curved hem and button front!

upcycled jeans fabric basket

Upcycled Jeans Fabric Basket

Learn how to make an upcycled jeans fabric basket using the hems cut off of jeans. These small diy fabric baskets are perfect for organizing drawers!

diy sunglasses case upcycled

Upcycled DIY Sunglasses Case

Learn how to make a DIY sunglasses case by upcycling a sleeve or pair of leggings. Reuse the hem for fast sewing and a scrap of fleece for cushion.

wear christmas tree skirt refashion

Refashion: Wearing a Christmas Tree Skirt

Learn how to refashion so that a child can wear a Christmas tree skirt. This Christmas sewing project is great for all the holiday parties!

diy water bottle holder

Upcycled DIY Water Bottle Holder

Learn how to make a DIY water bottle holder by upcycling a pair of pants. Reuse the hem for quicker sewing for this easy, summer sewing project!

free baby pattern


Upcycle an adult t-shirt into a baby DIY t-shirt romper with this free sewing pattern in size 6 mos. It’s a great way to save money and save time!

free hanging kitchen towel sewing pattern

Free Hanging Kitchen Towel Sewing Pattern

Make a beginner sewing project with this free hanging kitchen towel sewing pattern. Use a towel or quilting cotton for an easy gift to sew!

diy bike bag upcycled

Upcycled DIY Bike Bag

Learn how to make a DIY bike bag by upcycling the leg of a pair of pants. This sewing project is quick and easy, and it holds all the essentials on your bike!

upcycled t-shirt backpack

DIY Upcycled T-Shirt Backpack

Learn how to upcycle a t-shirt into a backpack. This is a great beginner sewing project to make a simple backpack!

diy sweater headband

DIY Sweater Headband

Learn how to make a DIY sweater headband perfect for gifts and beginner sewing! Upcycle an unwanted sweater into a cute sweater headband!

refashion scarf skirt

How to Make a Skirt from a Scarf

Learn how to make a skirt from a scarf. Use an infinity scarf, rectangle scarf, or a square scarf to make children’s skirts. I love upcyling to make something amazing like turning a skarf into a skirt.

make sweater mittens upcycle

How to Make Sweater Mittens

Learn how to upcycle and make sweater mittens from an old sweater. This is a great way to refashion a sweater and make a warm, useful gift!

Baby T-Shirt Pants Sewing Pattern

Baby T-Shirt Pants Sewing Pattern

Upcycle an adult t-shirt into loose fit pants or shorts with this sewing pattern in toddler and baby sizes. Cut the pants and shorts to reuse the graphic on the back.

make hanging kitchen towels

How to Make Hanging Kitchen Towels

Learn how to make hanging kitchen towels. This beginner sewing project is perfect if you have kids or pets, and it makes a great gift!

diy infinity sweater scarf

How to Make an Infinity Sweater Scarf

Learn how to make an infinity sweater scarf by upcycling a sweater! Use a soft sweater to make it cozy for this beginner sewing project!

make hat from sweater

How to Make a Hat out of a Sweater

Learn how to make a hat out of a sweater. This upcycling project is a great gift since it’s easy to sew and quick to make!

upcycled baby shoe free sewing pattern

Upcycled Baby Shoes: FREE Sewing Pattern!

Learn how to make upcycled baby shoes with a free sewing pattern. It’s a great way to reuse and recycle denim for durable fabric shoes! I love making baby shoes.

Used Sock Refashion Tutorial // heatherhandmade.com

How to Upcycle Socks into Pockets

Learn how to upcycle socks into pockets on a cardigan. Turn those holey socks or lonely missing socks into easy to sew pockets!

happy kids wearing capes

How to Make a Cape from a T-Shirt

Learn how to make a cape from a t-shirt for the easiest DIY cape! Add Velcro to the neck for an easy on and off option. It’s superhero time all the time at my house.

DIY Water Bottle Dog Toy + Free Pattern

DIY Water Bottle Dog Toy + Free Pattern

Learn how to make a DIY water bottle dog toy with a free sewing pattern! The crinkly sound is fun for dogs, and the bottle is easily replaced!

If you make something using this sewing project, I’d love to see! Please share it on social media with the hashtag #heatherhandmade and tag me!

upcycled gift ideas
heather sewing

I believe small sewing moments can create great joy. Find your own “right” way to sew. -Heather

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These are amazing pieces up-cycled gift, I love them all. Thanks for sharing.