How can I reuse or recycle a vinyl coat?

vinyl-coatWe’ve had an email from Maggie:

I’ve seen all your suggestions for reusing clothes but I’ve got an old coat that’s vinyl not cloth. What can be done with that? It’s got a tear right down the arm so can’t go to the charity shop.

If the tear isn’t in a very obviously place (perhaps on the underside or bodyside of the arm), it might be worth trying to repair it. I’ve not tried it but I wonder if, working with it inside out, whether a bicycle wheel puncture repair kit might work. Anyone tried anything like that?

Aside from that, it is certainly worth salvaging the material for use around the home or in craft projects. Obviously it depends on how it is constructed but I’d have thought the back panel would give you a nice flat piece of vinyl, and the sleeves opened out would be pretty good too. Take advantage of the fact it is waterproof and use it to make table protectors, swimming/gym bags, shelf liners – or if you’re very handy with a sewing machine, there will probably even be enough fabric to make a smaller version of the same sort of coat for a child.

Any other suggestions?

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8 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle a vinyl coat?”


  1. Alice says:

    If you cut the arms off at the damaged part (or even if you didn’t?) it’d probably still make a very good clothing protector for young children doing messy stuff like painting. See if local nurseries or friends with kids might want it.

  2. Nicole says:

    What about duct tape?

  3. Kara says:

    Bags! Handbags, messenger bags, tote bags, wallets. I’ve even made shoe covers from reclaimed vinyl! If the edges of the tear aren’t jagged or stretched, duct tape patching from the reverse is wearable. And for absolutely no sewing, the separate pieces can be used pretty much as-is to cover messy work areas for painting, make flexible stencils from them, cut into squares for coasters. You get the idea. ;)

    Thick vinyl is a bear to sew but duct tape works pretty well for straight seams. Thin fabric-backed vinyl sews pretty easily by hand or machine. Unbacked vinyl ( like shower curtains and some rain slickers) is trickier to sew but very versatile.

  4. I’ve repaired a poncho of similar material before using duct tape. Funnily enough, I could sew (using a sewing machine) but not stitch (by hand) patches and duct tape to a vinyl poncho surface without making existing holes and tears bigger. If the raincoat is already in very bad shape, I would recommend cutting it into pieces for reuse — to patch tents and other raincoats with, or to make bags, pouches, wall pockets and book jackets with. Good luck!

  5. Uluska says:

    Make vinyl tablecloth for a small table.

  6. Olia says:

    Make wipeable pillowcase for outdoor pillow or a cushion.

  7. Olia says:

    Cover your outdoor grill to prevent rusting.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Brighten up some dull jacket by sewing on yellow cuffs and pockets.



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