How can I reuse or recycle old bedding?

bedsheetsWe’ve had an email from Yvonne:

What can we do with a box of old double bed sheets, duvet covers and valances which we don’t use any more because we’ve got a king size bed?

The first thing I’d suggest would be to pass them on – if they’re still in ok condition, give them to a charity/thrift shop or local shelter, or offer them on Freecycle. Bedding, particularly duvet covers, seems to be pretty popular in the charity shops that I go to seem to.

Aside from that, there are a whole lot of reuses for bedding because at the end of the day, it’s just flat lengths of fabric – and usually 100% cotton (or at least cotton-heavy) fabric at that. Rag ruggers often use bed sheets/covers because they’re cheap & available, and the old solution was, after turning the outside edges in, to use them for handkerchiefs.

Any other suggestions?

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19 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle old bedding?”

  1. Ebren says:

    Your local vets and animal shelters will be very grateful for anything you can pass on too. :)

  2. Gladys says:

    I used an old duvet cover to make some pillowcases. Just wrapped it around the pillow, cut the sides and seamed them up. So far, they have held up very well.

  3. Kara says:

    Another good use is to give them to a women’s shelter or homeless shelter. These programs can always use bedding in good shape and often more decorative curtains are appreciated too.

    All bedding is basically fabric yardage with hems, and often valances are too. It can all be dyed if you don’t like the colors, and even prints often look very different after overdyeing. There are dozens of refashions out there just for pillowcases! I like the cotton sateen sheets and pillowcases cut up into handkerchiefs and tea towels because they are really soft. And the local quilt guild likes to use cut-up old sheets for foundation piecing workshops.

  4. table cloth for a picnic table, ground covering for a picnic in a park, lining for a kitty bed, bedding for an impromptu overnight guest staying on your couch

  5. Melinda Goodick says:

    The drama club of the school I worked in wanted some to paint for sets and backdrops. Maybe they can be offered to a school’s drama club. They would be good for costumes, too. I needed 2 double sheets (plain white, nothing floral) to make a toga for my ancient history class.

  6. Melinda Goodick says:

    They make the screen for shadow puppets. Perhaps they would also make an impromptu screen for slide shows or home movies.

  7. anna says:

    They also work for dress making – when you test a new pattern, the old fabric works great. If you need to make any adjustments, make them on the bedsheet version of your dress/shirt/skirt/trousers/whatever you are making, and then you can make a perfectly adjusted version when you cut the real fabric you want to use for your final project.

  8. lanayako says:

    how about baby’s diaper

  9. BobGeezer says:

    Douvets themselves make very good pipe lagging. Cut into 12″ wide strips, wrap round (lay on top and work from one end to the other) and cable-tie in place. This saves heating bills, pollution and pollution of manufacturing purpose-made items.

  10. I do this for a living!
    Well nearly – it’s more of a hobby.
    I get some charitable requests and I have found many uses.
    The best is to find someone who can use them as suggested above.
    People have used my old linen for all sorts of things including a complete soundproofing system for a concert hall
    There is a charity that supplies “shoe boxes” for children at Christmas – a toy, pencils, toothbrush and such; I am lucky enough to be able to provide 200 facecloths but similar charities are still short!
    School drama groups and art groups always appreciate stuff, the salvation army shelters use a lot of sheets and bedding, nurseries use them to make banners
    Many uses for anyone finding this post now.

  11. May says:

    I used to work at a hotel and when it was time to buy new hotel bedspreads I would cut up the old ones and use them as stuffing for throw pillows.

  12. Medeea says:

    Make useful things for your house:
    Pillowcases, napkins, shopping bags, produce bags
    Best would be to pass them on to someone who will use them as they are.

  13. Mary says:

    I work at a hotel and we send the old hotel bedspreads to animal shelters. They use them as pet beds.

  14. Uluska says:

    You can use one sheet as a center, and the other sew as a border around, so there, you’ll have king size sheets.

  15. Alena says:

    Old sheets can be glued over the wall, scrunched while they are not dry yet to create some texture, and then painted.

  16. Alena says:

    You can dye old sheets and hang as curtains.

  17. Olga says:

    Use old sheet for a ghost Halloween costume.

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