45 Ways To Turn Ripped And Torn Clothing Items Into Works Of Art
Clothes have never been more affordable or accessible than today. While this is a fantastic testament to human progress and how far we have come as a civilization, it creates some environmental problems. However, fast fashion brands are also affordable, so everyone can buy the clothes that will make them feel confident. On the one hand, we want affordable and accessible clothes, and on the other, waste reduction is necessary. So what can you do? We can, of course, go to thrift stores and find treasures there. But we can also save some of the clothes we already have from being tossed or donated because of damage. Here are a few ideas from a Reddit group where people help each other fix clothes to reduce waste.
Embroidery was almost a lost craft, but it’s now very trendy. When you think of it, an image of a grandma may come to mind. However, embroidery has been made cool again! It’s not only reserved for the walls. You can also…
… fix old sweaters and jackets with it! This Reddit user added some color to an otherwise dull brown pullover with a few yarn threads. You simply need to decide your color palette and, well, practice. But we think it’s worth it!
This is another fix that will require some practice and skill. You can hardly wake up one day and expect to be able to do this. However, as we are entering the second year where we will probably spend a lot of time at home, there’s a lot of time.
So, if you were looking for another hobby, this one is pretty environmentally friendly too! With a bit of thread, a needle, and some time and practice, you can make an old sweater look like new. Ask Redditors! Or find a Youtube tutorial.
Embroidery is not reserved just for clothes with holes. This user accidentally bleached a brand new sweater and used the same technique to save the sweater from a landfill. The results are great, and the sweater is now a unique piece.
So, embroidery is another environmentally-friendly hobby you can invest in these trying times. Not only can you fix mistakes and repair holes, but you can transform a basic piece of clothing that everyone else has into something gorgeous and uniquely yours.
Pants with a story
This repair hack comes with a trigger warning. This user’s pants were cut because they were in an accident, and the EMTs had to cut them off. These pants come with a story, represent healing, and look beautiful to boot.
Instead of throwing them away, the person decided to add fabric where they were cut and call them Kintsugi Jeans. Kintsugi is an ancient Japanese art. Instead of tossing something broken, they mended it with gold. It embraces imperfection and mending.
This hack is pretty similar to the previous one but is appropriate for all age groups. This is another option if you can’t walk around with “flames in space” on your knees. Instead of adding a patch with a cool design, add threads.
The threads will make a webbed pattern and hold the hole together. Plus, you can add little stars and dots around, which are pretty basic shapes as far as embroidery goes. This is an excellent place to start your new hobby.
This fix is the definition of “work with what you got.” The user said that every time their dress gets a stain, they fill in the light-colored spots with fabric markers. This hack is perfect for the dress in question, as you will see.
The dress has a black and white floral pattern, which means you can fill in the white leaves with whatever color you want. They chose shades of blue. This could work with any marker color and most black and white patterns.
Two birds, one stone
This hack is sort of a two-in-one deal. It’s great because it gives a new life to two clothing items that otherwise might be tossed away, forever forgotten. We saw a few ways to repair jeans knee rips, from threads to galaxies on fire.
These jeans were fixed using an old sock. It has a great, funky pattern and works perfectly. So if you have some old socks with cute designs, don’t get rid of them just yet. Even plain but colorful socks should be kept for this purpose.
Now, some of these hacks are not the easiest because of the level of skill necessary. This one is one of those. We apologize, but we hope it inspires you rather than intimidates you. One more way to fix sweater holes is:
Embroidering a cute panda over the hole! The person said, “when life gives you a hole on the left elbow, make a panda.” Oddly specific, but the outcome is adorable. If you can thread a cute animal into a sweater, that is. We believe you!
Some of these mending hacks are pretty advanced. So, here’s one for beginners. All you need is threads of three colors and some patience. The pattern is not as advanced as some others we will show you, and it was this person’s first time.
It’s much more beginner-friendly than making a panda! What you need is to start from around the rip in your jeans with whatever color and then thread straight until the hole is covered. Start small and work your way up.
Now, going back to more advanced hacks. This particular example is what someone did for their boyfriend. You can add some personality to the hole or tear and use it as an opportunity to express your individuality and show the world your favorite fandom.
This would be a cute way to fix a sweater of someone who likes horror movies. But the problem is, of course, the skill level. If you can make advanced pictures like this, you can probably even turn a profit fixing clothes!
An easier way to fix something would be to start with simpler patterns. Flags are usually simple to make out of thread. Well, at least those that don’t have elaborate crests or designs. You can always just go with the flag’s colors.
This person fixed their husband’s jacket by sewing in the colors of the Kenyan flag at the end of the sleeve. That part of the jacket can rip over time, making you look unpresentable. This is an incredible way to fix that.
Here’s another example of how embroidery can help. This time it isn’t bleach or holes. The culprit is pink nail polish! Instead of trashing the sweater, cover it with embroidery flowers. If you ask us, not only can we not see the stain, but this is seriously an upgrade.
Because of the color of the polish, the color of the flowers was pre-determined. If you happen to be in this predicament, and the culprit of the stain and the sweater are different colors, you can coordinate it according to your needs.
Is there anything more annoying than getting unremovable stains on a piece of clothing you love? Probably a few things, but this problem is in the top 10 at least. We’ve seen a few ways to get around it.
Here’s one more – draw little bumblebees! This is a mid-tier hack. The little insects can be made with only two colors, and the pattern isn’t as elaborate as Frankenstein’s monster or panda! Also, a bit of yellow can go a long way.
The waving technique for mending holes isn’t just for the gaps in your jeans. You can use this on any clothing item! If you need some ideas on how to make the new patch blend in, here’s one. As we said…
… just a little yellow can brighten the whole piece. If you are not confident about what pattern you want, try the sun! It’s pretty simple if the hole is already round. Add is some sun rays to complete the look!
No zipper? No problem
Most of us would throw away boots if the zipper were broken beyond repair. But here’s an idea of how you can save your boots instead. This hack sounds like it would need a lot of skill, but it actually doesn’t!
Apparently, you can just thread your zipper closed! Who knew? It’s the same technique you would use to mend the ends of a sleeve on a jacket. Now, you have to make sure you can still get your foot in without the zipper.
No lining? No problem
Another thing you would most likely throw out is a jacket with no lining. But there are tips even if the lining is all ripped! This one is a sort of a two birds one stone tip for those who have leftover fabric.
You can sew in many different fabrics together and make your own jacket lining instead of getting rid of the whole thing. The finished product looks even better than the original. It has a lot of personality, and your jacket will be one of a kind.
As we mentioned, kids often get into all kinds of trouble, and their clothes pay the price. However, it’s hard to buy new clothes for kids because they grow out of them in months. So instead of getting a new wardrobe…
… you might want to try to repair what fits them at the moment. This hack works with the existing theme of the clothing item. The patch is made to look like the moon and some bats since there is already a Batman logo.
If you take on this new hobby, you might need to get a few things. One of the more advanced items for darning is the Speedweve. This hack helps you use the technique without the loom, with an everyday object!
Instead of buying a new item to fix a pair of clothing, try using a wide-tooth comb first. This will help you see if it is worth investing in machines or other things to help you with the new hobby or not.
This hack is a little different. It’s not really repairing the item as much as it is making the best out of the situation. If you don’t want to part with an item or learn a new hobby, you can try this.
Print a label with a short story. If you happen to have a labeler handy in your home or the office, you can make a funny label yourself. It won’t get you closer to making shoes look brand new, but it’s funny.
Spilling bleach can ruin a piece of clothing. If you are looking for ways to conceal your bleach stains, this idea might be for you. Instead of throwing the shirt away, you can add a few bleach bubbles like this:
Also, you can tie-dye the shirt to make your bubbles pop more. You can do a tie-dye ombre or a full dye, depending on the original color of your shirt and how your stain looks. The results are insanely cute.
As we said before, getting a new set of clothes for your little ones can be costly. Kids grow out of their clothes pretty fast. They also rip them often, which makes it hard to maintain the cost/benefit analysis!
So instead, you can learn the basics of patching small holes up since they are likely to grow out of those pieces of clothing in a matter of weeks! This person repairs their son’s sweatpants often and has gotten pretty good at it.
Now, for adults, you might want to have more elaborate embroidery and patchwork since these repaired clothing items will be worn for a very long time, unlike kid’s clothes. Here are some ideas for elaborate embroidery for those who plan to keep their clothes for years to come.
These jeans look even more beautiful now than before. While we have not seen the original, they appear to be regular jeans. However, with a little love, work, and repair, these jeans went from ordinary to fabulous in no time at all.
Cover pen stains
Embroidery and patchwork are not reserved just for the holes and bleach stains. Other stains can be concealed in the same way as we saw with the nail polish. This person got pen stains on a pair of maternity pants gifted to them.
This person claims this was their first attempt at embroidery, and dang, girl! If this is your first try, what’s next for you? Great work. And what a great way to restore a clothing piece with emotional and sentimental value.
The end of our sleeves, or cuffs, is the first part of the jacket to wear out visibly. However, when the cuffs are frayed and falling apart, the rest of the jacket can look intact! So what do you do with it?
We saw how you could repair it with a few colorful threads, but you can also attach a different piece of cloth. This one is a perfect mismatch and gives the jacket more character. Great hack; we would definitely try this.
Jeans don’t just rip at the knees. All kinds of tears make you want to part with your beloved jeans, like the tears and holes at the top that can appear over time. All jeans, no matter how beloved, will rip eventually.
So what can you do with rips at the top near the belt loop? Here’s an example above. You can add cute shapes or make a bit of a tropical vibe. Leaves are not hard to embroider, but the toucan can be tricky, so work your way up.
Kids get into all kinds of messy adventures, from tree climbing to drawing on the sidewalk. These tiny humans are not exactly known for carefully taking care of their clothing. Maybe try this before running to the store in a panic.
This mom added a space patch behind the rip. That’s a pretty creative hack in itself. However, the kid requested “flames in space.” So, she delivered the flames too. Maybe ask the little ones for inspiration, and you can get a one-of-a-kind piece.
Trial and error
As we mentioned, some patterns and fixes take more time to learn and master. The first time you fix your clothes might not be the best, but you can practice, and you will get the hang of it over time.
This Reddit user made a meme reflecting on their journey with clothes mending. But we think their first attempt was not bad at all! It’s essential to have patience and not get too frustrated because even the professionals mess up a stitch from time to time!
This repair is quite common. Adding a little leaf when the clothes rip is a good starter for the clothes mending hobby if you want to take it on. It’s one of the more basic patterns, but it works every time.
For example, check out this plain t-shirt. The user said they enjoyed it because it gave it more character. Also, it might look like a brand logo, which is pretty hip at the moment. Everyone seems to have merch.
Eventually, when you work your way up from leaves to tucans, then maybe you can start with more elaborate patterns like Frankenstein’s monster or this one that you will see below. This is probably not a first try kind of thing.
The deer turned out lovely. What a work of art! In the Reddit group, you can probably find people who will share patterns with you, but you must work on developing the skill yourself, which will take time and practice.
This hack might not be for everyone, but it is very creative! Jeans with clashing patterns provoke a moral frenzy with the elderly generations, and everyone seems to have an opinion on what type of jeans are proper for what occasion.
This person had a lot of old jeans that either didn’t fit or were worn out, so they made them into a new pair. It looks very fashionable and like something a high-end brand would sell for a lot of money.
As we can gather from what we’ve seen so far, embroidery fits a lot of things. Flowers, leaves, and bumblebees are a great way to start your hobby. This clothing fix has all the basics, and the end product looks great.
The person said they were inspired to fix their jacket because it had huge black stains on the elbows but was still wearable otherwise. They also decided to work other patterns into the jacket to fit the new vibe created by the sunflowers.
Many of us know the struggle. The material our pants are made of is no match for the power of our thighs. Well, this is no longer something to be upset about. Now that we know about this hack, we can give our pants a new life.
This person took that pesky hole and made a glorious rainbow using embroidery techniques. Even cooler? This was their first try. They were sewing newbies and now we see a future as bright as their mending job ahead for them!
Here are some more fixes with flowers. Sunflowers are the usual go-to design, but you can also do other types and make them in any color you want. In this case, we see some soft pastels over a black canvas.
The light colors look great with the detail of the little leaves. It’s a great contrast, and now the person has a unique piece nobody else owns, and they kept clothes out of landfills. So there are many advantages to the hobby.
As we said, jeans will always rip. But you didn’t need us to say it as a human walking on Earth for however many years you must have experienced this at least once, if not ten times! They rip in weird places too.
If you are not ready to part with your jeans yet, we have already given you a few ideas to fix them. Here’s one more above. Stars are simple patterns you can do without much practice. Looks really cute too!
In the group, people share all kinds of fixes, from basic ones to those that require artistic skill. This one is a little different and isn’t exactly a fix. This person also suggested adding more personal touch and leaving a note.
Apparently, their spouse asked for a knee patch on the jeans, and we’ve shown how you can do a few of those before. But as a surprise, they also added a “cheeky little love note,” as they said. This is marriage goals.
Most patches we’ve shown you are on the knees or sleeves. This one is a little different. To be honest, it’s not the most common place to need a patch, but it might help some people who also wear a backpack daily.
This person had to make a little patch for the spot where their backpack rubbed through their jacket! The patch is fantastic, but we have to wonder, how long does a backpack have to be there for that to happen?
Now, back to not-so-niche problems. Darn moths! You must have had at least one piece of clothing ruined by these closet-dwelling creatures. There are many ways to repel them, but they strike when you least expect. Here is a way to fix those snacked-on bits.
This was a moth-eaten sweater repaired by needle felting the face of the Forest Spirit from Princess Mononoke. There are also a few more minor, less ambitious repairs on it made using felt and threat. Reddit fixer 1, moths 0.
This is an excellent hack for those who live in countries where bras cost a lot. All you ladies know it’s tough to find a good one. A lousy bra will press into your skin, especially the “cute” ones. We all have our one favorite.
So when you find a good one for yourself, it’s hard to part with it when time takes its toll on it. However, the users on Reddit have ideas for that problem too! You can add threaded patterns to fix the tears!
Looks like the group inspires a lot of people. This user said this is their first darning jeans repair, and as someone noted in the comments on Reddit, it is darn good! Some of these people really have hidden talents.
Well, the talents are not so hidden anymore. We find it astounding that this is this person’s very first attempt to fix clothes. This is a piece that many would pay top dollar for. Great job! The colors work well together.
Ah, jeans and their fragile durability. Here’s yet another way to fix your favorite pair. This person was also lucky enough to have some vintage fabric handy and creative enough to combine it into their jeans. They were also able to stitch.
The stitches worked so well with the fabric that it is hard to tell where the material ends, and the stitches begin. The two seamlessly blend together. This person has an excellent eye for detail and is very good at blending.
There are more ways to fix a clothing item. You can use more than just patches, threads, and darn. This person used a pendent! This person’s pet rat made the hole right at the top of a plain black shirt.
So, what they did was they sewed in a pendent that had little hooks on each side. Now, this method of hole fixing is certainly easy. The pendent blended in with the shirt so well it looks like it was always there.
We saw a few ways how you could fix the cuffs of your long sleeves, but this one is a little different. The cuffs got totally ripped on this hoodie. The whole end of the sleeve started to tear, not just the top.
How you can fix it is very similar to how you would fix a rip on your jeans. These skills are transferable all around. All the classics are there – flowers, leaves, tiny branches. This is our favorite way to do the cuffs.
The cloud is another simple pattern you can thread when starting repairs. In this case, the cloud is actually a patch, and the thread functions as little raindrops. Both are very basic but cute and doable. This wouldn’t take long at all.
Here’s how it looks when the cloud is a patch. But you can make your cloud out of different color threads like light grey or blue and then add white over it as little raindrops. Just a few ideas – let your imagination run!
One thing that gets lost often is buttons. When they get lost, here’s an idea of how to replace them with more fun items, not just plain old replacements. Not that there’s something wrong with matching them to the original, but this is more fun!
This person replaced their buttons with versions that look like cute little vegetables. There’s an avocado, a tomato, and a carrot. If you stumble upon some cute buttons in a store, maybe buy them for the next project. It can change your whole outfit.
So, there you go. We hope we’ve inspired you like these Redditors inspired their group members. There are a few hacks for everybody and many situations, from bleach stains to backpack burns! The most common clothing item that rips is jeans.
So we will finish with another jeans hack. This one is for the seam of the jeans. Colorful and simple. We’ve also seen how these skills you can develop for mending clothes are transferable. Seams can be fixed like this on jackets too!