I shared some no-sew DIYs recently to help use up your kawaii fabric stash but it’s even more eco-friendly to upcycle waste fabric and unwanted clothing from your wardrobe or local charity shop/thrift store. Here’s some cute ideas for upcycled fabric sewing projects with t-shirts, socks, tote bags and bedding.
It’s always sad when a favourite t-shirt has to be retired but you don’t have to throw it out. Instead, turn it into a throw pillow. Instructables have a tutorial for a pillow case cover that you can use with a pillow insert, or Cut Out + Keep have an no-sew t-shirt pillow tutorial that uses stuffing.
If you come across a fun t-shirt secondhand that isn’t your size, you can still use it as a tote bag. This is a super quick and easy DIY by Easy Peasy Creative Ideas that only needs scissors and a pen.
If you’ve got a plain tote bag, you can cute it up in lots of fun ways. Hello Kitty shows you how to do tie-dye for a unique look that you can also use on t-shirts.
Or get some paint and try a simple stamp design. Alice & Lois use foam for for this DIY Stamped Lemon Tote Bag (which really needs some kawaii faces on top!) but you can also do this with vegetables like potatoes and parsnips.
Sock plushies are a super cute way to turn a pair of socks into something much more fun. Maqaroon’s sock plush playlist is still a great place to start with lots of tutorials and tips for all skill levels.
BudgetHobby also have some adorable kawaii character sock plush DIYs including Gudetama, My Melody, Pikachu and various Disney characters.
If you’ve got access to a sewing machine, duvet covers are a very affordable way to get loads of fabric to practice with. Try and find a design that you like enough to wear/use the finished item if all goes well. Spoonflower have a whole section of Beginner Sewing Projects to start you off, with photo & video tutorials for everything from scrunchies and face masks to tote bags and clothing,
Tilly and the Buttons is a great site for beginner dressmaking if you’ve been inspired by the Sewing Bee. They sell their own patterns and books and also have a blog and YouTube channel with loads of tips and tutorials for every sewing problem you might run into. There’s a few free patterns too, like this detachable collar for a cute cottagecore look.
Would you like to see more sewing projects on SCK?
Marceline is the co-founder and editor of Super Cute Kawaii and author of The Super Cute Book of Kawaii. She also designs cute character goods as Asking For Trouble. Having visited Japan five times, Marceline is enormously inspired by all things Japanese and especially loves bunnies, space and any kind of food object with a happy face.