This Reader Had a Genius Idea to Upcycle Old Clothes

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girl in striped dress wearing a black and white striped face mask

Make no-cost face masks at home with items you already have!

Who doesn’t have a selection of clothes in their closet that they no longer wear? Before you toss them, consider upcycling them into reusable face masks!

Hip2Save reader, Varsha, was looking for a way to make her own face masks at home and came up with an easy way to repurpose some items she already had!

Check out her solution…

black and white striped face mask with black elastic ear loops

“During this pandemic situation, I’ve been making homemade reusable masks. So far, I’ve made 3 masks using my old clothes. I just needed old clothing, elastic hairbands, and sewing thread. These were fun to try at home to save money.”

girl in striped dress wearing a black and white striped face mask

Thank you, Varsha, for sharing your idea with us! Your daughter sure looks cute in her mask! What a great DIY idea for something that is in high demand. We think it’s such a fun and frugal idea, plus, it’s great for the environment, too!

If you want to try this idea for yourself this weekend, gather up a few cotton shirts and elastic hair bands. Just cut out a section of shirt that comfortably fits over your mouth and nose, and reaches near your ears. Then take a needle and thread to sew one elastic on each side to create earloops. Such a great way to upcycle old clothing, and even make unique masks using old concert or sports team t-shirts!


Do you have a funny, “Hip”, or unique tip to share?! Fill out our Happy Friday form. Every Friday, we post one submission by a Hip2Save reader (view past submissions) that gives us a glimpse into their frugal lifestyle or simply makes us smile. If yours is published on Hip2Save, we’ll email you a $10 Amazon eGift card!

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About the writer:

Erika has a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology from Sonoma State University and 5+ years of writing experience from various deal sites including Hip2Save.

Join The Discussion

Comments 24

  1. Shelly

    My daughters & I have made almost 800 masks & donated them all. We have used a lot of dress shirts my hubby no longer wears. Make sure to use 100% cotton.

    • JMonte509

      We did this too!! A lot of my family members are front line workers and we made them for them and co-workers. I’m in Texas and it’s getting so bad. Bless everyone. Stay safe!!

      • *Angela-Miles*

        Same here, I made them for all my family members and friends that live in the area. Even sent them pictures beforehand of all the fabric I had available and let them choose the design. 💜

  2. EmilyMab

    That’s a great way to reuse. The mask looks great and your daughter is adorable!

    • Varsha darekar

      Thank you ☺️

  3. tracey

    Love this idea! Anyone have a good template to go off of?

  4. Melissa

    When at Dollywood Tuesday, the lady in front of me used a triangle bikini top as a mask. She took off one of the triangles and used the other to cover her face. She used the strings to tie it behind her head. I thought it was pretty ingenious … maybe not the best at protection but good in a pinch. 🤣

    • ShellB

      Probably about the same protection🤣

  5. Lisalyn

    Clever mother & adorable daughter! Thanks for sharing

    • Varsha darekar

      Thank you so much!!!😍

  6. trueheart99

    These homemade masks need to have a filtering system in the middle of it They need to have an opening left at the top of it so you can insert a coffee filter into it to do the filtering I insert 2 coffee filters in mine just to be on the safer side

  7. E

    Cute! I upcycled a bunch of old clothes into cloth dolls for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. We always have a bag of clothes too junky to donate 😂 I had used flannel for the inside of my masks that I made in March. Too hot for that now! I need to make a few new ones of just plain cotton because our gov just mandated them in stores, but kids don’t have to, thank goodness.

  8. Stephanie

    I also used old crib sheets to make masks.

  9. Jill

    My mom made some out of cotton pillow cases.

  10. HBee

    What a lovely model!

  11. Kat9919

    I used elastic from my toddlers leggings that didn’t fit anymore – worked great! Elastic has been hard to find!

  12. animity

    Anyone else get headaches from wearing masks. My whole family does just have 20-30 minutes. This cannot be the solution……

    • animity

      *in just about 20-30 minutes of use

    • wifeandmomof3


  13. Jean

    Great idea. Thanks for sharing. Your daughter is so cute. I love her “fashion pose”!

    • Varsha darekar

      Thank you 😊

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