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« Pressure canning and reality | Main | Peach jam, super-small batch »

Repurposing old sheets

My first fine home purchase, an organic fitted sheet finally bit the dust. I’m attached to this sheet for more reasons beyond its soft, purple-y feel against our nighttime skin. This 10-year old sheet traveled with me in 2011 on tour stops across the country and championed for HGGH readers and fans the famous fitted sheet folding technique.

It made its debut on the big stage at the Texas Book Festival last fall. All the more reason I couldn’t bear to just pitch it out when the threads bore so bare (beyond mending) after a final, fateful voyage in the washing machine last month.

I, like others, cut it up and put it not in the lowly rag bin, but into my stash of kitchen muslin, always a hot commodity around here for straining vinegars and jellies, keeping flies out of ferments and just general kitchen usefulness.

What do you do with your beloved, old sheets?

Reader Comments (10)

I had a beautiful set of flannel sheets that I loved dearly. When the fitted sheet started getting hole-y, I cut it up for cleaning rags. The top sheet was fine, so I saved it and I used it to block large crochet projects like shawls. It's nice to have something large to pin wet projects to--and I think the flannel helps them dry faster as well!

August 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChristy

I salvage what I can and sew pajama bottoms or tunics.

August 29, 2013 | Unregistered Commentertamika

I've had beloved sheets wear through as well. We have used them as drop cloths for painting, "picnic" sheets when we have pizza while watching a movie (for the kids), and some have ended up in the rag bag for hubby (he LOVES soft cloth for some projects!). Since we seem to always lose our fitted sheets before flat sheets, I have begun to buy coordinating colors. This way when I lose a fitted sheet, I can fairly easily replace it and still have a "set".

August 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

My great aunt uses soft, well worn sheets to give new life to her well-worn quilts and blankets. She takes two sheets that are slightly larger than the blanket and basically makes a duvet of them, but adds some quilting stitches to hold everything in place. As kids, we all fought over these blankets because they were the softest and warmest available.

August 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGeorgianne

I fix them with iron on double sided fusing, use the last old sheet as the mending cloth.then hand sew the edges.

August 30, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterlm

Thanks for this topic. I HATE throwing things away that could still be useful!

I had two sets of high-quality sheets that my Mom's dog put holes through when visiting. One she ripped the top sheet, then ripped the fitted sheet on the set I bought to replace the first. So between the two I still had a whole set.

For those that were ripped, I patched them and have used them for lots of purposes - to protect my car seat when my dog is in it, to line my dog's crate, and currently as an extra layer of insulation over my large living room window to try to cut down on my electric bill this summer. It is not exactly tasteful decorating but it is effective! I have also used them to stuff in boxes around fragile items when moving.

August 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKeri

I recently bought a small loom and found two queen size sheets in my stash. I can't wait to weave a rag rug.
I've also used old sheets as "free" muslin fabric when sewing, and my favorite winter nightgown is made from a cotton flannel sheet.

September 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKathleen

My wife has started quilting recently and most of our old sheets (as well as pillow cases, towels, rags, t-shirts, and any other scrap of cloth she can lay her hands on,) is being used for her to practice with.

September 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCorey

I reuse mine to make pillow cases for the body pillows.

September 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

I love this site! this is great advice and I can't wait to dig through for the gems on here!

April 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEaster Ellen

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