Give your old sheets new purpose
Nothing lasts forever (except a bowl of Grape Nuts), so there comes a time when even your bed sheets reach the end of their lives - in their current form, at least.
Data from the Environmental Protection Agency show that over a million tons of towels, sheets and pillowcases were sent to landfills in 2018, with that figure multiplied by ten across the world.
Here at Sheets and Giggles, we’re all about sustainability (this blog post was written on recycled rice cakes) - for every order we receive, we plant a baby tree and we also plant 2 more for every tree harvested - similarly, we think it’s important to give new life to your old sheets.
There are tons of ways you can reduce some of the tons that would otherwise be destined for landfills. Here are some of our favorite ways to make use of the sheets that you’re not going to be sleeping on any more.
1. Re-purpose Sheets as Reusable Cleaning Wipes
No need to buy packs of rags or cloths - simply cut your sheets into squares and use them as cleaning wipes around the house. When they’re dirty, chuck them in the wash and use them again.
2. Use Your Linen to Avoid DIY Disasters
If you’re painting or decorating around the house, throw your old bed sheets on the floor to prevent paint, glitter, or crude oil from ruining the rug or floorboards.
This technique also works if you’re dying your hair and want to avoid getting copper-red or electric blue hair dye on the bathroom floor.
3. Use Repurposed Sheets to Polish Your Shoes
If your shoes need polishing, why not utilize one of your squares of bed sheet linen to get the shiniest shoes in town?
- Use a piece of sheet before you start to generally clean and prepare the shoes before applying the polish (any dirt on the shoes can scratch the leather during the shine so it’s a good opportunity to make sure the shoes are free of debris).
- Use a second square of sheet to apply the polish to your shoes.
- Once you’ve applied the polish, use a third bedsheet square to wipe off any excess.
- Put on your shiny shoes and do your best Ginger Rogers.
4. Your Bedding Can Become Pet Bedding
There’s no need to spend lots of money on expensive pet bedding. Your dog or cat will be perfectly happy (see happy pet above) snuggled up in one of your old bed sheets. Plus it has the added bonus of retaining your smell which pets often find comforting.
While we’re on the subject of pets, dogs love a good old tug-of-war toy – try taking 3 strips of your old sheet and braiding it. Then knot it at either end for an excellent toy that your pup will love.
5. Get Creative In The Sheets
There are lots of creative ways you can use your old bed linen if you’re crafty enough.
- Create an apron by simply cutting a head-shaped hole in your sheet. Once it’s on, you can trim the rest of the sheet into the right shape. You can even cut strips to tie it round your waist.
- Bed sheets are easily turned into curtains for a sustainable and cost-effective alternative to buying a new pair.
- If you’re planning a camping trip, turn your old sheets into sleeping bag-liners - it’s much easier to wash the sheets at the end of the trip than the bags themselves.
- If you have a drafty doorway, use an old sheet as a draft stopper. Just roll it up and place it along the bottom of the door, or go all out by stitching the sheet into a tube shape and filling it with other fabric that you no longer need.
6. Bed Sheets On Flower Beds?
Our tips don’t just cover the indoors – there are several ways you can make use of old bed sheets in your garden, too.
- Cut up very small strips of sheet and leave them dotted around in bushes, trees and on the grass. Birds will take them and use them to line their nests, so your bed sheets will be used in someone else’s bed.
- You can use your sheets as compost – cut them into strips and add them to your compost bin along with food scraps and cardboard, and it will all break down in a few months to create a nutrient-rich compost for you to re-use in your garden.
- Sheets can act as a non-organic mulch – laying one over your fallow flower beds during winter can keep warmth in and retain moisture.
- They can also keep weeds at bay – covering an area of your garden with your old sheets will keep the light out and inhibit weed growth.
- Old sheets are also great if you’re pruning in the garden – lay the sheet on the ground and put all your clippings on it. It’s then easy to bundle up the sheet when you’re finished so you can move it to your recycling bin or compost heap.
7. Projector Screen
Movie night at home gets a thousand times better if you can turn the room into a fully-fledged movie-theater. Admittedly, you’ll need a projector for this idea, but if you have one, a bed sheet pinned to the wall makes an awesome screen. Just make sure you bring the popcorn.
8. Donate To A Local Shelter
What's this #Give2Sheets thing you keep hearing about?
As we said earlier, every year 10 million tons of textiles wind up in landfills – sheets included. Blankets are the second most-requested item at homeless shelters.
You can donate your old sheets to a local shelter and get 10% off your next Sheets and Giggles order, just for being a good person. Just send a pic to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll send you a special discount code.
It's a win-win-win. You help others in a real, tangible way, you receive 10% off any S&G items you purchase, and you get to share your good deed on social media with a punny hashtag.
9. Picnic Blankets
No craft skills required for this one - just put the sheet out on the grass, sit down, and enjoy your lunch. Do watch out for pic-a-nic nabbing bi-pedal bears, though.
10. Keep Some Sheets In Your Car
Keeping a couple of old sheets in the trunk of your car is a great idea for a number of reasons:
- If your vehicle breaks down at night or during winter, you can use the sheets to keep warm while you wait for help to arrive.
- If you break down and can fix the problem yourself but want to keep clean while you do it, put one of the sheets on the ground. This will let you have a look under the vehicle, or change a tire, without getting covered in dirt and oil.
- You can even use them under your tires if you get stuck on the ice and need some traction to get yourself moving again.
11. Use them for moving
While not as thick and durable as moving blankets, an old sheet may be a good option for protecting sturdier, garage items, for example.
Or save your back by placing heavier items on a folded up sheet and sliding them across the floor.
You could also consider using sheets as reusable packing material for dishes, cups or picture frames.
12. Escape From Jail
Tie some bed sheets together to form a rope, and climb down it to your freedom. (Be sure to delete this blog post from your web history first.)
So there you have it. 12 ways that you can help the planet (and your own wallet) by repurposing your old bed sheets. Let us know in the comments if you have any more ideas.
If your old sheets are now enjoying their second life as movie screens or aprons and you’re looking for some new, sustainable sheets, check out our Eucalyptus Sheet Sets.