The quarantine has us all spending a lot more time around the house. It’s been a blessing for me that I’ve been able to spend more time with my family and work on growing my business. I’ve also taken some time to clean up my closet with a hefty cleanout and some DIY projects that renew my old clothes and accessories. Are you looking to revamp your clothes?
I wanted to share with you some ways I’ve been taking my clothes from used and old to chic and refreshed, so you can do the same with your closet! It’s a fun way to pass the time, while also minimizing waste.
(By the way, these are all sew-free projects. So you don’t need to even own a needle and thread to get started!) Here are 10 DIY Ways to Revamp Your Clothes + Closet While Spending Time at Home.
1. Clean the soles of your shoes
I love all my shoes equally, but there are some shoes I wear out more than others. The soles get scuffed, marked, and dirty. Where do those blue and black marks even come from?
The soles of your shoes aren’t the first thing people notice, but a clean pair of shoes is the difference between looking (and feeling) put together or a little “off”. I always feel prouder in a new pair of shoes—or a freshly cleaned pair! So here’s how you get those soles looking brand new again.
Create a baking soda paste. There’s no direct proportion of baking soda to water. Just use a dab of water with enough baking soda that the paste feels like clay in your hands. Apply the paste (using fingers, Q-tips, or other tool) to the soles of your shoes. Let your shoes sit (soles facing up) for 15 to 60 minutes. After it’s settled, use a toothbrush to scrub the baking soda into the bottom of your shoes. Now, take a wet rag or paper towel to remove the baking soda. Your soles should look fresh and clean!
Psst… You can also sprinkle some baking soda inside your shoes to soak up sweat and eliminate odor-causing particles! Baking soda is my go-to if I’m looking to revamp my clothes that are getting a little stinky or worn.
Get tips on how to keep your white sneakers clean with Zappos.
More shoe tips…
Gotta keep those shoes looking gorgeous, right? Here are some more easy DIY ways to get your shoes in tip-top-toe shape.
- Use a nail file to clean suede shoes of dirt and marks. Then, spot clean and remove scuffs with a soft pencil eraser. (Works for suede clothing, too!)
- Get rid of that scuff on your patent leather shoe with some petroleum jelly. Dip a Q-tip in the jelly and rub on, and it will disappear in a jiffy. Then use a cotton ball and a bit of glass cleaner to renew the shine on your shoes.
- Leather is a little special, so take extra care when caring for it. You can use nail polish remover or rubbing alcohol (and a cotton swab) to get rid of stains or scuffs. Scrubbing baking soda on with a damp cloth can help lift oil or grease (which we talk about more below). Renew with leather conditioner if you have it; or you can make your own by mixing 1 part vinegar with 2 parts linseed oil.
2. Freeze your clothes
If you have room in your freezer, now’s the perfect time to try this hack to revamp your clothes with a little chill! Putting your clothes in very low temperatures can actually be really healthy for some fabric materials. The biggest benefit is killing odors and bacteria.
Throwing your cashmere and wool in the freezer overnight will help prevent shedding and preserve the integrity of the fibers. Or put your denim jeans in the freezer to kill odor-causing bacteria without another run through the washing machine (since washing your denim a lot can cause fading and shape loss). Tossing your shoes in the freezer can help get rid of stinky smells too.
(Before you put any clothes or shoes in the freezer, put them in a zip lock bag. This protects your food from dirt, and it protects your fabrics from wet freezer burn.)
3. Remove that oil stain from your favorite blouse
You went out to indulge in some burgers and fries after work with some friends and uh oh… There’s a grease stain on your favorite blouse! You tried washing it out, but it seems like it’s going to be there forever. So your shirt has been hanging in the back of your closet, because you love it so much and can’t part with it—but the oil stain makes it un-wearable. Here’s how to get that shirt back in action again.
- Make sure the fabric is dry when you start. Don’t wet the stain first with water.
- Sprinkle baking soda on top of the greasy area. This works especially well for fresh oil stains, but it can help destroy old stains too.
- Let baking soda sit for 30 to 60 minutes. The baking soda may start to clump as it absorbs some of the oil.
- You can also use a toothbrush to leverage the abrasiveness of the baking soda to help lift the stain.
- Remove that baking soda. Apply a new, lighter layer. Just a little bit will do the trick now.
- Add a few drops of liquid dishwashing detergent, like Dawn, on the oil stain. Dishwashing soap is made specifically for greasy dishes, so it can help destroy the oil particles on your shirt, too.
- Rub the soap in gently with your fingers. It will start to create a paste with the baking soda.
- Let the spot sit with the detergent-soda for 5-30 minutes. The longer you wait, the deeper and stronger it can attack the grease.
- Throw the shirt in the washing machine, if it’s machine washable. We recommend using hot water if it won’t damage the item. If you can’t use the washing machine, hand wash it in warm water and scrub the stain especially well.
- Air-dry the item in the sun.
Bye-bye, grease stains!
4. Tighten your sunglasses
Are your favorite sunglasses a little loose? Having trouble keeping them on your nose or in your hair? Dab some clear nail polish at the fastener of the lenses and the arms. This will keep the plastic tight, so you can keep wearing your favorite glasses for a while. This doesn’t work as well for metal sunglasses, but it can still get the job done temporarily.
You can also use clear nail polish paint to stop a thread from pulling through your buttons. Easy, simple, and so polished!
5. Get rid of those pesky yellow stains
I’ve had a lot of trouble getting rid of yellow stains from some of my favorite white dresses and tops. I’ve tried some of the store bought products, but these only sort-of work to get out the worst of it. But here’s a process I’ve found works super well to get rid of yellowing on your favorite light colored pieces. Let’s revamp your clothes so your whites are white and stain-free!
What causes yellow stains?
Most antiperspirant deodorants have aluminum in them. This mixes with the proteins in your sweat and results in that yellowing on your shirt. To make matters worse, washing and drying those molecules on a high setting actually sets them into the clothing, so you end up with even deeper and darker stains.
I also recommend using deodorants that don’t contain aluminum. This will help minimize your yellow stains. Plus, aluminum isn’t good for your skin or your health; so go for all natural deodorants to revamp your clothes and health.
So, the goal when removing yellow stains is to break down the aluminum and sweat particles using strong enzymes.
How to do it
- Dampen your shirt in water.
- You’re going to make a mixture of 1.5 cups baking soda, 2 teaspoons hydrogen peroxide, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Hydrogen peroxide releases oxygen gas to help break down stains, and baking soda is an alkaline abrasive that helps with picking up grease, oil, and antiperspirant particles.
- Apply the mixture to the yellow stains. Let sit for 30 to 60 minutes.
- Scrub the mixture into the stains using a short-bristled brush. Don’t skip this step!
- Toss it into the washing machine. Use COLD water. Hot water actually causes yellow stains to set and bake into the shirt.
- If the piece allows for it, you can also use bleach. You can apply bleach directly to the stain (for spot treatment) and let sit before washing. (Remove the baking soda mixture after 30 minutes and then apply the bleach.) Or you can add the bleach to the washing machine, as long as there aren’t any colors on the shirt that could get ruined and as long as the material isn’t too delicate.
- Dry your shirt in the sun. The sun helps remove brighten your whites.
If that doesn’t work, try lemon juice. Lemon juice brightens whites, and it can help revive clothes with yellow stains. Squeeze the juice from one lemon into a bowl. Apply to the yellow stains (pour or apply with a white rag). Let the clothing sit in the sun all day. Then wash by hand or in the washing machine on cold to remove the lemon juice and freshen your whites. The lemon plus the sun should get those stains out beautifully!
6. Create an infinity scarf from a T-shirt
This DIY revamp clothes hack is so easy and so smart. Can’t get those yellow stains out, no matter what you do? Is the neckline of your shirt loosening up or simply not your favorite? Repurpose your tee as a scarf!
Lay your shirt flat, taping down the sides to help keep it still. Cut one line across the length of the shirt, just above the bottom hem. Cut the second line just below the armpits of the shirt. If the shirt is very long, you may want to cut these closer together, as this will determine the thickness of your scarf.
Throw it around your neck for a DIY scarf that looks and feels great! The larger the shirt, the larger your scarf will be. You can also have some fun with this by painting the scarf with fabric paint or sewing on your own design if you’re really crafty.
Want to use the remainder of the cut-up shirt for something? Turn it into a headband!
7. Get rid of wrinkles fast
This is a super simple DIY project that you can use every day now and after quarantine for a must-have put together look. I don’t know about you, but the only thing I hate more than leaving the house with a wrinkled shirt is having to steam or iron that shirt! I don’t like using the premade wrinkle sprays, though, because they’re filled with chemicals I don’t want on my body or clothes. So here’s a natural, easy wrinkle spray that really works!
- Mix together 2 cups of pure water, 1 tablespoon of white vinegar, and 1 teaspoon of hair conditioner. In place of hair conditioner, you can also use a teaspoon of fabric softener.
- I also recommend adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil for a gorgeous scent. I particularly like lavender or jasmine.
- Put it in a spray bottle with a mist top. You can purchase these at Target or another pharmacy or store.
- Spray directly on the wrinkled part of your clothes, just so they’re a little damp.
- Gently stretch the fabric to smooth out the wrinkles.
- Let dry completely, wear and enjoy!
8. Hand wash your dry clean clothes
Dry cleaning your clothes can be expensive and time-consuming. (And we’re all about price contentiousness right now.) But here’s a little secret: you can hand wash most of your dry clean only clothing! So use some of your free time to get your clothes spick and span for a lot cheaper (and a lot fewer chemicals, which is way more sustainable too).
- Check the tag on your article. If it’s made from wool, silk, or cotton, you can usually wash it by hand. If it’s made of suede, leather, fur, or other delicate fabrics, you’ll probably want to keep it dry clean only. You also want to avoid washing items with several “layers,” like a windbreaker with a wool interior.
- Fill a bucket or sink with cold water.
- Use a very mild laundry detergent. Add just a few drops to the water. (Woolite works well if washing wool, in particular.)
- Agitate the water slightly. Dip the garment in and out of the water.
- Gently rub your fingertips over particularly soiled areas, like the armpits and collar. Don’t use anything too abrasive, as this can damage the delicate fabric.
- Fill another bucket with fresh water (no detergent), or drain the sink and fill with new cool water. Rinse the garment until it’s not covered in soap.
Time to dry!
- To dry, roll on a clean toll to remove water. Don’t wring it out, as this could damage it. Reshape the garment and lay flat to dry. Don’t hang to dry, as the weight of the water can pull the garment down and cause it to stretch out.
- We recommend washing one article by hand at a time. If you want to hand wash multiples, make sure they are the same color and material.
- Also, never use hot water or the dryer for dry-clean only clothes. This will likely ruin the fabric.
- Enjoy your fresh, clean clothes!
9. DIY dried flower sachets for a beautiful smelling closet
Want to get rid of smells in your closet, wardrobe, gym bag, or shoes? Add a few of these DIY sachets for a home that smells completely amazing (and its all natural, too).
- First, we’ll create the sachets themselves. Cut two 3 1/2-inch squares of any fabric of your choosing. Align them with the sides you want displayed inward. If you. like to sew, you can use a running stitch to connect three of the four sides of the sachet square. If not (like me), you can glue gun the fabric together.
- Don’t want to create your own sachets? You can buy pre-made baggies at just about any craft store (or even Target). You can also use a piece of fabric and tie it tightly with a knot and bow.
- Now, you’ll fill it up with the good stuff. In a bowl, combine two parts dried lavender (or any dried flower ) and one part dry rice. The rice is used to give a little weight to the sachet without using up too much lavender. If you don’t have dried lavender, you can add 10-20 drops of lavender essential oil. Or, add any essential oil of your choice! Lavender is calming and soothing, but any essential oil you like will work wonders to add a delicious scent to your home.
- Spoon the mixture into the sachet. Once it’s filled, sew or glue the top of the pouch together. (Or tie it together with a ribbon.)
- Throw it wherever you need a little fragrant goodness!
10. Spruce up your costume jewelry
You love your costume jewelry (maybe almost as much as your fine jewelry). But it tarnishes and rusts a lot faster, and it’s not the easiest to care for. Let’s take a little time and show our favorite costume pieces some love–and some cleaning!
- Put your costume jewelry in a container of warm (not hot) water. Add a few drops of dish detergent and agitate to make it soapy. Let soak for 1-2 hours.
- If that doesn’t do the trick, you can try applying lemon juice with a cotton swab directly on your pieces. White vinegar (also applied with a cotton swab) can also clean and shine up your costume jewelry.
- If your jewelry has gems, rhinestones, or pendants, water that is too warm might cause these accessories to loosen up and fall off. We recommend rinsing in cool water or using the lemon juice or vinegar trick.
- Whichever method you use, rinse the jewelry thoroughly in cool water and dry fully to ensure there is no harsh soap residue sitting on your jewelry.
- Store costume jewelry in cloth or anti-tarnish bags to keep clean in between uses.
Note that real gold never tarnishes. So you shouldn’t have to clean your real gold. Costume gold is what you’ll be cleaning up. Avoid using these products on real gold and silver. Take your fine jewelry a professional for cleaning.
Revamp your clothes + closet
With just a few little DIY hacks, you can revamp your clothes for a completely renewed life. They’ll look and feel brand new, and you’ll love the confidence of putting on fresh, clean, stunning clothes!
Another great way to spend your quarantine is cleaning out your closet. Things you can’t upcycle or DIY? Sell or donate them! We can work with you to sell your gently used, pre-loved gems, so you can get cash back for new items you’ll love.
Learn more about the magic of consignment stores and how you can make money selling with us—and how you can find the most stunning designer pieces at a fraction of their original cost.
What DIY tricks do you have to revamp your clothes?