How to Upcycle Bathing Suits

By Ashley Ess in Thinking Sustainably

We’ve all been there. You’re excited for the swim season, so you open up your summer drawer only to find your swimsuits are no longer in style, don’t fit, or the elastic is worn out. You decide it’s time for an updated suit, but what will you do with your old ones? Believe it or not, there are ways to give them a new life and avoid adding them to the landfill. Read on to learn how to upcycle bathing suits by repurposing their fabric.

sewing machine

Giving New Life to Your Old Staples

When you think of spring-cleaning clothes, bathing suits may not be in the forefront of your mind. Jeans and T-shirts are great go-to clothing when you’re inspired to do a creative repurposing project. But there are actually a handful of ways to upcycle bathing suits that will get your creative juices flowing or satisfy your enthusiasm for recycling. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

When the elastic is only worn from one section of your one-piece swimsuit, such as the bottom half, you can still refashion it into a swimsuit top. Simply cut off the offending piece, hem the top half with an elastic band, and voila! You’ll have a versatile swim top to wear with swim skirts, board shorts, or bikini bottoms. You can also create a waterproof swim bag by cutting off the bottom of your bathing suit (right above the leg holes) and then sewing the opening.

Bring Them to Craft Time

By cutting your bathing suits up in squares, you can make a quilt by sewing sturdy backing onto them and using them as patches. If you aren’t a great stitcher, you can learn how to make an eclectic no-sew scarf from the material. You can also cut up your swimsuits into small pieces to be used as stuffing for craft projects like pillows, stuffed animals, and stress balls, or cut your old suit into strips and sew on some elastic to make headbands. Finally, try tying strips of bathing suit material together to use as a jump rope for your children.

When you’re feeling really creative, go all out with your unwanted swimsuits and use the fabric for home projects you would use any other material for. Lampshades, seat covers, and photo album covers are just a few examples of fun projects that can upcycle bathing suits. If you’re not the creative type, you can always hand down your bathing suits to family or friends, or donate them to crafting classes or sewing clubs where they can cut up the pieces for art projects.

Have ideas on how to upcycle your old swimsuits? Share them with us on Twitter!

Image source: Wikimedia Commons | Pixabay

This article was brought to you by Tom’s of Maine. The views and opinions expressed by the author do not reflect the position of Tom’s of Maine.