What Are the Other Uses for Old Bedsheets?

It’s a common question and one that can have quite a variety of answers, depending on exactly who you ask. It is a question that we all stumble across at least once throughout our lives and the type of problem that depends on your personal mood; make you change your answer more than once.

What is this question? It is actually quite simple – “what should I do with these old bedsheets?” We’ve all come across a set of bed sheets that have definitely seen better days, months, or even years! Maybe you’re looking at a set of bed sheets that has enough stains you can’t even identify them anymore. Still, you know that they came from your child’s bed or perhaps the bedsheets in question are like that comfy sweatshirt in the back of your closet – not quite the right fit and the material is thin enough to rip at the slightest bit of tension.

We’ve all got those sheets – you know, the ones that you just don’t use anymore but you just don’t know what to do with them. My bathroom storage closet is filled with sheets that don’t even fit any of our beds anymore. Even if you don’t have a collection of sheets that you want to repurpose, you can buy them at flea markets and the like for less than a dollar each in many cases. You know, in case you fall in love with some of these projects and just have to make them for yourself!

It’s time for winter white sales to begin. While these sales offer us great deals on linens, they offer so much more for the more creative consumer. By far, bed sheets are the most valuable item on sale this month. There’s so much more that can be done with them than putting them on a bed.

Keep an eye on sheet prices. Some stores offer the same price for full, queen, and king. When the purpose of the sheets is going to be more creative than fitting a mattress, the king sheets offer more fabric per dollar. Similarly, sales may ask for a slightly higher price for king sheets in comparison to doubles, but the added 22 inches in width and 5 inches in length in the king may make it a better deal.

Nothing lasts forever, not even bedsheets. Whether they’re the most expensive, ethically made sheets, or a cheap set you’ve had for years, the lifespan of a set of sheets must come to an end at some point. At Jefferson Lane, we believe in making the highest quality sheets that will last you for years and years to come, but we also know that when a sheet’s lifespan has ended, we’d rather see them upcycled responsibly than tossed in the trash destined for landfill. Even though you can’t recycle most sheets, not even organic cotton ones, you can upcycle and repurpose them. You might be surprised at the seemingly limitless ways you can reuse your old sheets. Most of these ideas require little to no “craftiness” or sewing abilities, and most can be done in a matter of minutes. Before you toss your old or unused sheets in the garbage, think through some of these ideas for giving them a brand new life.

There’s no greater feeling than climbing into bed after treating yourself to fresh, new bedsheets, but what’s supposed to happen to your old bed sheets?

Don’t throw them out – there’s life left in them yet! From picnic blankets to tote bags,

What Are Genius Ways to Use Your Old Bed Sheets and Save Them from the Dump?

Donate to a Goodwill Store or Pet Shelter

If your sheets are still in fairly good shape with life left in them but you wish to discard them for your own personal reasons, donate them to your local Goodwill store. They will dry-clean and repurpose your old bedsheets for a family that needs them to warm their bed at night.

Numerous pet shelters will also accept donations of old bed linens that are still in good condition to provide bedding for animals. The soft material and comfortable fabric will soothe those wayward souls looking for a forever home.

Let’s Get Creative

old bed sheet

If you are a creative person who enjoys the look and textures of unique art, use an old bed sheet to create your own! Take a flat canvas from a craft store and glue the sheet right to the canvas for funky wall art. Use canvases of varying sizes with a range of sheets to create one-of-a-kind wall hangings that will fit the aesthetics of your room and cost pennies from your pocket, instead of pricey dollars.

Create Reusable Shopping or Storage Bags

Bedsheets are typically made from sturdy material that doesn’t rip or damage easily. Use old bedsheets to create your own reusable shopping or storage bags. With a bit of time and thread, a rope handle that can be found in your local craft store, and a tad of imagination; you could have unique and stylish reusable bags.

Take a look at this great tutorial. While titled how to make your own DIY laundry bag, the steps are the same to create shopping or storage bags. Bonus: this reduces the amount of plastic bags your family needs and discards to local landfills in your weekly trash.

Gardening Time

The majority of gardeners know the importance of covering delicate vegetation during colder nights. Frost can damage or even kill plants that have been growing for months due to an upset of their natural evolving process. Gardeners will use old bedsheets to protect plants from frost and other natural elements. If your garden is experiencing an influx of insects or perhaps the climate is dry and arid, an old bed sheet can protect your plants.

The material in a bed sheet is breathable enough to let air circulate through your plants without them being uncovered. Use light coloured sheets to protect your sheets during hot days. The light colour will absorb the sun and filter the light to your plants without burning the leaves or drying the plant out. You can even mist a layer of water over an old bed sheet to slowly water your plants without drowning them or allowing the sun to burn the leaves.

Packing Material

Have you ever been forced to purchase expensive packing material from your local post office or moving agency? Use old bed linen to wrap those fragile items from your kitchen and bedroom. It is an easy and inexpensive way to protect your delicate items.

If you are sending gifts through the post to your family and friends, use an old sheet to line the inside of the box and reduce the chance of damage. Sheets are light enough in weight that they won’t add to the cost of sending your package but cushiony enough to stop jostling during transit.

Reuse Your Old Bedsheets on a Picnic

Who doesn’t love a picnic? 

One thing that dampens the mood, however, is a muddy bottom. There’s no need to invest in expensive tartan blankets – keep your clothes dry and mud-free by laying an old sheet down before you start feasting.

Drop Cloth

There’s no point redecorating one area only to make a mess in another!

When you’re painting (or doing any sort of DIY work, for that matter) use an old bed sheet as a drop cloth. You can either spread it across the floor or use it to cover up furniture to protect it from dust and paint.

Create a Fort With Your Kids

Just because it’s raining outside, doesn’t mean you can’t show the kids a good time.

All you need to take them on a big, imaginative adventure is a bedsheet (or two). Drape them over high furniture to create a fort of sorts, then pile duvets, pillows and teddies inside to make it snug as can be.

They’ll spend hours in their new little home!

Easy Braided Dog Toy

You can easily turn an old sheet into this fun braided dog toy, which your little pooch will love. You just cut the sheet into strips and then braid several strips together at once. This is much easier than it sounds and you end up with a wonderful toy that is strong enough for your doggie to chew on and pull without tearing it up. If you have more than one dog, use a couple of sheets and make them all a handmade dog toy!

Repurposed Sheet Pajama Pants

Turn those old sheets – especially the great print ones – into these amazingly simple to create pyjama pants. When you don’t really feel like getting out of bed, you can literally take the bed with you. Sheets are so comfortable and lightweight, which is what makes them perfect for creating these great pyjama pants. You don’t even need a pattern – although you could use one if you wanted. These are really easy to make and are perfect for the entire family.

Auto Emergencies

Keep a spare bed sheet in your car for emergencies! If you have to change a flat tire, you can spread it out on the ground to keep yourself clean while you work. You can also use it to absorb those unavoidable spills that only seem to happen when you don’t have any napkins handy.

Cleaning Rags

Cut an old bed sheet up into smaller squares and use them as cleaning rags. I love to keep a stash of bedsheet rags in the house for those messes that you know will stain your kitchen towels. I just use my sheet rags to clean it up, and then I don’t have to feel bad if I have to throw them away afterwards.

Bath Mat

homemade bath mat bed sheet

The same technique that you used to make your dog a new toy to play with can also be used to DIY your very own bath mat.

These look surprisingly pretty and professional, even with plain white sheets. Plus, if your old bedsheets have any marks on them, they’ll be unnoticeable after you’ve braided strips around one another.


It doesn’t take a sewing mastermind to create a basic set of curtains. Get that idea out of your head, and the task becomes much easier. Search the internet for easy curtain patterns and directions.

A simple set of panels can be made from a set of bedsheets. Paired with some sheers or lined with some heavier fabric, a set of matching curtains can be made to coordinate with your existing bed ensemble.

Children’s sheets come in a variety of characters who can adorn windows. For those who are experienced sewers, valances and other exciting features can be added to a room for the price of a clearance set of sheets.

Table Settings

Ever want to have a great coordinating dining room set? Try a set of sheets to do the trick. Depending on the size of your table, a double sheet set should do.

For the tablecloth, use either the flat or fitted sheet. With an oval or circular table, the fitted sheet will work well for the tablecloth since the corners need to be cut. Lay the sheet over the tabletop and mark where the tablecloth should hang. Then, cut the sheet two inches larger than the desired tablecloth. Sew a hem around the edge, and add a cheap fabric lining if desired. (Lining can be gotten in the clearance bins as either fabric yards, flannel sheets, or a bed blanket. Something densely woven in a neutral tone is ideal, such as felt or flannel.) Feel free to adorn the hanging edge of the cloth with yards of fringe.

Placemats can be made from pillowcases. Each pillowcase will make one mat. Purchase plain vinyl placemats for less than a dollar. Slide each placemat inside the pillowcase. Then, sew shut the open end of the case. Sew the case close to the vinyl placemat if needed to secure it if the pillowcase is too big; this will create an edge to the placemat, making it look more tailored. The remaining sheet in the set (either the flat or the fitted) can be used to make cloth napkins or extra placemats if needed. (Extra pillowcases are often expensive to purchase separately.) Cut the sheet to the size of the pillowcase plus some extra for seaming and sew three sides to make extra pillowcases for placemats. Extra fabric can also be cut into squares and hemmed to make cloth napkins.

A Reasonable Comforter

Want the matching comforter for less than the expensive store cost? Make a duvet. Buy two extra flat sheets for your bedding set. Then, lay the sheets on top of one another, good sides facing each other. Sew three sides of the sheets. Now, purchase a plain blanket or use one you already have and lay it inside the casing you’ve made with the sheets. Sew the fourth side together. To hold the inner blanket in place, sew a grid through both sides of the duvet with blending thread in tic-tac-toe style.

Why should you recycle your old bedsheets?

old bed sheet

In an environmentally conscious society, it is important to reuse and recycle wherever you can. There are numerous items that are currently clogging landfills around the world that do not break down into biodegradable material. Garbage and debris have been found in the remains of animals who mistake items for food or shelter.

Recycling old bedsheets ensures that the starchy material used in bedding doesn’t find its way into the atmosphere. Human interference has destroyed many habitats for the wildlife and vegetation that calls this place home, just like us. The earth can only naturally do so much to prepare for a sustainable future, so why wouldn’t you want to do your part and help save the planet we all call home?

Now that you have some ideas on what to do with all those old bedsheets lying around your house, why not put them to use! Typically you would think that something such as old bedsheets would be destined for the garbage the minute they cease to be of use, but that isn’t the case! Take your old bed linens, recycle them, reuse them and feel pleasure knowing that you are doing your part to take care of the environment around you!

Scroll to Top