35+ Ideas to Repurpose Vintage Linens & Sheets

Repurpose Vintage Linens

Do You Have Some Vintage Sheets or Linens Lying Around?

Quite a few years ago, my mother-in-law gave me a whole stack of vintage sheets with bright and beautiful floral patterns.  I didn't want to use them on our beds but they were such nice patterns and the fabric quality was quite high so I thought I could use them to make something else.  At the time, I just didn't know what.

Since then, we've moved house A LOT and I've left many things behind over the years, but these lovely vintage specimens have stayed with my stash.  However, my current sewing room is starting to get a little tight.  While I've used some pretty good techniques to store my fabric, but I'm still running out of space.

So it's time to see what I can make with these wonderful pieces of vintage fabric.  I've done some research and put together this list of 35+ ideas to repurpose vintage linens and I'd like to share it with you in case you have some similar fabric in your stash.

I particularly like the glasses case below.  I have a pair of reading glasses that will fit nicely, so I think I'll start there.  How about you?

35+ Ideas to Repurpose Vintage Linens & Sheets

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Shirley
Shirley

Years ago, I acquired embroidered pieces at farm auctions, thinking they were a record of the women of a bygone era. One piece was a tiny bit of delicately embroidered linen. It may have gone under a bedside lamp or some such. My daughter-in-law is an archival librarian in a public library, so I used the little embroidered piece to make her a face mask to wear to work. She loves it!

Deborah Cook
Deborah Cook

I moved to a new state with no fabric and little money and wanted to sew. I cut the backs off good looking chairs and couches out for pickup, brought them home and put them in the wash. Made pillows and bags etc with the nice upholstery fabric.

Mayra Cecilia
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Reply to  Deborah Cook

Fantastic! I used to do this when I has my first apartment and had no money left for decorating after paying all the bills.

Karen
Karen

I love your patterns.. They are so motivating!!! They make me want to spend all day sewing!!!! Thanks!!!

Mayra Cecilia
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Reply to  Karen

This is exactly what the intention is, I am so happy that your are motivated and happy.

Deborah
Deborah

It would be great if everyone who reads this blog would reply with a suggestion or a link to some charity or non-profit or make an ?, so we can all benefit from places we can sew items and donate them or make them to sell or whatever you can use used fabric for. Thanks for sharing in advance.

Barbara L Keller
Barbara L Keller

Hi Myra,
I made yellow bedroom curtains and a bedskirt from plain yellow sheets and one plain sheet and one yellow print sheet for a duvet cover. These finished off my yellow room.

Mayra Cecilia
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Love yellow it is such a happy color. A picture would be a treat, Barbara.

E Hartman
E Hartman

My dear mom Kay Hill Weaver died and left me with more beautiful things than I know what to do with. I came across your Pinterest site and wanted to seek your advice. I want to try to sell my Mom’s antique linens and a warehouse full of fabric. I secured the Domain name Vintage and Homemade and created a website but have not uploaded photos. (I still work full time) In additional to vintage linens, clothes, quilts, coverlets, buggy blankets from the mid 1800’s, dishes, fabric including home spun, kitchen items, I have furniture. I don’t want to do an estate sale due to how little you get from the process. Any brillant ideas at selling things to other dealers? Or will I get even less for it. Thank you!

Mayra Cecilia
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Reply to  E Hartman

There are a couple of things you can do. Contact a costume museum, a historical society that will use them for their own expositions and not resell items. I would also explore the historical costume designers that have work for movies. Or go with the original plan and sell them on your own. If you want more money you need to take out the middleman (broker or reseller). It really is like selling a vintage car.

Sam
Sam
Reply to  E Hartman

I’ve tried searching for your website without success. Would you please provide the address?
Thanks

Linda G
Linda G

Sheets make great, durable yardage for a lot of projects. When I first moved into my house and needed curtains for a lot of non-standard (tall and narrow) size windows quickly, I used twin flat sheets with pretty prints to quickly sew up rod-pocket curtains. I used the existing hems as the curtain hems, cut the sheet to the necessary length plus what I needed to create the rod pocket, sewed the straight seams for the pockets, and they were ready to hang. They were opaque enough for privacy, but still allowed a little sunlight to filter through. They have lasted over 30 years and are machine washable.

Kimberly
Kimberly

One of my loves shabby chic everything and anything, so have purchased cut pieces of vintage sheets — everything from random-sized portions of yardage, to pieces of sheets cut into 5 inch squares. I just spent the better part of this long weekend sewing the 5 inch squares into small yo-yos to make panels for a small bolster pillow and a square pillow for the bed. As an aside, who knew making yo-yos would be *so incredibly* time consuming?! I’ve never done so much hand-sewing in my life, but it’s been fun and oddly addicting. Anyhow, the sheeting material on these vintage sheets is so nicely woven, I’m sure they are all a blend of cotton/poly, and/or percale, and they are just lovely and crisp.

Will look at the other wonderful projects you posted and perhaps make something out of my larger yardage portions. Thanks for posting this round-up of projects, you always have the best things on this site!

Sonya Porter
Sonya Porter

You can use vintage hankies, pillowcases, doilies, etc. to make doll dresses for Barbie and 18 inch dolls. There is even a book or two on this: Hankie Couture, and Doll Couture. There are some good ideas in these books on combining patterns & designs in the outfits. I assume you could use those principles for larger garments, too.

Carmen
Carmen

I use vintage sheets to make night gowns. They are always soft, cool, and comfy. And luckily I’ve always been able to get the sheets for free.

Jessi
Jessi

Hi, cool idea.Love to use Sheets for projects.I tried to use the link for the glasses case, but it no longer works. can you please Check?

Thx&Take Care,
Jessi

Mayra Cecilia
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Reply to  Jessi

Hi, Jessi, the site is down, I will replace the link with one of my own, thanks for letting me know.

Yvette Lawrence
Yvette Lawrence

Thanks you for sharing . I especially like the zippered pouch, eye mask, and luggage tag ideas, as they make great stocking stuffers for the upcoming holiday season.

Mayra Cecilia
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Member

Yes, they do! I am already making some.

Mizan
Mizan

Wow what great ideas you have? I purchased a few plastic tote bins of vintage sheets, table cloth, napkins, pillow cases, quilting fabrics, laces of bygone eras for a dollar to nothing per container at estatesale. I wanted to start quilting but now I can do other things too, thank you for sharing.

Mayra Cecilia
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Reply to  Mizan

You are most welcome Mizan:)

Jeanie
Jeanie

Oh, no! I’m using a sheet, that looks like the skirt, as a drop cloth. Now I feel like a heathen.

Mayra Cecilia
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Reply to  Jeanie

LOL!

Deborah Anne Atulomah
Deborah Anne Atulomah

These all look interesting.- here’s another suggestion to add- If you have any pretty pillowcases in good condition, how about making up a little dress or two for little girls in Africa http://www.littledressesforafrica.org/blog/why-pillowcases/

gill atkins
gill atkins

Please remove my name from your mailing list

Emma K Faison
Emma K Faison

Thank you for the information. Great ideas, as I have some sheets and linens that are not being used. What a great way to recycle them.

Mayra Cecilia
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Reply to  Emma K Faison

Indeed it is, let me know what you end up making.