6 Free Upcycling Tutorials for Repairing Clothes with Creativity

From embroidery to stencil design, revamp your wardrobe and join the slow fashion movement

Clothes are an essential item we use on a daily basis, however, they also serve as a canvas for our creativity. Customizing pieces from our wardrobe is a wonderful form of self-expression that can also extend the life of an older garment and reduce waste.

From embroidery to stencil design, these six upcycling tutorials provide fun and creative ways to revamp your wardrobe and join the slow fashion movement.

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Embroidery Tutorial: How to Create an Appliqué

Appliqué is a great way to update your clothes, give them character, and fixing any rips or holes. This technique consists of embroidering a design, turning it into a patch, and then sewing it to your garment (or whatever surface you like!).

In this tutorial, textile designer Ana María Restrepo (anamaria_10), who teaches the Domestika course Fashion Design: Painting and Embroidering Garments, will guide you through her process for converting an embroidered design into a patch.

Fashion Design Tutorial:Tips to Customize Your Sneakers

Sneakers, not only do they get you places, they also offer up a unique canvas for creative experimentation. In this tutorial, Juan Pablo Bello, art director and founder of MYSNKRS Customs (@mysneakerscl), encourages you to revamp your shoes by customizing your laces, painting the body, and applying details.

He will also explain how to take care of your creations so that you can wear them for as long as possible.

Embroidery Tutorial: Simple Flowers in 5 Steps

Loly Ghirardi AKA Señorita Lylo (@srtalylo) is an embroidery expert and teaches three Domestika courses exploring this technique: Basic Embroidery Techniques: Stitches, Compositions, and Color Ranges; Advanced Embroidery Techniques: Stitches and Compositions with Volume; and Hair Embroidery Stitching Techniques.

In this tutorial, learn to transfer a floral design that Señorita Lylo provides to fabric and then get to work on creating your final embroidery piece.

Upcycling Tutorial: Clothes Printing

Transforming used clothes into new and original pieces ranks high on many DIY lists. There are many techniques you can choose from to give new life to a t-shirt, a pair of trousers, or any other worn-out piece of clothing. Few, however, are as fun as using a stencil and spray paint.

Create designs with which to decorate your clothes, transform them into templates, and add different colors and textures through simple exercises that will lead to extremely varied results with fashion designer Krizia Robustella (@kriziarobustella).

Upcycling Tutorial: How to Start Patching Your Clothes

Not only is fixing damaged clothes a great way to budget, but it is also good for the environment. Patches extend the life of your clothes and act as canvases on which you can paint, draw, and embroider.

In this tutorial, Gabriela Martinez–an expert in embroidery and textile art and the creator of Ofelia & Antelmo (@ofeliayantelmo)–will show you how to fix and customize your torn or stained clothes with one-of-a-kind patches.

Embroidery Tutorial: How to Care for Hand Embroidered Clothing

Kseniia Guseva, also known as @faimyxstitch, is a hand-embroidery artist from Saint Petersburg, Russia. According to Kseniia, “embroidery makes everything better.” She is particularly passionate about architecture–and has created over 100 city patterns; upcycling; and customizing different items, such as jeans, bags, T-shirts, and even trainers. Hand embroidery is a meticulous and time-consuming task.

It's important not to let your efforts go to waste by failing to care for them properly. In this tutorial, Kseniia shares a number of simple and essential tips on how to make sure your pieces last.

If you are interested in exploring more fashion design and upcycling tips and techniques, check out our courses here.

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Curious Minds Podcast: Why Is Mending Stepping Out of the Shadows?
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