So I wear leggings a lot. Like, a lot. I’ve often thought “I hope my readers don’t notice how often I’m wearing leggings in all these outfit posts.” Whether it’s regular black leggings, LuLaRoe leggings, or even Lisa Frank leggings, my drawers are full of them all the time. If not, the laundry situation is seriously dire. One thing is sure though: leggings do not last forever. As any avid leggings wearer knows all too well, they get baggy, thin, ripped and unwearable. There are things you can do to delay this such as line drying, but eventually your relationship with your dear wardrobe stable will come to its inevitable end. Or will it?
Since I care so much about the environment, I like to avoid tossing things mindlessly in the trash. Since you’re reading this, I bet you do too.
If they’re truly beyond any hope, I cut them into squares and upcycle leggings into rags. The soft cotton is ideal for cleaning. If they’re kind of still good, you can patch them using old sweaters or sock cuffs, as in this tutorial:
This upcycling project is inspired by a pair of boutique leggings first worn in the New Year Style Guide. I realized these unique, comfy, cuffed leggings could be easily recreated as a DIY upcycled leggings project. Here is the original pair:
The cuff part can easily be made out of the sleeves of old sweaters, or old decorative crew or knee socks. You’ll need a coordinating pair of leggings to sew the cuff to.
For a sewing project, it was pretty easy! I don’t consider myself a confident sewer (I gave up trying to get the machine properly threaded for my Princess Anna costume and ended up hand stitching practically everything) but this was totally doable.
How to Upcycle Socks as Legging Cuffs
Step 1: Cut the arms off the sweater or the foot of the sock. Up to 12 inches is a good length for a cuff. You should now have two tubes of fabric which will become the cuffs of your upcycled leggings.
Step 2: Slide the tube onto the ankles of the leggings. Fold down the edges if needed and pin to secure.
Step 3: Hand or machine sew both the top and bottom edge, securing the upcycled cuff to the leggings. Wear them with flats or ankle boots to show off the cute cuff of your new upcycled leggings!
Full price, the boutique leggings were $36. Congratulations, you’ve just made a pair for the cost of a basic pair of leggings, plus created a new use for an unwanted garment that might have ended up in a landfill. Not to mention this is a totally exclusive item that no one else will have!
Here’s what they look like on.
For more reading, here are more of my favorite ways to reuse old items. And read my upcycled corkboard tutorial here.
Do you upcycle leggings? What do you do with them? I’d love to know in the comments!