Oct 23, 2012

Please Help Me Decide What to Make Out of These Stupid Shorts...and Win Free Stuff

created at: 10/23/2012

For some reason, I can't bear to throw out this silly pair of cotton shorts. I've had them for eighteen-ish years, more than half my life. I don't have any particularly good memories of them, and I mostly just wore them as pajamas or over my suit at swim meets. They're certainly not stylish, and no major life events occured when wearing them. They started to frey at least ten years ago, and now, they literally look like my mom tried to shread a pair of pants for a pirate Halloween costume. There's a whole cheek-exposing hole in the back, and a rip up each leg all the way to, um, crotch height. AND! Not only do I still have them, I even wear them sometimes.

And that is pretty dumb. So, since I can't manage to get rid of them, and I definitely shouldn't be wearing them, I've decide I should make something from the fabric, and keep that instead.

So - I'm looking for ideas. The fabric (suprise!) isn't super strong, but there are a few patches of about 6x6". I have and can use a sewing machine and notions, and am open to anything.

To say thanks for your thoughts, I'll select three ideas from the comments at random and give you e-copies of the Make It! series of how-to books that I co-authored and edited: Mid-Century Modern, Secondhand Chic, and Hardware Store Decor. 

Let 'er rip in the comments below. (Get it?)







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Liam on Dec 17, 2012:

Bowtie, tie, handkerchief/pocket square, rags, juggling balls, etc. 

Sharon on Nov 25, 2012:

I think they would make a great toy monster.

Ching on Oct 28, 2012:

Use the fabric to add accents to your basic clothings, like those tshirts with floral pockets. Apply lightweight interfacing to help the fabric keep on keepin on, then sew the accents to your clothes like a checkered pocket on your basic tee, or a checkered accent on your jeans pocket (as a faux binding on the pocket edge, or on the exposed part of the pocket) maybe?

Andrew on Oct 26, 2012:

Make a kite.

Montse on Oct 26, 2012:

If you have a child, make a nice soft ball.

Ted on Oct 26, 2012:

Sign them and frame it like an autographed jersery.

Niina on Oct 26, 2012:

And I mean just like that, you only need to fix them from the waist on the lamp frame.

Niina on Oct 26, 2012:

They'd make an interesting lamp shade.

dwayne on Oct 25, 2012:

Cut up the strips and braid them into a braclet! You could add studs or spike, beads based on style. Or you could dye a couple pieces and make a multi color braid! 

Montse on Oct 24, 2012:

I cut and sew the fabric into strips. Then I would braid them to make a bracelet. With the elastic waist, I would make a headband, and if I have some fabric left, I would make a flower to decorate it. So I would keep my favorite shorts and all the memories I have wearing them.

Anonymous on Oct 24, 2012:

A bow tie! All you would need is some iron on stabalizer and your sewing machine. Looks like you should be able to patch enough peices together

Cody F on Oct 23, 2012:

shred it further and make paper from them, use the paper in a scrapbook with some photos from your swim meets or other adventures you had wearing them.

LizardRebel on Oct 23, 2012:

You could use the scraps as an accent fabric on a child's bib or for softie. (I can imagine a barn owl or squirrel with those colors.) 

Make tiny comforter and pillow set for a doll house.

Make a coffee coaster (I won't tell if you use it for your highballs.)

D. Ben. on Oct 23, 2012:

I think it is vital to use the wasteband portion of these for something because the fabric on that part of the shorts is rather unigue. If you were wanting to really go out of the box you could make a women's garter out of the elastic wasteband or even a really cool mens sweat band. It would be a simple sewing job, and it would leave the rest of the material to make into a cool tie. Personally I think that this design would work really well as a bow tie. In keeping up with using everything you could make the frayed portion into some form of a key chain. 

Neal on Oct 23, 2012:

Patch together the good pieces in an interesting pattern, then replace the glass of a picture frame with a piece of cork wrapped in the fabric. Then you could add hooks or push pins to hang small items in the bedroom or at your desk.

Hector on Oct 23, 2012:

You could grab your journal, agenda or whatever book that you use daily or the book that you are reading right now and measure it.

Then see if with the fabric you can cut exactly the measure for a book cover if not what you can do is cut down several squares (pieces) of the fabric sew them together in order to form a cover that will fit the book you choose.

Finally paste it to the book and hide the borders inside it. It will be a different and unique book cover.

Do not throw the string instead grab it hold it around the book and measure it to see how much you need in order to create a fabric piece that will help you hold the book close by making pression. It would be an accessory that would match exactly to your book cover.


ADF on Oct 23, 2012:

You should make a dog or cat (or both) bandana scarf. 

Jamie on Oct 23, 2012:

Use the fabric for something that won't be handled much, since it's fragile. Maybe mod-podge it a container to make a pencil cup or use it as matting for a framed picture.

AF on Oct 23, 2012:

It would make a cute coffee cup cozy or rag flowers for a girlfriend, mom, etc. You could tear into peices & glue over a bowl or balloon or something, to make a fabric bowl, kinda like the yarn bowls.

Michael on Oct 23, 2012:

Start your own patchwork quilt made out of your old clothes