10 Ways to Recycle an Old Bed Sheet

ways to recycle an old bed sheet in the laundry hamper

Common household items are amazing. The number of things you can do to repurpose them boggles the mind. But, you have to admit, some common household items are more useful than others. Duct tape, glass cleaner, a simple broom handle. These things can be used in dozens of ways. Another one of the more useful items in your entire home is a common flat bed sheet.

And as we all know, the more ways you can use an item, the more fun you can have with it. Bed sheets are incredibly versatile, but most people would only ever think to put them on a bed or fold them onto a shelf. While old sheets are most often used for non-bed purposes, many of the things you can do will still leave your sheets in top condition for a cozy night's sleep when you're done. Join us today in getting creative with your bed sheets. Stretch your mind, and enjoy a few more ways to recycle an old bed sheet than you ever imagined.

1. Curtains

Sometimes, you really need a curtain and one is not available. Old blankets are often a fallback for makeshift curtains but you don't always have the right blankets for the job. But we almost always have a spare set of sheets or two. A sheet, folded double, can keep out the morning sun just enough to let you sleep in a few more hours. Or hold back the cold of winter so that windows don't become a source of cold drafts, even when closed.

Sheets used for curtains should be washed thoroughly before reused as bedding, but otherwise should be perfectly fine. You can fold them over a curtain rod or if you don't have a rod, very small nails won't do them much harm.

2. Blanket Fort Walls

Of course, sometimes a project arises that requires every scrap of bedding in your home. Blanket forts are an ideal project when your child is home sick. And sleepovers of any age can evolve into the blanket-fort stage where stacking pillows and watching movies becomes an art form.

Bed sheets are the perfect way to turn tables and the space between chair backs into more rooms and corridors of your living room fort. Sheets make lightweight walls that are also easy to move through as doorways. In other words, the perfect addition to a blanket castle.

3. Emergency Toga

Nearly every adult in Western culture is asked to attend a toga party at one point or another. Maybe it happened when you were 11, 17, or 25. Fortunately, no matter when the toga party occurs, your bed sheets will be up to the job. Most people go straight for the white bed sheet, but the most authentic-looking togas will be from sheets that feature bold stripes along the sheet borders.

4. Tablecloth

Having a tablecloth is a luxury that few households indulge in regularly. It's so much easier to have a varnished or sealed table that is easy to clean with a sponge between meals. However, sometimes you want dinner to be a little more special than usual. Whether you were called on to host this year's family gatherings or you put together a last-minute dinner party, you may not have a tablecloth ready for the occasion.

This is the perfect use for your backup bed sheets. Dark colored sheets, in particular, look elegant on a candle-lit table, especially if you fold it carefully to provide a smooth surface and even edges all the way around.

5. Pillow Sack

One of our favorite temporary uses for a bed sheet is as a convenient pillow transport. Have you ever wanted to move a bunch of pillows at once, either to build a blanket fort, decorate, or remake beds? Pillows may be lightweight, but they are also pretty awkward to carry more than a few at a time. In this situation, a little innovation goes a long way.

Lay a bed sheet out on the ground and pile pillows in the center. Then fold the edges up to make a sack and use the sheet-sack to drag your pillow pile from room to room.

6. Hammock

Here's something to do very carefully, and only with sheets you're mostly done with using on beds. If you have a set of sheets phasing into retirement, consider trying to make yourself an indoor hammock. We suggest you start with a sturdier larger flat sheet. Fold it in half "hamburger" style and twist the corners into handles. Then pick two anchor points rated for human weight and attach each pair of end-twists.

Then test carefully. If the hammock holds your weight, feel free to kick back on your new delightful swing bed or chair.

7. Sleeping Bag Liner

Sleeping bags are an important part of any camping gear kit. In fact, they're the only camping gear, along with the flashlight, that comes along for both indoor and outdoor sleepovers. However, not all sleeping bags are equal. Some have scratchy inner seams, a material that makes you sweat, or they wear out with age. And flaws in your sleeping bag make camping much less fun.

Here's a secret: line your sleeping bag with a flat bed sheet and make sure to slip between the folds when you go to sleep. Not only is your sleeping surface more smooth and comfortable, but a breathable fabric can also even solve the sweaty sleeping bag problem.

8. Shower Curtain

Most showers have a shower curtain. Realtors even hang shower curtains to make homes more inviting, then leave them for the new residents. But sometimes, you find yourself without. Maybe you moved to some place without a shower curtain and you desperately need to wash. Or perhaps your shower curtain is getting it's twice-yearly tumble in the washer when you need a shower.

Turns out, a bed sheet actually serves as a decent shower curtain alternative. While it's not plastic, the fabric does stop wide splashes and channels the water back down into the tub.

9. Escape Ladder

Another project for sheets you don't want to sleep on again is the classic escape gimmick. Let's say you're a teen in an 80s sitcom or stuck in a medieval tower without a ladder. If you twist your sheets together tight enough and add the occasional big knot to act as a foothold, you may be able to escape from an upper window.

However, you might be surprised just how far one or two sheets won't get you. Don't expect a very long sheet ladder unless you have several sheets dedicated to the project.

10. Packing to Move

Most people move several times over the years. At the very least, out of their family home, through a few apartments, and into a purchased home for your own little family. With each move, we usually try to save as much money as possible and to strategically pack things in the most efficient way.

A very clever way to back both your sheets and your breakables is to use your sheets as cushioning. If your breakables are clean, your sheets are no worse for wear on the other side and you save on packing material. Clothes and towels can be put to the same use.

Here at Nest Bedding, we believe that your bedding can be comfortable and fun both on and off the bed. Contact us today for more fun ways to recycle an old bed sheet!

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