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DIY Fashion Hacks: Upcycling Old Clothes with Rubber Thread

Instead of discarding worn-out or outdated garments, many have opted to breathe new life into them with a bit of imagination and elastic threads. Flexible, durable, versatile — rubber threads have proven themselves to be great materials for easy alterations of your wardrobe. Here are some ways you can upcycle your old clothes using rubber thread.

Four scrunchies made of satin in light pink, white, cream, and blue
John Carlo Tubelleza / Unsplash

Scrunchies or Headbands

One of the simplest ways to upcycle old clothing using rubber threads is by creating hair accessories such as scrunchies or headbands. All you need are some fabric scraps, a sewing kit or machine, scissors, and rubber threads. You might also need some safety pins or a tube turner depending on which accessory you are trying to make.

To make scrunchies, you will need to measure 10 to 20 cm of scrap fabric in length and around 8 to 10 cm in length. Then, fold the fabric in half lengthwise, making sure to fold on the sharper printed side before stitching along the long edge and leaving a small gap in the seam. You must then turn the fabric right side out and sew the short edges together to form a loop. Next, insert the elastic thread through the seam gap using a safety pin. Finally, you can stitch the seam gap closed to finalize your scrunchie.

Meanwhile, a headband is made by folding a 10 to 20-cm long and 8-cm-wide fabric in half, meeting the right sides together, then stitching them together while leaving a small gap near one end. Similar to scrunchies, you will need to turn the fabric halfway to the right side, to match the short edges. Then, match the seams and short edges before stitching them together. Turn the fabric right side out through the small gap then close the gap with a blind stitch, and you’re done.

A woman wearing a white crop top with beige pants / Freepik

Transforming T-Shirts to Crop Tops

Compared to the previous project, upcycling your old T-shirts into a crop top is one of the simpler projects. Crop tops can easily be made without any complicated materials and tools. You will need some elastic thread, a sewing machine, and an old T-shirt.

First, simply measure your T-shirt to the desired crop top length using a measuring tape or by holding it against your body. Then, mark the cutoff line using chalk, leaving an extra centimeter or two for the hem. Cut the T-shirt along your mark, then fold it over to create the hem. Set the hem in place by sewing it using an elastic thread to create a stretchy, fitted finish.

A closeup shot of a beige colored face mask made of fabric / Freepik

Washable Face Masks

Make use of scrap fabric or your old clothes to make reusable, washable face masks. Look for a downloadable face mask pattern, then trace said pattern on your fabric to create a custom mask. Remember that fabric masks have two layers or more layers of fabric so you might need to create several patterns for this project. Additionally, you will need two strips of elastic thread, adjustable fabric ties, and a sewing kit or machine to complete this project.

After cutting out your pattern, you will need to fold the two layers of fabric together and sew the elastic ear loops onto each end. Sew them with a 4 cm seam allowance to the mask exterior. Then, you can start sewing the mask together from the inside, then turning it right side out to create a flawless finish. Feel free to create a top stitch from the edge for a nice professional look.

So, those are the three DIY projects you can do to prolong the life of your favorite old garments. Be sure to use good quality rubber threads to ensure a strong, durable final product. For more information about rubber threads, check out Omnimax by PT Cilatexindo Graha Alam (


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