Do You Have Old Sheets? Here are a Dozen Ways to Use Them Again

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We’ve all had bedsheets that are a little too old, too torn or too frayed to stay in our regular rotation of bedding. Or perhaps you’ve always bought bedding for a queen-sized bed and recently upgraded to a king (lucky you!)

If you find yourself with old sheets and don’t know what to do with them, have no fear! The staff at BackHome Magazine has brainstormed a dozen uses for old bedding.

These tips, along with many others, can be found in the book, The Country Almanac of Housekeeping Techniques that Save You Money.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
  1. Old linens make nice picnic spreads or tablecloths to cover outdoor park tables when enjoying an open air meal.
  2. Sheets that aren’t torn or terribly worn can make decorative—and nicely coordinated—window curtains. Curtains are an easy sewing project because they only require simple hems and can be hung through sewn sleeves or from sewn-on tabs.
  3. Old sheets, and particularly fitted sheets, make ideal frost protection for fruit trees during those early spring frosts.
  4. Cut sheets into smaller sections and make utility bags out of them, as for gathering garden produce or holding clothespins for the clothesline. Simply-stitched seams and handles make this an easy job. Sew in a sleeve and make drawstring handles if you wish.
  5. Cut clean linens into broad strips and use them for baby wipes, dishcloths, dustcloths, stain-wiping cloths and so forth. Cut them into narrow strips and they can be stored in a first aid kit for use in holding bandages, making tourniquets, and tying. Large clean sections of folded cloth make essential compresses in emergency bleeding situations.
  6. Make doll clothing from the most colorful print sheets. Hems and piping from pillowcases are ready-made for doll-clothes detailing.
  7. For all you quilters, flat sheets in decent condition can be used as quilt backing. Patterned cloth can be cut into squares for the face side.
  8. Tear sheets into narrow strips and use a large crochet hook to make them into rugs. Thick braided rugs can also be made using heavier flannel sheets.
  9. Cut colorful sheets into squares with pinking shears and make preserve covers for the canned goodies you plan to give as gifts.
  10. Full sheets make great pet beds or covers for your car seats when traveling with your pooch.
  11. Use old linens and sheets to teach youngsters how to sew. This applies to hand-sewing as well as machine sewing, and mistakes waste nothing–everything is a learning experience.’
  12. In the winter, cover your car’s windshield with a flat sheet and tuck the ends into the seam between the doors and the windshield pillars. In the morning, you can peel off the fabric and be on your way with no scraping or defrosting.

Housekeeping Techniques that Save You Time and Money

Our forefathers and mothers knew how to keep their homes clean and homey—and live richer while spending less. Many of today’s products are expensive, bad for the environment, and don’t work any better than Grandma’s methods, which only cost pennies.

The editors at Back Home Magazine have collected hundreds of formulas for effective cleaning, gardening, and home maintenance—as well as ways our ancestors saved on heating bills, prevented costly repairs, and maintained a cozy, charming home with little besides ingenuity.

Drawing on the advice and techniques of contributors across the country, this indispensable guide shows you the best ways to take care of everything in your home from wood floors, to tile, to stainless steel appliances–and how to get the longest life out of every household item from pots and pans to pillowcases.

The Country Almanac of Housekeeping Techniques That Save You Money is chock-full of solutions, recipes, and how-to projects for living a simpler, cleaner life and keeping your home beautiful.

Richard Freudenberger is the publisher of BackHome Magazine ( and has authored several books on country skills and sustainable living. He lives in Lancaster County, PA.

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