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7 Cool Ideas to Embellish Old Clothing to Make It New Again

Did you know that rhinestones are making a major comeback?

While these little gems are now being used in makeup looks, any fashion lover should be familiar with the bedazzled trend of the early 2000s.

However, rhinestones aren’t the only embellishments trending these days. There are plenty of ways to glam up old clothes with rhinestones, pearls, and more!

Keep reading below to learn seven ways you can embellish your own closet!

1. Adding Pockets

A pocket is the perfect beginner embellishment! Pockets can be easily cut from scrap fabric and sewn onto existing shirts and pants.

For a bigger contrast, create pockets from tartan or flashily designed fabric for solid colored t-shirts and pants.

2. Go Wild with Patches

Have a dull jean jacket you want to spice up? Decorate it with a collection of iron-on patches.

Iron-on patches are perfect for creating retro-looking clothing, and they’re available in just about every design you can imagine. They’re surprisingly easy to attach too—beginners can learn how to from patches4less.com.

3. Embellish a Formal Button-Up

If you want to give more character to a solid colored button-up or sweater, you can embellish it with a classy beaded design. 

While this embellishment takes some time and patience, the payoff is worth it! You’ll need an embroidery circle to successfully create an embellished sweater, along with a formal pattern to ensure the design is symmetrical and even.

4. Floral Embellishments

You may be hesitant to embellish your clothes—after all, it’s hard to reverse the process. What if you don’t like the finished product?

With fabric flowers, you don’t have to worry about that! Fabric flowers are easy to create, and you can use super glue to attach them to pin backs or safety pins. This makes them simple to add and remove from your favorite clothing pieces.

5. Adding a Belt

You don’t have to bleach your pants to embellish jeans or slacks. Embellish them easily by attaching belt loops to accommodate your favorite belt.

If you have a pair of pants with a stretchy waistband, you can still create a belted waist. Instead of belt loops, create a drawstring waist to give your favorite pants a snugger fit!

6. Glitz Up Your Collar

Have a drab white or black button-up? Turn it into a sophisticated piece by glamming up the collar.

The easiest way to do this is with adhesive gems made for fabric. If you’ve got the sewing skills, you can purchase sew-on gems or buttons to create a more retro effect.

For an ultra-classy look, opt for individual pearls. You can buy strings of pearls too, but they might wiggle around and come loose more easily. For the best results, map out straight lines on your collar then attach the loose pearls with fabric glue.

7. Adding Lacey Charm

You can easily add a feminine touch to old t-shirts with a bit of lace. Often, you can get fabric ends and scraps for sale at craft stores. These make for perfect embellishment pieces! 

You can easily create an embellished top by measuring a strip of lace to stretch across the upper bust of your shirt. Make sure to trim it to account for the angles where the body meets the sleeves before you attach it with fabric glue.

Get Designing

You don’t have to have a background in fashion design to create stylish clothing. With the ideas above, you can embellish all your favorite pieces and create completely new looks!

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