7 Things to Do With Old Sheets

July 30, 2021 | Casper Editorial Team

Maybe your sheets have a few hard-to-wash stains from Sunday morning breakfasts in bed, or perhaps they are simply showing normal signs of wear and tear from repeated washes and use. But just because your trusty bed sheets have reached retirement doesn’t mean they should be tossed away for good. 

From gardening to fort-building, old sheet sets can be repurposed in a number of functional ways. If you feel like your bed linens have reached that point and have started to wonder, “how often should you buy new sheets?”, it may be time. As you get ready to purchase new sheets, consider saving the old ones from the garbage bin and instead, recycle them for use around your home. 

Not sure what to do with old bed sheets? Need a few ideas to spark your creativity? We thought you’d never ask. Here’s 7 ideas for what to do with old sheets. 

As you reuse your old sheets, make room for the new. Whether you want a luxurious feel or crisp lightness as you crawl into bed, Casper’s selection of bed sheets will make your sleep routine feel brand new.

#1 Turn Them Into Reusable Bags

Ditch the plastic bags at the grocery store by giving an old bed sheet a new life. Your worn sheets may not be ideal for sleeping on anymore, but as long as the fabric isn’t too tattered the linen set can easily be transformed into reusable bags of varying sizes.

All you’ll need is a pair of scissors, some sewing pins, a sewing machine (an old-fashioned needle and thread will do just fine, too), a step-by-step guide, and you’ll be well on your way to a plastic-free swap. Plus, reusable bags made from old bedding, whether made from tencel vs cotton, make a great DIY gift for friends. And they are super simple to sew!

#2 DIY Cloth Napkins

How many paper napkins or paper towel rolls do you go through every week at home? Maybe your sheets can help you save some trees. 

According to Napa Recycling and Waste Services, paper napkins and paper towels are unable to be recycled because of food grease that contaminates the recycling process and fibers that are too small to be made into new paper.1

Consider opting for a zero-waste alternative by converting your old bedsheets into reusable cloth napkins or dish towels. Keep your scissors, pins, and sewing supplies out after you’ve made your upcycled cloth bags and follow an even easier set of steps to craft napkins that can be used again and again. 

#3 Drop Cloth for Painting

Are your sheet sets a bit too soiled or stained to be put on display at the supermarket or as cloth napkins? Learn how to fold sheets properly to maximize space and store them in a linen closet to be used the next time you’re painting a room in the house. 

A queen or king-sized flat sheet would be a perfect way to cover a large surface and to protect your wood floors from the occasional paint drop. Plus, since you’ve already gotten good use out of them for sleeping, you probably won’t mind if even a white sheet set gets stepped on or speckled with paint for the sake of home improvements.

#4 Plant Protection

You’re not the only one who can catch a bit of a cold in blustery, autumn months. Plants can be sensitive to temperature drops and cold fronts. Don’t let all your hard-sown seeds perish on a chilly night. Instead, use an old bed sheet to cover your plants and keep them insulated overnight. The warmth provided by the linen should be enough to prevent them from freezing in a sudden shift of weather. 

#5 DIY Dog Toys

Your furry friend may already have all the dog toys under the sun, but they might not have one that’s been handcrafted by you. If you’re planning to say good-bye to your tattered bedsheets, save them for a durable, braided dog toy that can be easily refreshed in the washer and dryer. 

Here’s how:

  1. Cut the flat sheet into strips
  2. Gather the strips together and tie a knot at the top of the bundle, making sure to leave space at the top of the knot for some tassels to hang loose.
  3. Arrange them into three sections of 7-10 strips each, and proceed by braiding the sections together.
  4. Finally, tie a knot at the bottom in the same way you did at the top, and gift it to your pup for an afternoon of tug-of-war fun. 

#6 Make Your Own Heating Pad

For muscle aches or sore stomachs, heating pads can be one of the best home remedies out there. Instead of buying one online or from a store, save yourself a few bucks and sew one together with supplies you already have, like old bedding.

Use an old sheet, some uncooked rice or corn for a filling, a few drops of your favorite essential oil, and get sewing! Heat it up in the microwave for a minute or two and use it the next time you’re in need of relief from tired, achy joints. 

#7 Build a Fort

One of the most fun uses for old sheets is to build a fort of course! Whether you’re looking for an easy way to entertain kids or adults (can you ever be too old for forts?), use old blankets, a duvet cover, or a set of sheets to craft the castle-like clubhouse of your dreams. 

Clip a couple of sheets together, drape them over furniture, put some popcorn in the microwave, and enjoy a movie night in your upcycled fort. 

Reuse, Recycle, Replace

Now that you’ve discovered a variety of uses for old sheets, it might be time to invest in a new bed linen set to cover your mattress. For the connoisseurs of all things cozy, shop the selection of sheets, pillowcases, and duvet covers at Casper. And remember, reuse and recycle before you replace what’s already occupying your linen closet. 


  1. Napa Recycling and Waste Services. Paper Napkins. https://naparecycling.com/guide/paper-napkins/