The Art of the Fix Up: How to Spot a Good Upcycle

Thrifting and fixing up old items can be a fun hobby. And the art of the upcyle works best with certain items.

Noelle Olpin shares some of the best things to upcycle, and how to make a cute denim apron.

Find more upcycles from Noelle on YouTube, Noelle O Designs.



The Art of the Upcycle

Most of us have a sense of thrift, and with that we can create new, amazing things out of old items. Here are some tips for how to pick good upcycle items, and what to do with them.

Look for Quality

Look for materials that are high quality. Maybe look for a brand you buy all the time. Turn it around, turn it upside down, you’ll be able to tell if the bones of what you’re looking at are good.

Go online for inspiration

If you’ve found a good piece, but are stumped on ideas, Google it. If you’re working on mending a piece of clothing, search “visible mending” and see what others are doing.

Fixing a Zipper

This might sound tricky, but it’s actually pretty simple. When you pick out the original stitches, it’s like a road map to where the new stitches should go. It might help to look up a tutorial, but don’t be scared by this surprising easy task.

Upcycle Scrap Fabric into a Party Garland

Working on a fabric project? If you’re left with a lot of scraps, collect them and sew them together into a fun party garland! Simple materials, easy to put together, and fun to display.


Denim is timeless and never too worn out. There are countless projects you can do with denim, but there’s one we’ll focus on. Cute aprons! With the jean as a blank slate, you can add whatever embellishments you want. Use the patch on the back or the inside waistband to jazz it up!

Leather Tip

You can find leather in thrift stores for a lot cheaper than you can at the craft store!

Sewing Tool Tip

A sewing tool that will save your life. Seam rippers help you take things apart and get into tight places. Click here to grab one for yourself.


Add comment