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What to do with old duvets

So it’s time to retire your old duvet, but you don’t want to just throw it in the trash bin, right? After all, it has some great memories attached to it, and it looks like it’s still got some life left as well. So what are your options?

Getting Crafty

If you have some basic sewing skills and a pretty old duvet, there are lots of ways you can recycle/upcycle into new and imaginative things. Even a cheap duvet insert can have a beautifully patterned fabric, so don’t let them go to waste!

Throw Pillows-Cut your old duvet down and make pillows out of it; just use a decorative fabric to cover them with, or you can get fancy with buttons, ribbon, or even a hand-crocheted cover.
-Make cushions for your patio furniture. They will be serviceable and comfy as long as you keep them in out of the rain, but even if they get ruined after a season or two, at least you haven’t spent a mint on expensive patio-specific cushions.
-Some folks find that the heavy warmth of a duvet makes for ideal winter curtains. If you have a motor home, camper van, or other RV, these re-purposed curtains are perfect!
-If you’re a particularly good seamstress, you could use it to make a warm, puffy gardening coat.

Feeling Charitable?

There are lots of charities that would love to receive your old duvet, and it’s great for a tax deduction! Don’t just think Goodwill, though. Here are some other options to get you pondering the possibilities:

-Animal shelters love these for covering the bottoms of cages. If you’d like to go the extra mile, you can even call ahead to find out the optimal size, and cut them down and hem the edges before dropping them off.
-Old duvets make excellent horse blankets. If there’s a horse rescue nearby, these would make an ideal donation. Or, if you just happen to know someone who owns or boards horses (or have some yourself!).
-Call any local homeless shelters, and see if they have a need for your old duvet.
-Try women and children’s shelters as well. There are many abused women and single moms who could put a slightly worn duvet to very good use.
-Sell your duvet for charity. The American Red Cross and similar organizations work with eBay’s Giving Works program, and allow you to donate anywhere from 10 to 100 percent of the sale price of an item.
-Join Freecycle and “donate” face-to-face. It’s a great feeling, and you may soon find yourself de-cluttering your house just to have the fun of giving your stuff away.
-Don’t forget your local church. Churches are a great way to find new homes for items that still have life in them. Many of them have a constant need for basics like duvets and other blankets.

Simple but Functional

If you can baste a seam – or even if you can’t! – here are a few more great ideas to make use of your old duvet(s).

-If you don’t already have a blanket in your car, throw it in there; you never know when it might come in handy! Especially if you live in a colder climate, where you could get wind up stuck in a snowdrift.
-Sew your old duvet together at the foot and halfway up the side to make a sleeping bag or snuggly couch warmer out of it (think “Snuggie alternative”).
-Fold into quarters and stitch the edges together to make a large dog bed. If it’s a little too threadbare to hold up to your four-footed friend, you could also cover it with a decorative upholstery fabric.
-Make some draft stoppers – you know, the little sausage-shaped fabric rolls your mom used put at the base of drafty doors? They still work, and can save you noticeably on your energy bills!
-Stow them in your garage for the next freeze warning. Then use twine to tie it down over one of your larger frost-susceptible plants.
-Have a son or daughter who plays in a band? Use your old duvets as sound insulation for the room in which they practice!
-If your attic has inadequate insulation, consider rolling them up to stuff between the rafters.

So, whether you’re ready to upgrade to a silk duvet insert, or your old one is just coming apart at the seams, try one of these ideas for making sure your old duvet doesn’t go to waste!