21 Creative Ways to Use Thrifted Scarves

by Bonnie in , , Comment — Updated October 15, 2019

Do you have a closet full of vintage scarves? They’re a common thrift shop item, so if you’re like me, you’re constantly bringing home new ones! In this post, I’ve gathered together 21 creative ways to use your scarves.  Spice up your bedroom decor, save paper when wrapping a gift, or add a splash of color to a bland outfit with these fun, out-of-the-box ideas. 

1. Hair Accessory

21 Creative Ways to Use Thrifted Scarves 43
Source: sazan.me

Silk scarves make great hair accessories. You can tie one around a ponytail, wrap around your top bun, or even cover up a long braid.  The fabric is nice and soft against your locks, so it won’t crimp strands or cause damage. Because of that, scarves can be functional and a fashion statement, at the same time!

2. DIY Necklace

21 Creative Ways to Use Thrifted Scarves 45
Source: starsforstreetlights.com


To make a DIY scarf necklace, cut a scarf into three long rectangles, and then braid the sections together. Alternatively, you could use fabric from three different scarves. Sew a chain with clasp to each end, or simply tie in the back. Add a vintage brooch for a little bit of an extra sparkle.

3. Watchband or Bracelet

21 Creative Ways to Use Thrifted Scarves 47
Source: onecrafdiygirl.com

Small silk scarves can be used as watch bands. If you don’t wear a watch, you could also use a scarf as an accessory by making it into a cute bracelet. If it’s a large scarf, trim it down to a manageable size and hem the edges. You could even loop charms or beads around it, if the pattern isn’t eye catching enough.

4. Bodacious Belt

21 Creative Ways to Use Thrifted Scarves 49
Source: southernnyorker.com

A drab outfit can be brought to life with a scarf, worn as a belt! Try pairing basic jeans, a neutral top, and a patterned scarf. Wearing a black dress? Maybe a brightly colored scarf slung low around your hips or cinched at the waist will liven up your look.

5. Splash of Color Around a Hat

21 Creative Ways to Use Thrifted Scarves 51
Source: silkphilosophy.com

Floppy hats with wide brims are just begging to be jazzed up with a scarf. I can’t think of a better way to show off a pretty designer scarf! Get that baby out of the closet and onto your sun hat. Show it off, even if it’s too hot to wear it around your neck.

6. Bows — on Flats or Purse

21 Creative Ways to Use Thrifted Scarves 53
Source: pinterest.com

Turing a scarf into a bow takes a little bit of time, but it’s simple to do. If you want to add bows to a simple pair of ballet flats, you’ll neet to cut your scarf down to about ten inches by ten inches. Next, fold the scarf so that it’s a long, flat tube. For into a bow, and stitch the knot into place. You can use fabric glue or superglue to fasten it to your flats. As an alternative, add a pretty bow to one of your favorite vintage purses.

7. Kerchief for your Pup

21 Creative Ways to Use Thrifted Scarves 55
Source: blog.spoonflower.com

Does your fur baby go everywhere with you? He deserves to rock some vintage flair, just like you! After all, you two are a pair. Repurpose a scarf into a kerchief for your guy in just a few simple steps. Make sure not to tie it too tight, though! 

8. Colorful Patches

21 Creative Ways to Use Thrifted Scarves 57
Source: mybluprint.com

If you have jeans that need to be patched, consider using the fabric from a scarf that you’re ready to give up. Patches can look really sweet when the fabric is in a contrasting color to the clothing item that has the hole. Instead of trying to make a patch that blends in, make one that stands out! Use a bright thread to stitch with, too. You could use material from your scarves to patch jeans, the worn elbows of cardigans, or even the neckline of your favorite jacket. Get creative!

9. Simple Strapless Tank

21 Creative Ways to Use Thrifted Scarves 59
Source: pinterest.com

Fold a scarf in half diagonally to create an easy-to-make strapless tank. These are perfect as bathing suit cover-ups.

10. Adorable Apron 

21 Creative Ways to Use Thrifted Scarves 61
Source: thediymommy.com

There are lots of patterns online for half aprons that can be made out of dishtowels. I think a great alternative to that idea is to make a pretty ruffled apron out of a few different scarves. Choose some prints that go well together, and layer the patterns for a funky, unique look.

11. Sew into a Shirt

21 Creative Ways to Use Thrifted Scarves 63
Source: diys.com

Are you a talented seamstress? You might be able to transform some of your favorite vintage scarves into pretty tops. In the photo above, the flowing fabric and boxy sleeves create a really stylish final product. What else is possible? The sky’s the limit!

12. Repurpose as a Skirt

21 Creative Ways to Use Thrifted Scarves 65
Source: mychicobsession.com

If you look at enough skirt patterns, you start to learn that the concept of sewing a skirt is pretty easy. Most skirts have a front and back panel, while some have four panels or could even be made out of one.  Large scarves can be turned into skirts with just a little bit of crafty know-how and creativity. Isn’t that great to know?

13. Make a Handbag

21 Creative Ways to Use Thrifted Scarves 67
Source: weheartit.com

Did you fall in love with a scarf at a consignment shop, but you’re not sure you’ll ever wear it? Sometimes we love scarves because of the bright and beautiful fabric. A great way to use that fabric is to think about other forms that it could take. One form to consider is a handbag! You could make a large floppy beach bag, or a dainty clutch. It’s up to you!

14. Use Instead of Wrapping Paper

21 Creative Ways to Use Thrifted Scarves 69
Source: thestar.com

I love this idea because it’s creative and eco friendly. Instead of wrapping gifts with paper that will be immediately tossed in the trash, wrap with a scarf. You’ll help the environment and stand out from the crowd at the same time.

15. DIY Wall Art

21 Creative Ways to Use Thrifted Scarves 71
Source: hgtv.com

Square scarves with artistic prints shouldn’t be folded up and shoved into the back of your closet. What a waste! Unfold that scarf and put it into a glamorous frame. This is a budget friendly way to decorate, because both scarves and frames can be found in abundance in second hand shops. If you love the idea of this, you could even take it to the next level and create a whole wall of scarves.

16. Boho Bed Canopy

21 Creative Ways to Use Thrifted Scarves 73
Source: flashbriteinc.com

Create a canopy over your bed by stitching several scarves together. You’ll have a treat each time you wake up and get to gaze at it!

17. Put on Display

21 Creative Ways to Use Thrifted Scarves 75
Source: downandoutchic.blogspot.com

Drape scarves over a vintage ladder, and place it in the corner of your room. You’ll want to choose scarves with patterns and colors that go well together.

18. Window Dressing with Style

21 Creative Ways to Use Thrifted Scarves 77
Source: homedit.com

Isn’t this a fun way to create budget-friendly curtains? Sew multiple scarves together, or use one large scarf as a valance. Either way, you’ll be adding color and texture to an otherwise bare window, which is important if you’re trying to create a warm and inviting space.

19. Line Your Drawers

21 Creative Ways to Use Thrifted Scarves 79
Source: blueeyedyonder.com

You could use fabric glue to fasten a scarf to the bottom of your dresser drawers. This is an extra touch that can transform a piece of worn vintage furniture into a work of art.

20. Throw Pillow Love

21 Creative Ways to Use Thrifted Scarves 81
Source: tabulousdesign.com

How about making a throw pillow? I’ve done this many times, and usually I don’t even sew the edges. I wrap the scarf around the pillow and tie the corners into knots in the back. This makes it easy to reconsider the look, if and when I get bored with the colors. It also makes these pillows easy to clean! Just untie, and thow the scarf in the wash.

21. Quick and Easy Tablecloth

21 Creative Ways to Use Thrifted Scarves 83
Source: digsdigs.com

Planning a fall or winter dinner party? Try out a cozy fleece or wool scarf in warm fall tones as a table runner or table cloth. 

What do you think of these ideas? Did you find a few that you’re going to try? Leave a comment below! 



Leave a Comment