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Check out these 10 ideas for how to resuscitate those old familiar clothes and accessories, from easy cleaning and repair tips to ways give your former fave winter staples an all-new look.
Remove Salt Stains From Shoes and Boots
All that salt your shoes picked up on the roads and sidewalks last winter may have left your otherwise perfectly good shoes and boots a stained mess. Not to fear! Vinegar (oh, endlessly useful vinegar) to the rescue. Combine one part plain white vinegar to two parts water, and dab the solution onto your stains from the outside to the center. Wet a clean cloth and wipe down your shoe to remove the leftover vinegar, and then press a dry cloth into it to remove any excess moisture. Let them air dry and then buff or polish, according to a method detailed in Valet.
Remove Pills From Sweaters
Easily remove pills from last year's sweaters — without damaging the fabric one bit — by running a simple disposable razor over them gently. The key is to work slowly and take your time. This trick should work on a wide variety of fabrics, according to Lifehacker.
Mend Moth Holes
Use a pair of felting needles to fix (well, really to improve the appearance of) moth holes: Placing a block of foam under the sweater or other item to be fixed, use the needles to pull the frayed threads surrounding the hole closer to each other — so that you're sort of reweaving the damaged area. Good Reason has a tutorial with photos.
Remove Dirt From Suede
Bring those stained suede shoes or boots back to life with a basic pencil eraser! First rub the surface of the suede with a dry washcloth, and then use the eraser to rub the stain — it works by lifting out dried dirt under the surface, according to Yahoo Voices.
Fluff Up a Down Coat
When it comes to last year's tired-looking down coats and other supposed-to-be-fluffy items, you might find tennis balls to be your new best friends. Throw a couple new, clean ones into the dryer to puff up your flattened coat. Bonus: This trick also helps laundry dry faster, according to Lifehacker.
Revamp a Leather Jacket
This idea might sound shocking, but we think you'll love the results. If last year's leather coat seems out of style, try giving it an updated, lived-in look by (wait for it) tossing it in the washer and dryer! According to Glamour, the effect is a cool patina that you might otherwise pay hundreds for in stores.
Replace Coat Buttons for a New Look
Here's another cheap update if a new coat isn't in the budget this year: Replace the ordinary buttons on your old coat with some glammed-out alternatives — like these fun rhinestone numbers that are just $6.50 for a set of 5 — and you'll feel like you're in brand new gear, with D.I.Y. satisfaction to boot.
Deodorize Old Clothes
Did you unpack last year's cold-weather stuff only to find it smelling pretty musty? Cat litter will do the deodorizing trick! Just pour some in your shoes, or toss clothes into a plastic bag with unscented litter, and let it sit for a week, according to Lifehacker. Laugh all you want, but think about it: Cat litter is made to deodorize much worse-smelling things than your clothes, so why shouldn't it work for those too?
Make Smartphone-Friendly Gloves
Let's say you love your gloves from last year — and they're in good shape — but you (gasp) can't use your smartphone's touchscreen when you wear them. Don't ditch them for a pair of new fingerless gloves! Go the budget friendlier route (and keep your fingers warm against the elements) with a super easy retrofit. Just sew a few stitches of conductive thread (you can search for it online) into each glove fingertip you want to be able to use to operate your touchscreen (so, for instance, thumb and index finger). The thread will transfer the electricity from your finger right onto the screen, enabling you to use it while your hands are covered, according to CNET. Easiest D.I.Y. ever; make some more as holiday gifts!
Breathe new life into last year's scarves by adding a few embellishments. Get creative! Hand stitch, use a machine or even hot glue to add items like vintage trim or crochet flowers. Ruffles and Stuff has tons of ideas. Anything goes!