What do you do with your sleeping bag when it’s too worn out to use? There are many viable options to the creative person. Here are just a few.
- Make a quilt using whatever filling is inside the old sleeping bag. If the inside or outside of the old sleeping bag is in good enough condition, you could use it for the back side of your new quilt.
- Make a scarf, ear warmers, hat or gloves. Who says these need to be made out of yarn? For these I would probably use new material for the outside and fill it with the old sleeping bag’s filling. Nice and warm!
- Make down slippers or booties using whatever filling is inside the old sleeping bag.
- Make a dog bed. There are two ways to do this that would be easy. First, decide what shape you want the dog bed to be. Using the old sleeping bag, fold it into the shape you want (a square or rectangle would be easiest) and then use a strong quilting thread to quilt or tie the bed together. After that, cut wide strips for each side of the dog bed, fold over each edge and sew down. This will create one nice edge. The second way is basically the same as above, but cover the outside with new material before quilting or tying the bed together (no need for the wide strips on this one).
- Made seat cushions. A used sleeping bag probably won’t make a good couch cushion, but for a wooden chair or bench it would do great.
- Make a rag rug. Cut the sleeping bag into strips and make your rug. I’ve never done this myself, but there are plenty of sites online that can tell you exactly how. My mother in law has made plenty of them and says they’re quite easy for anyone to do.
- Make a decorative pillow. Again with this option, I would probably use new material or maybe a nice piece of clothing that’s no longer needed for the outside. If it’s the right material though, the interior or exterior of the old sleeping bag could be used and embellished. Using old buttons or ribbons, sparkles, stamping or anything else to dress it up.
- Make toddler pants or shirts using the filling of the old sleeping bag. Why do we only see sweatshirts or sweats for keeping you warm inside & outside? I’m not talking about snow pants or snow shirts here. Just enough filling to keep the chill off.
- Make doll clothes or Barbie doll clothes, quilts, rugs etc. I just came up with this one while writing this article. The filling as well as the materials could be used for this purpose.
- Make wall art. In recent times I’ve seen the DIY television network using wall paper samples for wall art. Well if it’s the right material and/or if you embellish it or dye it, why not use your old sleeping bag this way? It can turn out looking fantastic!
- Make a sleep mask. Use the down from the old sleeping bag to fill whatever material you choose…how soft and pleasant.
- Donate your used sleeping bag. There are several different places to donate them to. How about the animal shelter, homeless shelter or any youth program that does outdoor things. Also http://www.Passagesnw.org -Passages Northwest is the website of an organization to help girls and women discover their leadership skills through exploring the outdoors.
- Ask the sleeping bag manufacturer if they accept their old sleeping bags for research, recycle or reuse.
Angela Nyborg is the mother of three small children and has been an entrepreneur for over 5 years, working in the real estate business as well as other businesses. She enjoys camping, hiking, snowmobiling and tennis.
Photo. Hans Braxmeier