5 Easy No-Sew Thrift Flip Ideas That Are Quick & Simple to Do

by Alexa
10 Materials
2 Hours

I have some items that I’ve accumulated over the past month from thrifted. Now, I want to revamp them and do some awesome thrift flips! Upcycling clothes does not necessarily mean you need to go to a thrift store; you can transform your own clothing items that you don’t wear as much as well.

Did I mention you don’t need a sewing machine for these? Let’s get crafty!

Tools and materials:

  • Paper
  • 4 or 5 pairs of jeans
  • Marker
  • Embroidery thread
  • Needle
  • Liquid stitch glue
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Thread
  • Elastic
Embroidery inspiration

1. Embroidery

I have these black jeans that I never wear, so I decided to give them a good ol’ thrift flip by embroidering the pockets. I have a photo of my inspiration, as pictured above. 

Drawing the design with a white marker

Draw the design you want using a white marker. I don’t know how to draw flames, but I still went for it. 

Embroidering flames with red thread

Then, embroider the pockets with the color you want. I used the full 6 strands on my embroidery thread. The distances between the stitches varied. I tried not to make the distance too far, but on some occasions, that did not happen. So, they’re not perfect, and that’s okay!

The curves and tip of the flames are definitely the hardest and took some time. Looking back, this was a pattern I shouldn’t have chosen, but I just wanted to be on fire! 

How to embroider jeans

I think this thrift flip came out pretty awesome! Black jeans can be so bland, so this definitely spruces them up. 

Jeans ready for a thrift flip

2. Patchwork jeans

I haven't worn these jeans in a long time either, and I wanted to do a fun transformation on them. 

Thrifted jeans

For this part, I got a bunch of different colored jeans from the thrift store. I always appreciate thrift flips that are supposed to look messy because most of the time, I don’t do a perfect job either! So this is a really good thrift flip idea. 

Tip: Use similar denim materials; my jeans were thin denim, so I made sure to buy thinner denim. 

Cutting out patchwork squares

Cut a bunch of different-sized squares from your jeans. I started with tiny squares from the bottom. 

Gluing the squares with liquid stitch glue

Once you have your squares cut, simply glue them to your jeans using liquid stitch glue.

How to create patchwork jeans easily

You can also rip the squares a little for a distressed look. There’s no pattern to follow here, go with the flow!

DIY patchwork jeans

They turned out way better than I thought! They look really cool, don’t you think? I did have to go over some patches with glue, but other than that, this was a great project on flipping thrift store items. 

Silk nightdress ready for a thrift flip

3. Dress to cami

I got this silky dress thrift store and I’m not fond of the slit at the side. To be fair, I think this is meant to be a sexy night dress. It looks better tucked in as a camisole top, so I’ll be cutting the excess fabric.

Cutting the bottom off the dress

Wear the dress and pin where you’d like it cropped. Then, cut the excess. 

Pinning the layers to straighten the bottom

Pin both layers of fabric and straighten out the bottom. 

DIY camisole top

That’s it! You're done! Obviously, if you want it more professional looking, sew yourself a hem or use a liquid stitch. But, if you’re like me, you can just go with a non-straight line, and tuck in the untidy bottom.

Red slip dress with a broken strap

4. Quick repairs

I have this amazing thrifted red slip dress, but it’s fraying by the straps. Originally, I thought of sewing it (and I still will), but I want to try to see if liquid stitch will help, too. 

Applying liquid stitch glue to the fraying strap

For this, simply dab a little liquid stitch in the area you need fixing and glue the fabric together.

Placing something heavy on the dress

Put something heavy on it afterward. 

Fixed strap on the dress

DIY quick fix on a thrifted dress

It turned out really great! No one would ever think anything! Honestly, this is one great upcycling clothes example that shows how you don’t need to purchase expensive clothing items. You can totally find something great at the thrift store and thrift flip it yourself. 

Thrifted dress with puffy sleeves

5. Dress to top

This is probably the item I’m most excited about! I thrifted it for $1 and saw something special in it. It’s this beautiful puffy sleeve dress that I’ll transform into a top.

I want to attach a new elastic to the sleeves and cut off the dress part, keeping the peplum ruffle detail. 

Cutting off the bottom

Turning a dress into a top

First, cut off the excess fabric. Because I wanted to keep the ruffles, seam ripping did not make sense in this situation.

The dress has a zipper in the center and carries on down to the dress part, so I ended up keeping the zipper, too. Again, my cutting skills are not great, but I will figure out what to do with the hanging zipper at a later stage. 

Seam ripping the elastic casing at the sleeves

Seam rip the tunnel by the sleeves and remove the old elastic. 

Inserting new elastic

Now, cut some new elastic (measure your shoulder to get the correct measurement) and feed it through the tunnel with the help of a safety pin. 

Cutting off the excess elastic

Cut the excess elastic where needed and handsew to secure the elastic inside. 

DIY dress to top

DIY puff-sleeve peplum top

Woohoo! What a marvelous thrift flip, don’t you think? This is the best thrift flip, in my opinion. Yes, it has its faults, but it turned out to be a winner for me. 

No-sew thrift flip ideas

No-sew thrift flip ideas

So, what do you think of these thrift flips? Like I said, If I can do it, you can too! Thank you for tuning in on my tutorial on how to upcycle clothing the easy way. I hope you enjoyed it and good luck. 

Suggested materials:
  • Paper
  • 4 or 5 pairs of jeans
  • Marker
See all materials

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