Creative New Uses for Old Blankets

In January, local thrift stores tend fill up with used bed linens and blankets, as people take advantage of those fabulous department store white sales. While getting rid of that old stuff is a great way to free up shelf space and reduce clutter in the house, blankets and bed linens really do have an amazing amount of other uses. We discovered that old blankets are so useful in our house, that instead of donating them, we recycle them over and over until they are merely fluffs of wool.

If you are one of those families who have a couple of old blankets headed towards the direction of a thrift store, just keep on reading to learn some of the practical ways that old blankets can find new uses:

Pet blanket

For pets, those old blankets make wonderful bedding. A queen twin sized blanket can be cut into 4 equal size pieces to give your dog or cat a clean supply of fresh blankets for his kennel or basket. Smaller pocket pets will also enjoy having a scrap of cotton or wool blanket in their cage to tear apart for nesting material.

Cover the windshield during the winter

For those of us who park outside in the winter, a blanket placed over a car’s front windshield is a terrific way to prevent ice buildup. To make this easy windshield cover, simply cut the blanket the height of the windshield, and two feet longer than the width. To use, place the blanket over the windshield and hold in place by tucking the ends into the area behind the door’s hinges.

Keep in the trunk for emergencies

You never know when you might need a blanket or two for a road emergency. Those blankets will keep a person warm in case of an accident or car trouble, can be placed on the ground to keep clothes clean during a tire change, and can protect a person from the elements if they need to stay outside for extended period of time.

In snow country, blankets are invaluable in helping cars out of snow banks and mud patches. To use, simply place the blanket under the car’s rear tires and back up. The blanket will provide the necessary traction to get the car out of the ditch and back on the road.

Protect a car’s upholstery

For hauling pets, transporting plants, or carrying something that’s soiled, a blanket placed over the seat of the car or floor of the trunk will prevent a car’s upholstery or carpeting from getting dirty.

Bring along for picnics

For use on dirty picnic tables, frosty benches or damp grass, a blanket can come in quite handy for picnics. We also bring them along to outdoor concerts and outdoor theatrical performances.

Make a knotted blanket for a small child

If the blanket has a 3 x 4 section that is still in good, usable shape, why not make a lap blanket or blankie for your toddler? To make a knotted blanket, cut the blanket into a 3 x 4 foot square. Cut an even number of three inch fringes all around the perimeter. Starting at one corner, take the first two fringes and tie into a double knot. Grab the next two fringes, and tie those in a knot. Continue around the entire perimeter of the blanket until all the knots have been tied.

Make a no sew poncho

For an easy to make poncho to wear around the yard, a warm poncho can be made from a heavy wool blanket. To make a no sew poncho, cut a 6 x 6 foot section from one half of the blanket. Find the exact center and cut a 12 inch slit for the head opening.

The poncho can be finished by using 3 strands of embroidery floss to whip stitch the edges and neck opening.

Cut into soft dust rags or drying towels

Cotton blankets can be cut into 12 inch squares to be used as dust rags, or drying towels for the car.

Make a tent

For back yard fun for the children, tie a line between two trees and drape a blanket over the line to create a play tent.

Pickup truck liner

Our teenaged son uses an old wool blanket to line the bed of his pickup truck whenever he’s hauling something to the city dump, bark chip from the gardening center, or odds and ends to the thrift store. The blanket protects the bed from scratches, and makes cleanup a snap.

Weed barrier

When a blanket finally has more holes than fabric, it can be cut apart and used as a weed barrier in your vegetable garden. The fabric prevents weeds from coming up, while still allowing water to drain to the roots of your vegetables.

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