So, yesterday, I spent about an hour shredding bed sheets. It was actually rather therapeutic, but that’s not why I was doing it. See, we keep rats. Two sweet, adorable little girls who inadvertently give me huge welts whenever their little claws cut me.
Really, they’re more my hubby’s rats, but I end up changing the cage, feeding them and making sure they have enough water.
Anyway, since I’m always trying to find a way to reduce how much stuff we end up tossing, I thought I’d try a reusable option for their bedding. I hunted around the great internets, and hit upon the idea of using fabric. Turns out, we still had a couple of stained old bed sheets that were just sitting in our linen closet. I took ’em out, laundered them, got shredding and cleaned the girls’ cage. They were puzzled at first, but they seem rather content, especially after shredding the newspaper I’d put down under the strips of fabric.
Only drawback is that I’ll need to change their cage more often. Ah well. We’ll see how it goes.
Naturally, I got thinking. What other ways can you use those old bedsheets?
Blanket (Sheet) Forts
There’s something about making blanket or cushion forts that most kids, and many adults, love. I imagine it’s some instinctual thing. Even if the sense of security is false, being curled up amongst cushions and within the protection of a shield from the rest of the world does make you feel safe. You can do the same with sheets, and maybe even make it a part of your kid’s room. Helping them set up a little corner in which to color or read could be a very fun task.
Use Them For Fabric
Provided the stains or holes aren’t big enough to cause problems, there’s no reason you can’t use old sheets as fodder for new projects. A lot of prints are very pretty or outright adorable, and could work well for accessories, handmade toys or even articles of clothing.
Stuffed Toy Hammock
You know those nets you find in stores which are supposed to be hung in the corner of a room to provide out of the way storage for stuffed toys or extra pillows? There’s no reason why you can’t rig something similar out of an old flat sheet. If the color matches the rest of the decor and it’s done right, there’s no reason it couldn’t add a bit of unique style to the room.
This is an especially nice idea if you’re putting a quilt together to commemorate a period of time. Incorporating pieces of patterned bed sheet into patches for a quilt introduces a feeling of sleepy contentment to the blanket, while also prompting nostalgia over an old childhood passion or memory.
This is a good one for spring and fall, when nights get cold, but the days are still relatively warm. Experienced gardeners already know this, but if you’re a beginner, keep an eye on your local frost warnings, and if your area falls under alert, head outside before it gets too cold and drape a sheet over your cold sensitive plants. This keeps enough heat around the greenery to prevent them from being damaged by the frost. I’ve done that several times over the years, and it’s worked like a charm.
There’s quite a lot that you can do with the old bedding, so you don’t need to throw or give it away.