Never before have so many children been at home at the same time, says UNICEF, reporting that around 1.6 million children are currently unable to attend school in person. Across the globe, schools have had to adapt to the health crisis in record time, connecting with students from primary, secondary, and tertiary schools via apps such as Google Meets, Hangouts, and Zoom. Many parents have found that despite children’s busy remote schooling day, they still have loads of energy at the end of the day. If your kids love art and fashion, why not keep their creative juices flowing? Here are a few upcycling ideas that will help them build a new wardrobe they can show off when home confinement is a thing of the past.
To get kids excited about upcycling, check out what their favorite influencers and musicians are wearing. Selena Gomez, Harry Styles, and Ariana Grande are three top artists adored by kids as much for their fashion looks as for their music. Typical festival outfits and accessories sported by top YouTube stars and celebrities can be found at Coachella or Glastonbury, so just check out your kids’ favorite Instagram stars’ pages for 'wow' pieces and styles. Festival gear differs from casual fashion in that it is more avant-garde and incorporates items like fun hats, pocket belts, and loud designer tops.
Assemble an array of materials kids might wish to glue onto hats, shoes, and clothing. Gather old beads, crystals, buttons, sparkles, sequins, and other fun, blingy items you think your kids might like. If you want to create serious fashion that will last beyond the day of creation, invest in tools such as a glue gun and glue stick; these should be intended for use on fabric. Make sure that you use the gun yourself and keep children far from any item that might be hot or dangerous. Older children who are already whizzes at arts and crafts can try out a few tools, which should always be used in the presence of an adult. If you don’t have a gun, you can upcycle by simply sewing items like buttons, beads, and fabric cut-outs to add texture and color to existing items.
Chop and Change
Encourage children to use clothing items in unexpected ways. For instance, they might wish to turn one of your old t-shirts into a cute dress by wearing it with a homemade belt. A stretchy shirt can be cut and sewn into a miniskirt, and a large piece of fabric can make a perfect wrap-around dress. A man’s shirt can also make a cool dress. Don’t be shy about cutting sleeves off, creating asymmetrical necklines, or shortening length.
Color is Life
Younger children whose motor skills are developing can avoid difficult sewing and gluing projects altogether by focusing on color. Invest in a few fabric-friendly paints and brushes or embark on a tie-dying session with kids. Tie-dyed looks are actually huge this season, and teen icons such as Jenna Marbles are hosting tutorials on how to make funky boho chic items like water-dripped crocs.
Children are indoors more than ever, but they don’t have to spend most of their time glued to the television set. If they are into creative projects, show them how they can create beautiful items that are also environmentally friendly, via upcycling. From gluing to sewing, cutting to dyeing, there are so many projects that can make the time fly by and inspire kids to express themselves through fashion.