18 Genius Ways To Repurpose An Old Comforter Around The House

Old comforters, quilts, and duvets can be hard to part with, especially if they happen to display one of your favorite patterns or designs. While a well-worn soft bedspread can feel nice to curl up under, many exhibit signs of fraying and wear over time, with an average lifespan of only a few good years. Others may become stained or torn before their time. A great alternative to tossing them out is to reuse the comforters around the house in novel and creative ways.  The fabric and filling can be used for everything from sewing projects to easy as-is repurposing in other places besides the bedroom. 

Many comforters are made of durable materials and thick padding or down fill, which come in handy for projects where these elements can be beneficial. In addition, with so many old textiles like bedding winding up in landfills, you may be looking for a way to repurpose your old bedspread for eco-friendly reasons in addition to functional or aesthetic ones. If so, we've listed 18 unique ideas for you to consider. Choosing to reuse your comforter in one of these ways instead of throwing it away won't only benefit the planet but could also save you some money as well, since you may not have to purchase a new item.

1. Scrap garland

If you're looking for a fun eco-friendly way to decorate for your next party or get-together, try making a garland out of scraps of fabric. These garlands are very easy to fashion using strips of fabric from your comforter and some rope or twine. Just tear or cut the comforter into strips and tie them into a knot around the rope, pushing them together as you go. You can also use other scraps of upcycled fabric like sheets, pillowcases, curtains, or towels to add a mix of patterns and colors that fits your decorating scheme. 

2. DIY apron

While quilts and comforters can be made into any type of clothes, if you want your end product to be helpful around the home or garden, consider fashioning an apron. This could be used out in the garden to hold all your tools, used in the kitchen to assist when cooking, or used when cleaning around the home. The soft, plush fabric of the material will add extra comfort, and you can also stitch on a pocket in the front from extra fabric for holding items. Finish off the project with a simple tie, cut from the outside fabric of the comforter.

3. Organizing or travel pouch

Comforters and quilts make great pouches of any size, including large bags for organizing makeup and other essentials at home or small pouches for stowing coins or jewelry when traveling. Cut the fabric of the bedspread down and sew a simple pouch to whatever size you need. You can close it with a zipper or use a single button in the middle as a fastener. This is a great way to upcycle a favorite comforter with a great pattern or to utilize a comforter that may be less useful in its original role due to wear or stains in some parts. 

4. Pet bed

Once your comforter has outlived its usefulness for the humans of the house, your furry friends may be able to continue to enjoy it. Use an old comforter to make a small bed that will keep your home stylish even with pets. Designs vary from more structured beds with sides to simple cushions fashioned from some cotton batting and two rectangular pieces of the outer comforter fabric. This is a great way to hang onto a bed cover that may already be a favorite place to lay for your pet, as well as match the bed to your room's design.

5. Plant cover

Comforters and quilts make excellent protective covers for shrubs and other large plants when the weather gets too cold. Keep a stack of old comforters in your garage or garden shed to pull out quickly to cover and protect plants from frost. You can simply lay the fabrics over the bushes or other plants before the cold weather rolls in, then take them off once the warm weather comes back. However, ensure you don't use comforters or large bedding items in wet conditions like rain or snow, as the added water could make them extra heavy and may damage your plants.

6. Tote bags

Reusable tote bags are very useful in so many situations including hauling home groceries, traveling, or stylishly carrying everything you need around daily. If you have a favorite comforter that is on its way out, consider turning it into a tote by sewing two rectangles of the comforter together to form the body of the tote. Cut two smaller strips to create matching handles or use cute wooden handles for a vintage vibe. The padded sides are excellent for protecting more fragile items in the tote like a laptop or camera equipment.

7. Cleaning rags

Old rags are great for multi-purpose jobs in both the home and in the garage. Just separate the fabric of the comforter from the inside batting or filling and use as a washable rag for dirty jobs like cleaning, car repair, or gardening tasks. The fabric is usually absorbent and durable, so they can also be reused after washing if you want to hang onto them. Keep a selection of rags made from old textiles near your cleaning supplies and you will save extra money on rolls of paper towels and sponges. You can also repurpose old bedsheets and towels to use as rags, too.

8. Hot or cold pack covers

If you use hot or cold packs to treat various injuries and ailments, comforters make great covers for them. Because the fabric is durable and thick, it provides an excellent cushion between the heat or ice pack and the skin. Create them in fun shapes like moons or hearts. You can also make a larger cover by sewing two rectangles of comforter together to house a hot water bottle in a more aesthetic way. For an eco-friendly and inexpensive heating pad, pour several cups of rice into the fabric and microwave it to warm it up. 

9. Car blanket

A great as-is use for your old bedspread may be to just store a couple of them rolled up in your car trunk. They are a great car safety item to have if you encounter car trouble in the winter months and need to stay warm or to place on the ground when replacing a tire. They are also functional if you need to protect the car seats or trunk when hauling things like dirt, plants, or mulch or when traveling with pets. The comforter can also double as an excellent picnic blanket when needed without worrying about spills or grass stains. 

10. Rag rug

A comforter cut into strips can be fashioned into a beautiful and simple rag rug. These colorful rugs can be created from 1-inch strips of fabric and a mesh gridded anti-slip rug mat. Just tie and knot the strips through the holes tightly as you work across the rug. They make excellent entryway or mudroom mats, as well as great bath mats, where all that fabric can be extra absorbent. Use a single fabric all over or alternate different textiles to create a vividly-hued rug for little to no expense.

11. Fabric pin cushion

Use the extra fabric and filling form your old comforter to create a simple pin cushion. Cut out a circle and place the filling in the center, then fold it up, sewing the opening closed. Turn it over and glue it inside a teacup or small bowl for a whimsical spot for pins and needles. Or, cut two rectangles out of the fabric and sew together, stuffing the pocket with filler before closing it off. This also works similarly for creating sachets perfect for tucking in drawers, closets, or suitcases. Just add some potpourri, essential oil, or dried lavender to the filling. 

12. Pet toy

Scrap fabric from old comforters can be used to make excellent DIY pet toys. Cut the fabric into fun shapes like hearts, bones, or stars, then sew two pieces together and stuff with cotton batting. You can also add some catnip for your home's feline residents. The toys can be much more in-line with your decor than store-bought options. You can even add bells or squeakers from other toys that have met their untimely ends during play into this new toy for your pet's amusement. Or, use the fabric from the comforter to create a fun rope dog toy by braiding three pieces together.

13. Backyard movie screen

For a great outdoor screen for a backyard movie theater, string a white duvet or weighty comforter from a couple of trees or posts in your yard. The heft of the fabric will help it stay in place even on a windy evening. Duvet covers with grommets can also easily be fastened with hooks or nails to a fence or the home's exterior for a screen that can easily be folded up and put away until your next movie night. Just add a portable projector, some chairs or cushions, and popcorn for a night at the cinema under the stars. 

14. Blanket forts

Every childhood rainy day needs a blanket fort, and old comforters and bedspreads are perfect for creating a hide-out. Use a rope to hang the old comforters to create a tent and fill it with more blankets, pillows, twinkle lights, and fun activities. Since the comforters are heavy, they even work to create a fort or tent for backyard camping exploits that won't blow away. They are also a prettier alternative to boring tarps or canvas sheets. Place another old comforter or duvet on the ground as some extra cushioning for sleeping.

15. Throw pillows

Because they often have lots of down or cotton filling, old comforters can make excellent throw pillows once their intended use has come to an end. Remove the inner filling and then cut two squares out of the outer fabric. Sew them together, then restuff the pillow before closing the final seam. This approach is significantly less expensive than buying new throw pillows or inserts. It's particularly cost-effective if you are working with real down filling. You can easily use the filling from a single duvet cover to make multiple pillows for various rooms, or turn a large duvet cover into matching pillows and a smaller quilt. 

16. Placemats

The outer fabric of a comforter or quilt can be excellent scrap material for making placemats or runners for your dinner table, particularly if you have a bedspread pattern you don't quite want to part with. Cut out a rectangle of fabric, fold it over to create an even edge, then sew. For a thicker placement, utilize some of the inner filling from the comforter between two pieces of the outer material. Thickly-layered fabric is also great for creating fabric trivets to protect the surface of your table or counter from hot pans or dishes.

17. Bolster insert

You can roll up an old duvet cover into a cylinder to make a simple inexpensive bolster pillow to provide you with support when sitting in bed or on the sofa.  Simply fold it in half and start rolling it tightly before inserting your roll into a bolster-shaped pillow cover. This is an excellent alternative to expensive bolster pillow inserts and will definitely be cheaper than buying a ready-made bolster. If you need a longer bolster, simply adjust the overall folded length of your comforter before your start to roll it up. A rolled comforter inside a long case also works great for a large body pillow.

18. Moving blanket

Moving blankets can be an additional expense when packing up your belongings. If you plan to move soon or move quite often, consider saving your old comforters. Some are just as thick and durable as moving blankets and can be wrapped around pieces of furniture and delicate items to protect them from damage when in the trunk or the hands of movers. Even thin quilts or sheets can provide protection when wrapped in layers around items. You can also use them as padded filler for boxes of dishes and breakables. Even better, once settled in, you can easily reuse them in another way around your home.