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Exclusive: Strictly's Katya Jones shares 6 genius upcycling clothing hacks

How to repurpose old clothes - and feel good about it!

Sharnaz Shahid

Katya Jones may be a queen on the ballroom dancefloor, but away from the glitz and glamour of Strictly Come Dancing, she has found another creative outlet; a passion for upcycling clothes and furniture.

Very ethically-minded, the professional dancer surprised fans when she pledged that she will not buy new clothes for one year - something she is still doing 20 months later.

MORE: Katya Jones surprises fans after recycling her grandmother's 50-year-old dress

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WATCH: Katya Jones shares her genius upcycling hacks

Speaking exclusively to HELLO!, the 31-year-old revealed how her approach to shopping drastically changed and helped her focus on her mental wellbeing. "I stopped buying clothes - I made a pledge in July 2019.

"So one year of not buying clothes but then I went on for even longer than that," she explained. "After that I think I only bought maybe four or five items."

Asked what the first thing she treated herself to was, Katya replied: "A pair of second-hand shoes were the first things I bought."

MORE: Katya Jones poses with rarely-seen brother - and they look so alike

READ: Strictly's Katya Jones makes surprising revelation about dating

She added: "My shopping habits are really changing my mentality and I thought, 'Right, well here's a dress, I'm definitely going to wear this many times.' It was good quality, not a fast-fashion piece.

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Katya likes to add tassels on her bags

"The experience has definitely changed a lot of my habits, mentality. I don't need any more clothes, in fact, I'm trying to get rid of things and send them to charities and sell them. I was always into my fashion and I was a proper shopaholic because clothes have become so accessible.

"My fashion is quite flamboyant. The moment I pledged to stop buying anything, it was kind of out of curiosity."

MORE: Katya and Neil Jones have funny disagreement on Instagram over dog Crumble

Here are Katya's genius upcycling clothing hacks:

Make unexpectedly cute things from old tights

1. There are never enough hair bobbles and they always disappear! Well, an inch-wide strip cut from and an old pair of tights can make an excellent hair bobble. Imagine how many you can make from just one pair!

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The Strictly star makes headbands out of old tights

2. You are never too old for some bows! Cut off a 1-1.5 inch strip from your tights and tie it in a knot! Zhoosh up your boring jumper or a hair bobble (or pretty much anything ) with these simple bows!

3. A headband that is sure to turn heads! It's is as easy to make as ABC. A) Cut the legs of the tights. B) Tie a knot in the middle. C) Sew it together at the back according to your size and cut off the excess. D) 'Decorate', but it is optional.

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She even makes pretty hair bows

A T-shirt is a gift that keeps on giving

1. Make a multipurpose bag without any sewing. Cut the sleeve and a collar of an old T-shirt. Cut the bottom of the T-shirt into 2cm wide and 5 to 10cm long strips.

Stretch them down into thin strings and tie each pair in a double knot to close off the bottom of your new bag. Go to yoga with it, grocery shopping, use it as a laundry bag or maybe it's a good excuse to get rid of your partner's T-shirt that you really didn’t like.

2. Treat your dog to a new toy. Just a simple plait made out of a cut up T-shirt can become your dog's favourite toy if you tuck some treats in the middle of it. My dog spends ages trying to get them out!

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The TV star loves making toys for her pet dog Crumble

Dig out an old jacket you never wear

I love making my clothes personalised and unique. I have been decorating denim jackets for different people for quite a while now. But you can really spice up your own jacket, give it a fresh look and make it stand out with simple writing on the back.

You can start by using acrylic paint markers, that are accessible online. They are super easy to work with and don't feel any different from a normal marker.

So, what is your jacket going to say? I like: 'I love cats', 'Don't talk to me, I'm hangry' or maybe 'I survived 2020'.

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