DIY summer PJs: just cut the arms and legs off of winter pajamas

Tricia! You just saved me some $!

Don’t have the money to go out and buy summer PJs for the kids and the winter ones still fit? Cut the arms and legs off the jammies and make them into shorts and short-sleeved shirts. We do this every Spring and it saves us some money. When Winter rolls around again they will have outgrown last winter’s jammies anyway!


  1. says

    we are doing this too – now that we’re not in ‘save it for the next kid’ mode.

    also, long pants become shorts, and long-sleeved shirts become short-sleeved shirts in just minutes.

    Why not use stuff as long as you can?

  2. says

    I guess it would be a good idea in a pinch, but I can’t help but think that it’s a waste. Even if you don’t have a child who could use those pajamas next winter, somebody does. Why not donate your winter jammies to a local thrift shop, and while you’re there pick up some new (to you), cheap, summer jammies?

    Some of the thrift stores in my area give out coupons when you donate, WIN! The clothes get reused which is good for the planet and for someone else’s family budget, WIN! The profits from the thrift store go to a range of great causes, WIN!

  3. Jen says

    We just did this because my daughter had a cast on her leg. After cutting one leg short we realized we could cut the other leg and arms too. Now even her winter sweet pants are becoming play shorts. We use the left over pieces for craft projects, fashionable arm bands for dress up or to make little blankets for baby dolls.

  4. says

    We found ourselves in a similar situation with our oldest at the end of last summer. Summer PJs were no longer available at the stores, it was still 80 degrees F at night, but cool enough by morning that sleeping in a diaper alone wouldn’t have been enough. I wandered Target and came up with this idea: XS boxers and undershirts! Super cheap, cute, and agreeable with my son. Now that he’s potty trained and doesn’t need a diaper underneath, the boxers fit perfectly as regular underwear. Much cheaper than official PJS, and they’ll last for a while because of the change in fit due to dropping diapers, AND they’ll be hand-downable to son #2, or at least the undershirts will be. Potty training has been a bit of an adventure in sometimes disposable underwear.

  5. says

    I fall in the waste-of-resources camp. Our used clothes get donated. I hate to see any piece of clothing have only one owner, unless it gets completely worn out.

    A less expensive option is to have a diverse group of friends who have kids slightly older and younger than yours so you receive hand-me-downs and can hand down yours too. My 3-year-old daughter has 5-year-old friends who LOVE playing with her. It may be some sort of doll syndrome.

  6. Sarah says

    Underwear and undershirt – items they already have – make great “jammies”, especially for boys who really don’t care what they wear (at least mine don’t!)

  7. nicole says

    To the waste-of-resources group,

    Just because they’re being cut, doesn’t mean they can’t be donated later. If they are sewn right, donations can still be made. Extra material can be used for craft projects and turned into other things. They ARE being used for longer than intended. They ARE being “recycled”. They can still have multiple owners.

    I do this with my oldest child’s clothes, and then keep it to use with the youngest. If these clothes are still in good condition, they ARE donated. You also don’t have to cut ALL of the winter clothes, just a few to make it through spring and summer.

    Really, is there anything wrong with that?

  8. says

    Nicole, I have no problem with cutting the garments if you resew them and can find a new home for them. Thrift stores in my area won’t accept hand-altered clothes though, not even completely handmade clothes.

  9. Annette says

    I think all of the nay-sayers here are forgetting that one of the 3R’s is RECYCLE, which is exactly what this hack is. RE-USE isn’t the only way to be environmentally/socially responsible.

  10. Heather says

    Oy! I won’t tell you how much I spent last month on summer jammies. Since it was still cool in most of the country I could only find them at GAP … at $18 bucks a pop! I love this hack & will for sure be using it!!!

  11. Andrea says

    I am absolutely using this hack. I donate what can but am feeling the pinch right now and think its a great way to get another season out of my twins winter PJs. Thanks!!

  12. Amy says

    While I like this idea, both of my kids (ages 8 and 5) would freak if I cut up any of their clothing, especially my daughter. She is very attached to her PJs in particular.

  13. Ethel says

    Sleepers with the feet worn out . . . I could break out the scissors for those.

    Otherwise, I personally would donate my kids’ ‘jamas via Freecycle, and would find someone ditching their kids’ old summer jammies for my girls.

    Or I use really worn day-clothes that are faded, a little ugly, and very soft. My kids are young enough that they don’t care as long as they have something fun about them (a dog on the front, some pink ruffles, they are flexible).

  14. Christel says

    My daughter’s summer “nightgowns” are oversized t-shirts. We buy big sizes, she sleeps in them for a year or two, and gradually she grows into them and they become regular wardrobe (or the ones that are too small to be comfy pajamas but too big to wear become art smocks for a while). This is especially nice with gift shop t-shirts from our travels (or other peoples) — we’re not wasting money on a shirt that will fit her for 6 months, and the shirt becomes a longer term keepsake because we’re using it for years.

  15. lee says

    You can buy the stretchie cotton jammies like the ones shown a couple of sizes too big and wear the same ones for a couple of years. We only buy every second or third size…lol

    And for summer I bought extra large men’s white t-shirts on sale and we used fabric markers to decorate them. My son and daughter think this is great stuff. You don’t have to worry about them outgrowing these.

  16. whitney says

    I have issues with the flame retardent used on most jammies (I am allergic to formaldehyde which is an ingredient used in that) and I hate the super tight fitting jammies (they just don’t seem comfortable) So I get a basic jammy pant pattern and cheap clearance fabric to make pants or shorts. Then I get bright colored t-shirts when they go on sale at craft stores- and I have pajamas. It costs around $2-3 a pair and my daughter really loves them. I might just add that I am not a great sewer- they are just really easy to make.

  17. says

    This is a great idea. I have definitely used it before. His winter clothes will usually last 2 years before it’s time to donate. Our winters are pretty mild. My mom is a great seamtress so no one would even know that they were long sleeve or pants. Our thrift stores aren’t picky. I also have my mom make his uniform pants and we cut them into shorts. I get one full school year and half another year from them. I pay less than $5 per pair and get 18 months of use. Then I donate them as shorts. He usually gets too tall to wear them again as pants. I never buy uniform shorts since I started doing this. My mom saves all scraps for quilts so no waste here. :)