Do you have old sweaters in your closet that are either out of fashion, ill-fitting or has unfortunately reached the end of its life? Save some closet space and breathe new life by upcycling them!
If you don’t have any old sweaters, try checking out your nearest thrift store or garage sales to find old sweaters you can repurpose. Creating new, useful items out of old sweaters can be fun and easy! Try to transform them into these crafting ideas:
Turn an old sweater into a fuzzy pillowcase you can use for the bedroom or couch. You only have to cut off the body of the sweater, turn it inside out and sew along the sides. Make sure you cut it to a size that can fit your pillow in. Cotton sweaters work best since they don’t stretch as much as wool or polyester. You can decorate with buttons if you like, or you can sew it with some piece of cotton batting and fabric backing to make it extra fluffy.
2. Cowl scarf
For a stylish and cozy accent for your outfits this fall and winter, make a cowl scarf out of your old sweaters! A cowl scarf is a wide scarf that drapes over the shoulders like a shawl. By using just a pair of scissors and maybe a quick run through the sewing machine, you can make your own cowl scarves. Just cut the sweater across the torso under the armholes, toss the top portion aside, and there you have it – your cowl scarf! If your fabric frays, then you can quickly run it under to the sewing machine (or just sew it yourself) to seal the side. If your sweater is big enough, it can also double as a hood.
3. Tote bag
Make your own chic tote bag from repurposed sweaters. Cut the sweater across under the armholes and work with the bottom of the sweater. Stitch across the bottom to create a seam for the sweater or if you don’t like the stitches to show, turn the sweater fabric to the inner side, stitch there, and turn it on the outer side again. If you would like to add a pocket to your bag, simply cut a rectangular patch from the sweater’s neckline and stitch it into place. Then, add the handles by using an old cloth belt (cut into half) and stitching them on each side of the bag.
Sweaters can keep your upper body warm. When they have already retired, repurpose them to keep the lower body warm, then! Create some leg warmers out sweater sleeves. Just snip off those sleeves and you can already use them as a leg warmer. It also works well as boot toppers, and if you’re going to wear tights, these leg warmers can prevent runs caused by tops of boots.
5. Fingerless gloves
Reaching out and using your phone outside can be a struggle on a snowy winter day. You want to keep your hands warm, but hey, you need to use your fingers to touch your screen. Fingerless gloves are the hand warmers to wear, and you can make those out of old sweaters. Just cut the sleeves from an old sweater to the length you want, and make a hole for your thumbs. Now you have a simple, fingerless gloves that are easier to make rather than knitting.
6. Sweater boots
Do you have old leather boots that need a revamp? Cozy it up for the chilly weather by using an old sweater with some type of pattern. Cut the sweater in the size and shape depending on how much you want to cover your boot. You can go along the pattern on your boots to give it a clean edge and wrap the area around it. Use a fabric glue to attach the fabric to the boot. Now you have a cozy, warm boots wrapped in sweater fabric.
An old sweater can be transformed into a whole new article of clothing, such as a skirt! Just make sure the waist of the sweater fits your hips. First, you need to cut off the sleeves and cut the torso into the highest possible point. Turn the fabric inside out, cut out a nice little curve on the top edges and then sew. Take a wide elastic and sew them on to the top ends of the skirt. Then, turn the right side out and see how it fits!
8. Baby Hats
Have a little member of the family? Give them a little something for the winter. If you have an old sweater with a bottom rim, make a baby hat out of it. Plus, it still leaves some fabric to make into other small crafts! To make it, line up the bottom edges of the sweater and cut out a rounded hat shape that would be tall enough to cover the head down to the ears of the baby. Stitch along the curve of the hat on the wrong side of the fabric. Turn the right side out, and now you have a fuzzy little baby hat. Decorate it with a bow tie ribbon made from strips of the same sweater, or just sew a couple of buttons on the rim.
9. Mug Cozies
Now, if you have created something out of your old sweaters, don’t throw away those fabric leftovers yet. Cozies help keep your beverages hot and make the mug feel gentle on the hands. You can use the cut-out sleeves of a sweater to make a whole bunch of cozies, or you can use any strip of a sweater and stitch them together. Or, you can attach a Velcro or a button to make a strip wrap around a mug.
10. Pendant lamp
Add a bit of texture to a plain lampshade by wrapping it in sweater fabric. Cut the sweater along the torso, removing the sleeves and an upper portion. If the lamp is wide enough to fit the sweater, simply pull the material over the shade with the bottom edge of the sweater on the bottom side of the lamp. Trim off excess fabric on the top, but leave about 1 inch. Tuck the excess material around the top edge of the lamp and keep it in place using hot glue.
If your sweater won’t fit snugly to the lamp, cut the sweater along one side seam, and pull it tightly around the shade so the fabric meets in the back. Cut excess material to fit and hot glue it into the shade. Then, do the same step for trimming material on the top and hot-gluing as stated above.