50 Ways To Transform Old Sweaters Into Something New
Sweaters get holes. They go out of style. They get too small. But that doesn’t mean that you have to throw them out… give them new life by turning them into something different altogether. Here are 50 different ways to refashion an old sweater into something new and fabulous.
1. Pom Pom Hat
Turn an old sweater into a super chic hat with a pom pom! And to make it even cooler, the hat has an ombré effect thanks so some strategic dying. So grab an old sweater, some yarn and some purple dye and get crafting! Head over to Wellnesting to find out how to make one yourself.
2. Heart Hand Warmers
Just in time for Valentine’s Day! Transform a sweater into a few of these sweet little heart shaped hand warmers using a needle and thread and some long grain rice as filler. Make your way over to the Swoodson Says blog to find out how to make a set of these for yourself (or as a gift!).
3. Sweater-Wrapped Candle Holders
Wrap pieces of ribbed or cable knit sweaters around votives and candle holders to give them a cozy new look. Sleeves are the best part of the sweater to use, because they will be the perfect size to fit around many glass vases. Check out the full tutorial over at Just Crafty Enough.
4. Sweater Pillow
Instead of throwing it away, turn a favorite old sweater into a brand new pillow! This is a very simple project, and your sofa will be extra comfortable with a cozy new throw pillow. Find your way over to Make Scout to find out how to measure, cut and sew your sweater pillow.
5. Sweater Mittens
Mittens are another great way to reuse an old sweater. For this project, all you’ll need is a sewing machine and a few other common household items…. and suddenly you’ll have a warm new pair of mittens to protect your hands from the elements! Check out the full tutorial here.
6. DIY Faux Sleeve-Tie Sweater
Here, a zippered sweater is transformed into a trendy new style that looks much more chic than the original. And you won’t need much more than a pair of scissors and a needle and thread for this one. Head over to My Little Secrets to find out how to create your own faux sleeve-tie sweater.
7. Sweater Christmas Stockings
Get ready for the holidays ahead of time this year… by making a few fun stockings out of old sweaters! These are lined and finished nicely, so your friends are likely to assume that they are store-bought. Make your way over to Delia Creates to find out how to make your own.
8. Cable Knit Lampshade
Dress up a plain old white lampshade by covering it with part of a cable knit sweater. A piece of elastic attached to the inner edges of the sweater will keep it in place. Head over to Farm Fresh Therapy to find out exactly how to make your own stylish cable knit lampshade.
9. Sweater Cowl Scarf
Keep your neck warm with one of these adorable cowl neck scarves. Just grab an old cardigan and chop the top off… it’s as easy as that! Find out all the details over at Repurposeful Boutique. The buttons happened to be on her sweater already, but you could always add some if your sweater doesn’t have them.
10. DIY Kids’ Beanie
If you find yourself constantly buying new winter clothing for your growing children, then you’ll love this project. This adorable kids’ beanie is perfect to keep those little ones’ heads warm. Make your way over to So Here’s My Life to find out how to make one for your child.
11. Coffee Cup Cozy
This clever little coffee cup cozy will keep your hot beverage warmer for longer… and it looks cute too! Just grab an old sweater and some double fold bias tape and you’ll be well on your way to making one of these lovelies. Head over to Muslin & Merlot to find out how to make one.
12. Braided Sweater Headband
This braided headband is made of an old sweater too, but this time strips of the fabric are cut up, braided and then sewn at the ends to create a cozy headband that will keep your ears warm without completely ruining your hair. Check out the tutorial over at Lana Red Studio.
13. Valentine’s Day Wreath
This sweet red, white and gray wreath would be perfect to hang on your door for Valentine’s Day. There are only three steps required to making one of these fun pieces… here’s a hint, you’ll use the sleeve of the sweater! Head over to Crafts ‘N Coffee to find out how to do it.
14. Boots Cuffs
Add some color to your winter wardrobe by making a set of these fun boot cuffs from an old sweater. All you’ll need to do is sew a couple of seams and you’ll be finished! Make your way over to So Here’s My Life to find out exactly how to make your own stylish pair of boot cuffs.
15. Felted Blanket Quilt
If you have a lot of old sweaters that have holes in them, consider cutting them up into squares and turning them into a soft, warm quilted blanket! It’s a good way to keep all those memories in one place if you’re the sentimental type. Check out the tutorial over at Yellow Suitcase Studios.
16. Sweater Leg Warmers
Turn a couple of sweater arms into a hip pair of leg warmers to keep you legs, well… warm! You’ll also need a piece of ribbon or fabric that you’ll weave through the bottoms to keep them cinched. Make your way over to A Beautiful Mess to find out exactly how to make your own.
17. Upcycled Storage Box
This cute storage container is made from an old diaper box! Just grab an old sweater and any cardboard box you have lying around, and follow these instructions from Thrifty and Chic. And the best part? This project has a grand total cost of $0! You can’t get much better than that.
18. Winter Tote Bag
Create a stylish winter tote bag from an old houndstooth sweater! This could be used as a purse or even as a chic laptop bag. For this one, you’ll need to get a pair of handles… but they could be taken off of an old purse you no longer use. Find out all the details over at eHow.
19. Braided Sweater Scarf
This adorable scarf is made out of strips of an old sweater that are braided into a fun statement piece with big pom poms on the end. This one is especially easy… you may even have all the materials on hand already. Head over to Just Another Day In Paradise to find out more.
20. Wool Sweater Bag
This cute little bag is very versatile… it can be used as a tote bag, a laptop carrying case or even a diaper bag. The ruffles give it a unique accent on the front, and it is lined with colorful cotton fabric. Make your way over to Not Dabbling In Normal to check out the full tutorial.
21. Wine Bottle Wrap
Bringing a bottle of wine to a party? Dress it up too! Use the arm of an old sweater to create a sweet little wine bottle wrap to give your gift a special feel. And the recipient can reuse it! Head over to Grey Likes Weddings to find out all the details about this fun little DIY project.
22. Fleece Lined Slippers
Keep your feet nice and toasty this winter by whipping up a pair of these fleece lined slippers. The outside is constructed using an old sweater, giving them a fun look and an extra layer of warmth. Make your way over to eHow to find out how to fashion your own pair of cozy slippers.
23. Fingerless Mittens
Keep your hands warm while letting your fingers stay accessible with these pretty orange fingerless mittens. This is perfect for photographers who need their fingers free to snap pictures. Again, you’ll use the arms of an old sweater. Find out all the details over at Whole Living.
24. Rugged Sweater Boots
Reinvent an old sweater and an old pair of boots with this clever upcycling project. The key is to pick a sweater that isn’t super bulky. All you’ll need are scissors and some fabric glue. Make your way over to Sincerely, Kinsey to find out exactly how to recreate your own version of these boots.
25. Sweater Mittens
Here’s another adorable pair of sweater mittens, this time made with a cozy polka dotted wool sweater. Just grab some scissors and a sewing machine and you’ll be ready to make a pair of these pretty mittens. Head over to A Beautiful Mess to find out how to make your own pair.
26. Dog Sweater
Dogs get cold too! Give your pup an extra layer of warmth by using an old sweater sleeve to create a cozy dog sweater. All you’ll need is a pair of scissors and a needle and thread. Make your way over to VO Knits to find out how to make an adorable little sweater for your canine friend.
27. Baby Clothes
Upcycle a sweater with a hole in it by turning it into a tiny pair of pants for your little one! You could also turn a sweater into a sweet little romper, too, with just a small change to the pattern. Head over to Blumer Portraiture to find out all the details of this simple yet gorgeous project.
28. Felted Knitting Bag
Find out how to felt a sweater (it’s easier than it sounds… you just need a washer and dryer) and then learn how to create this gorgeous bag by clicking over to The Inadvertent Farmer. It is the perfect bag to hold a knitting project, but it could also be used as a tote bag it’s so pretty!
29. Color Blocked Sweater Scarf
You’ll need two sweaters for this project, but the final piece is just so darn cute. Grab two contrasting sweaters, a pair of scissors and a sewing machine and you’ll be ready to make your own color blocked scarf. Head over to HGTV’s blog to find out all the details of this project.
30. Pet Bed
Create a cozy bed for your cat or dog using a large old sweater. You’ll need some stuffing or batting to create the outer edge. Make your way over to iCreativeIdeas.com to find out how to create this comfy little haven for your pet. Your kitty or pup will thank you for it!
31. Cable Knit Pencil Skirt
If you like to wear skirts, then this might be the tutorial for you. Just cut up an old cable knit sweater and sew it into a skirt shape using these simple instructions over at It’s Always Autumn. And you won’t even need to hem the skirt, because the sweater’s ribbing acts as the hem!
32. Sweater Covered Bangles
Here’s another fashion-forward way to upcycle your old sweaters – turn them into big bangle bracelets! They are sure to garner lots of attention from your friends, and they are super comfy! Make your way over to A Bit of Sunshine to find out how to make your own sweater bangles.
33. Gift Wrap
You can even accent gifts with pieces of old sweaters! Here, a strip is cut from a sweater and wrapped around a brown paper box and topped with a pom pom. There are other ways to use sweaters to wrap gifts though too… head over to Boxwood Clippings to check out this and other ideas.
34. Doll Clothes
Transform an old sweater into a crazy cute sweater dress for a doll! Doesn’t this American Girl doll look super stylish?! And its not as difficult as it looks to accomplish. Make your way over to Finding Pins and Needles to learn how to recreate this adorable sweater dress for a doll.
35. Sweater Mini Skirt
If pencil skirts aren’t your thing, then perhaps you might enjoy this mini skirt fashioned out of an old sweater! The pom pom ties are a cute finishing touch too. Find out how to make those along with the fun mini skirt using this straightforward tutorial from Fashion Blog.
36. Children’s Sock Monkey Costume
This might be the cutest thing ever! This adorable little sock monkey costume would be the perfect look for any little one on Halloween – it’s comfy, easy to make and super clever. Make your way over to the Grosgrain blog to find out exactly how to recreate this fabulous costume.
37. Anthropology Knockoff Headband
This pretty headband was created to mimic one from Anthropology, and the knockoff is almost nicer than the original! You’ll need a sewing machine, a needle and thread and a pair of scissors to recreate this lovely look. Head over to Flamingo Toes to find out how to make one for yourself.
38. DIY Heart Sweater
This is a great way to reinvent an old sweater that you’re bored of… and you can customize it any way you like! The red heart looks cute, but you could also try a star or a monogram too. Make your way over to A Beautiful Mess to read the full tutorial and find out all the details.
39. Stuffed Mouse Toy
This tiny little stuffed mouse would be a great toy for your cat – he or she will be forever grateful! It is easier to make than it looks, too. You’ll just need some stuffing and some embroidery floss to make the face. Head over to Cut Out + Keep to check out the straightforward instructions.
40. Felted Coasters
Protect your tables from cup rings with this easy tutorial that upcycles an old sweater to create a set of coasters. For this one, you’ll need to felt the sweater and then you can cut out the coasters without everything unraveling. Check out the full tutorial at One Good Thing By Jillee.
41. Sweater Scarflette
This short scarf, aka a “scarflette,” would be the perfect accessory for one of those chilly fall or spring days. And it looks so cute with those extra large buttons that are used to fasten the ends! Make your way over to I Am Momma Hear Me Roar to find out how to make one yourself.
42. Upcycled Sweater Wreath
This is a unique take on a traditional wreath, using an embroidery hoop as the frame that holds the cable knit sweater in place. Artificial red berries and a white sweater bow finish the look. Head over to the Twelve O Eight blog to find out how you can make your own version of this wreath.
43. Sweater Slippers
These slippers are constructed out of a piece of felt and an old, colorful sweater. This design has a nice foldover along the edges which adds a nice finishing touch. Make your way over to We Can Re-Do It to find out how to make your own cute pair of striped sweater slippers.
44. Argyle Stuffed Pig
This adorable stuffed pig would be a great gift for any little one… or even a mama-to-be! The argyle pattern gives it a fun, colorful vibe. Make your way over to MarthaStewart.com to download the printable pig template and to find out how to construct this cute little stuffed animal.
45. Upcycled Sweater Christmas Trees
There’s no better time to recycle and reuse old things than during the holidays, when wallets are stretched thin. So grab a few sweaters that you no longer wear and turn them into festive Christmas decor! Find out how to make theses cone-shaped Christmas trees over at The Little Fabric Blog.
46. Sweater Wreath
Here’s another unique way to make a wreath using an old sweater. For this project, you’ll need a sharp pair of scissors (or better yet, a rotary cutter) because you’ll be doing quite a bit of cutting. Make your way over to Just Call Me Homegirl to find out how to construct one of these creative wreaths.
47. Slouchy Sweater Hat
This slouchy hat has a sweet, old-fashioned sort of vibe to it thanks to the adorable bow and large buttons. For this one, you’ll need an old cardigan that you no longer wear… this is what will provide the button detail. Head over to Thirty Handmade Days to find out how to to make this hat.
48. Floral Embellished Cardigan
This lacy cardigan is embellished with a variety of handmade flowers – some are made of fabric, while others are made of old sweaters. This is a great way to dress up a cardigan that you’ve gotten sick of. Make your way over to Tatertots & Jello to check out the very thorough photo tutorial.
49. Foldover Sweater Pillow
This lovely pillow cover has a little something extra – a folded section on the front that is attached using a button. This is a great way to add some interest to your sofa or armchair. Head over to Country Living UK to find out how to make one of these stylish foldover sweater pillow covers yourself.
50. Sweater Gift Bags
These sweater gift bags are the perfect way to add that extra something to your gift. Fill it with anything you want – it makes a great little treat bag. This idea could be used all year round, too… decorate the outside with pastels for spring or oranges and browns for fall. Check out the instructions over at A Homemade Living.