DIY Crafts

Published on August 6th, 2010 | by Wenona Napolitano


10 Awesome Craft Ideas for Old Sweaters

recycled sweater pillow

Do you have a pile of old sweaters that no longer fit but you just can’t bear to throw them out? How about upcycling them with these fun craft ideas?

Here are ten craft ideas to reuse old sweaters.

1. Sweater Pillow Craft Idea

One thing you can do is make a sweater pillow. Pillows are pretty easy to make – just grab a pillow form and turn the sweater into a cover for it. Here’s one DIY tutorial from The Budget Fashionista.

patchwork quilt dog bed made from old sweaters

2. Sweater Pet Bed

Another fun project to make from old sweaters is a patchwork quilt pet bed made from an assortment of colorful old sweaters. Here’s a great tutorial found at Apartment Therapy that gives you step by step instructions for making this cute bed.

leggings made from old sweaters

3. Leggings

Got kids? Then you can make several kids clothing items out of old adult size sweaters.

How about a pair of leggings? There’s a great tutorial right here on Crafting a Green World that will teach you how to turn a sweater into a pair of child size leggings.

skirt made from old sweater

4. Sweater Skirt for Kids

Another sweater tutorial here on CAGW shows you how to transform a sweater into a child size skirt.

5. Stuffies

Old sweaters also make wonderful stuffed animals. Crafter Caitlin Wicker makes stuffed toys out of old sweaters and sells them on Etsy- and the stuffies are super cute.

Martha Stewart has a few great templates and tutorials for making sweater stuffed animal chickens, lambs and pigs. I really love the pig.

6. Sweater Dress

No kids or just want to make something for yourself?

How about turning a couple of man size sweaters into a woman’s dress? Check out the video tutorial here on CAGW.

I also found a tutorial for transforming a sweater into a child size dress at Make It Love It.
dog sweater made from old sweaters

7. Dog Sweater

Got pets? In addition to the cute pet bed you could make a couple of pet sweaters out of your old sweaters. Here’s a great tutorial on Craft Stylish.

hat and mittens made from old sweater

8. Mittens

You can craft new mittens from old sweaters – make a whole bunch of them and give them out as holiday gifts this year. Get started now and you’ll have a stack ready by December.

Here’s a how to from Martha Stewart.

One Pearl Button offers a tutorial for making both mittens and a matching hat from a sweater.

9. Slippers

Slippers are another cozy option for old sweaters. Sweaters can easily be transformed into a pair of slippers to keep cold tootsies warm all winter long. There’s a post here at CAGW with links to great slipper how tos and here’s a slipper sock pattern and tutorial at Instructables.

cell phone cozy made from old sweater

10. Sweater Phone Cozy

Speaking of cozy…you can craft old sweaters into several types of cozies. Make cell phone cozies, coffee cup cozies, even old fashioned tea pot cozies.

What do you make from old sweaters? We always love to hear about new and craft ideas!

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About the Author

Wenona is married with three crazy kids that range in age from 4 to 18. She is a freelance writer, poet and the author of The Everything Green Wedding Book. She enjoys reading, writing, crafting and gardening. She tries to do all of these as "greenly" as possible. Her writing has appeared in several local and regional publications, Pack O Fun, Today's Creative Home Arts, and Indiana Living Green magazines as well as numerous online sites including,,, eHow, Associated Content, Suite101 and

24 Responses to 10 Awesome Craft Ideas for Old Sweaters

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  2. Pingback: Fab Fabrics: Repurposed Sweaters – Crafting a Green World

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  4. Pingback: ‘Cause it’s cute « Knitting Crimes & Other Craft Adventures

  5. Pam says:

    Anther good way to recycle sweaters (WOOL) is felt them anmake them ino great purses ,tote bags and hand warmers…..just a few things…….Felting wool sweaters is good since I live in Az………and also if you don’t knitt…..or want a faster way to do it..

  6. Great post about re-using your sweaters. I love the idea of making pillows from my old sweaters. Thanks for the tip!

  7. Emmakrazy says:

    This is so adorable!

  8. Kirsten Primecp says:

    Found great sweater refashioning ideas on

  9. BBoxlady says:

    I used about 10 old sweaters I bought at a garage sale for the following projects:
    vests for all the boys-cut out sleeves, cut to fit lengthwise and crochet a neat tidy edging around sleeve edges and bottom…I also added ribbing, but I had a lot of time and yarn in my stash!

    sleeves became leg warmers for a friends baby twins!…and I made them cute little hats out of some of the bottom parts of the sweaters I cut off for the vests.

    a couple of the sweaters were kind of a velour type, so I cut them into squares and made cell phone cases, coin purses, eyeglass bags…

    I had a blast with 2.00 worth of sweaters…am thinking I should look for a couple and unravel them for the wool…

  10. April Gunawardena says:

    Is it possible to use your picture for my GSCE I.C.T coursework please?

  11. Pingback: Wristwarmers

  12. I’ve used a wool sweater to make legwarmers. They look awesome!

  13. Jessica says:

    I love the look of the sweater pillow!
    I have a few sweater recycling tutorials on my blog.
    Legwarmers from christmas sweater
    Beret Style Hat

  14. Emily says:

    Truthfully, I would love to buy a copy of the dog photo. Please? It’s so adorable. I just want to hang it in my living room.

  15. Barbara says:

    Another way to up cycling old sweaters to make from them one of a kind sweater coat:

    …or make bags, scarfs…hundred possibilities. MIND YOUR WASTE!!!!

    Barbara, Amber

  16. Wendy says:

    Here are some things I’ve done with old sweaters.

  17. I really like the mittens and the dog sweater.

  18. Rebecca says:

    One Pearl Button (the alternate sweater mitten tutorial) blog is open to invited readers only. :-/ Not the most useful link. Just an FYI.

  19. Fabulous ideas! I especially love the leggings and mittens!

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  21. Very easy tips for reusing sweaters !!! Thank you very much !!!

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