My teenager lives in her favorite hoodie, and I can’t say that I blame her. There is a lot to recommend in that soft fabric, those fun graphics, the deep hood that lets you hide out from the world!
My family doesn’t buy a lot of new clothes, but fortunately, my teenager also has the sewing knack. She can walk into any thrift store and come away with all sorts of pieces to transform. These days, we both have a lot of fun thrifting hoodies for her to refashion. We’re always in search of that next favorite!
A hoodie makes for an especially good score at the thrift store. The amount of fabric that a hoodie contains, as well as the general simplicity of its cut, means that it’s quite easy to refashion it in all kinds of fun ways. Check out some of my favorite methods for upcycling a hoodie, below, and find your next favorite fashion!
Ways to Upcycle a Hoodie
- Refresh a black hoodie with fabric dye. Is your black hoodie looking a little too well-loved? You can bring the black back with fabric dye!
- Embellish with color block applique. I LOVE this hoodie, appliqued all over with satin-stitching and blocks of beautiful cotton prints.
- Change the pockets and the cuffs. The pockets and cuffs of a hoodie get by far the most wear, and they’re the most likely to rip or become dingy. Change the equation by changing out those elements for a bright, new fabric!
- Upcycle it into a pillow. Who says that the only thing your clothes can become is more clothes? The snuggliest hoodies are OBVIOUSLY also going to make the snuggliest pillows.
- Add dinosaur spikes or a pony mane. The secret is picking apart the hood’s center seam so that you can encase your goodies in the stitching.
- Sacrifice a stuffed animal. In this tutorial, .meredith.massacre. shows you how to callously rip the ears off of a stuffed bunny and sew them onto your hood. Other suitable stuffed animal parts to sacrifice include the muzzle, tail, wings, or fins.
- Remove the hood. My teenager would never agree, but sometimes a hoodie looks best without, well… the hood! Here’s how to alter a hoodie to remove the hood and finish the collar.
- Refashion an oversized hoodie into a lounge set. Clothing sizing is going to limit what you can do here–I, for instance, would need a couple of hoodies to dismantle for this look, but my teenager could walk into any Goodwill and haul away armfuls of hoodies that would work for her. But if you can find a hoodie that’s oversized on you, you can refashion it into this super-cute lounge set!
- Embroider the drawstrings. This is SUCH a cool idea, and a great way to personalize even a store-bought hoodie that you don’t want to completely remake.
- Add so many ruffles. So many ruffles, you guys. So. Many. RUFFLES!!!
- Spray paint it! Want a spray painted look that’s also fabric-friendly and washable? You’re looking for fabric spray paint! Check out this tutorial to see how to combine fabric spray paint with stencils and masking to create an awesome look.
- Use lace as a stencil. Here’s another use for that fabric spray paint! Using lace as a stencil makes your painted fabric look shockingly like lace, too.
- Add faux fur. Make your already cozy hoodie even cozier by sewing a strip of faux fur around the hood.
- Make a lace-up front. You can alter your hoodie to have a lace-up front… without sacrificing the hood!
- Dye it. Hoodies can be a little too thick to tie-dye well, but this ice dyeing method gives a similar look, and works fine even on sweatshirt fabric.
- Turn your hoodie into a cowl neck pullover. Pop off the hood and use that fabric to give your garment a comfortable–and cute!–cowl neck.
- Crop it! A hoodie can be just as cozy when it’s short!
- Add a drawstring waist. This refashion works especially well on that cropped hoodie you just made!
- Frankenstein a hoodie and a denim jacket together. I LOVE the look of a denim vest on top of a hoodie, but I don’t love the bulk. You can streamline the look by replacing the sleeves of a denim jacket with a hoodie’s sleeves. While you’re at it, sew on that hood, too!
- Costume it. Hoodies are perfect to embellish to turn into a costume–they’re warm for Halloween, and comfortable for Comic-Con! Here’s how to applique cute details onto a hoodie to turn it into an Elsa costume, but feel free to think outside the box and figure out all sorts of creative ways to costume your hoodie.
Do YOU have any favorite ways to upcycle or refashion a hoodie? Tell me about in the Comments, and I’ll pass your tips onto my hoodie-obsessed teenager!