20 Ways to Refashion a Hoodie

repair a separated pocket

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

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  • Refresh a black hoodie with fabric dyeIs 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 cuffsThe 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 pillowWho 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 maneThe secret is picking apart the hood’s center seam so that you can encase your goodies in the stitching.
Bunny Ear Hoodie via .meredith.massacre.
Bunny Ear Hoodie image via .meredith.massacre.
  • 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 hoodMy 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 setClothing 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 drawstringsThis 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 rufflesSo many ruffles, you guys. So. Many. RUFFLES!!!
Stars and Stripes Hoodie via CoxalColab
Stars and Stripes Hoodie image via CoxalColab
  • 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 stencilHere’s another use for that fabric spray paint! Using lace as a stencil makes your painted fabric look shockingly like lace, too.
  • Add faux furMake your already cozy hoodie even cozier by sewing a strip of faux fur around the hood.
  • Make a lace-up frontYou can alter your hoodie to have a lace-up front… without sacrificing the hood!
  • Dye itHoodies 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.
Cowl Neck Pullover via Craft Buds
Cowl Neck Pullover image via Craft Buds

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!

Written by Julie Finn

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now.

Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life; my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties; and my for links to articles about poverty, educational politics, and this famous cat who lives in my neighborhood.

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