Published on February 1st, 2012 | by Becky Striepe


How-to: Make Lovebird Wristwarmers from Sweater Sleeves

DIY Wristwarmers

Brr! It’s getting chilly out there again. Wristwarmers can add an extra layer of cozy to your winter look, but the store-bought kind often aren’t the most eco-friendly. Chances are, they’re mass-produced in a factory using conventional cotton (with all of the issues that come along with it). You can skip the human rights and environmental issues, though, and make your very own set of wristwarmers out of a thrift store sweater instead! Here’s how.


  • 1 thrifted sweater or a sweater from your closet that you don’t wear anymore
  • recycled felt in two contrasting colors
  • fabric scissors
  • our lovebird template
  • 2 vintage buttons (optional)
  • sewing machine
  • embroidery thread and a needle


1. You want to use the ends of the sleeves, so you’ll only have to hem one end of your cuffs. Cut off the last 6 1/2″ from each sleeve of your sweater.

2. Cut your your lovebird pieces using the lovebird template.

hand applique lovebirds

3. Sew on your birds. Pin your birds to the sweater (remember that the unfinished edge is going to be the part of the cuff that’s over your hands). You can hand-sew them on or use your machine. I went for hand sewing to give this a more unfinished look. Once you’ve sewn on the birds, sew the wings on.

zigzag stitch the top

4. Finish the tops of the sleeves. Use your machine’s zigzag stitch to sew all the way around the top of the unfinished seam.

5. Add your birds’ eyes. Grab the buttons and use your needle and thread to sew them onto your birds to make their faces. If you don’t want to use a button, you can do a single diagonal stitch or a French knot for the eyes with your embroidery thread instead. Need some help with your French knot? Purl Bee has a great tutorial on how to sew a perfect French knot!

Don’t you just love crafting with reclaimed sweaters? What’s your favorite crafty way to reuse a thrift store sweater?

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About the Author

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .

3 Responses to How-to: Make Lovebird Wristwarmers from Sweater Sleeves

  1. Pingback: Upcycle Your Chocolate Heart Boxes into Wall Art!

  2. Pingback: How-to: Make Lovebird Wrist Warmers from Sweater Sleeves

  3. Pingback: 21 Brilliant Ways To Repurpose Old Sweaters

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