Fall weather is upon us. A chill in the air ushers in that time of year for boots, beanies, scarves and sweaters! New sweaters and old cuddly favorites. All the coziness!
But, what to do with those sweaters that you don’t want anymore? Our bygone friends who are stretched out, faded and full of holes? Give them new life by upcycling them!
There’s no reason for the cuddly life of a sweater to end. To rescue your wooly pullovers from being discarded, we’ve gathered a list of our top 30 favorite projects to make from sweaters to repurpose them!
Before You Get Started
Sweaters, especially if they’re knitted or crocheted, can unravel into a mess the second you start cutting. To avoid this, stitch before you snip! Use a sewing machine to create a line of zigzag stitching along the edge you’ll be cutting to hold the threads of your sweater in place.
No sewing machine? You can use tape along your imaginary edge before you cut, but you have to carefully remove it so as not to pull out any strings.
Now that we’ve got that covered, let’s take a look at some the awesome projects you can create with sweaters!
Clothing and Accessories
If you have a sweater that keeps you warm in cold weather, imagine what it could do for your hands! Keep your digits toasty with this pattern to turn a sweater into the warmest winter mittens you’ll ever own.
Don’t worry, we didn’t leave out your feet. These instructions from Wonderful DIY will show you how to keep feet cozy by making slippers with an old sweater and some felt. A sweater for feet? Yes, please.
Sure, sweater slippers are fine for around the house, but what about when you need to stay warm when you’re out and about? Insulated sweater socks to the rescue! This tutorial will show you how to make some, no sewing machine required. Throw on these bad boys before heading out and keep your tootsies warm throughout the day.
We’ve got you covered from head to toe with this sweater beanie from the Wonder Forest. This tutorial even shows you how to make one with just scissors and a glue gun if you’re not sewing inclined.
If you want to keep warm, but aren’t down to rock hat hair, make this ear warmer using an old sweater. Bev over at Flamingo Toes will show you how to create one that is simple and cute so you can avoid the chill without going full beanie.
Nothing beats the cozy factor of a scarf or cowl during cold weather. Just imagine all the snuggle of a sweater wrapped around you to ward off the shivers. Delightful, right? It’s possible with this sweater cowl DIY from Stuff Steph Does.
Sweaters shouldn’t just be limited to tops! Let them branch out by turning one into a pencil skirt. This is an ideal addition to your fall or winter wardrobe. Throw it on with some tights and boots. Cozy perfection!
Why shouldn’t your furry friend be just as warm and fashionable as you are during cold weather or chilly walks? Make him or her a cozy dog sweater out of your old one. Or, buy two on clearance so you and your puppy can have matching sweaters! (We won’t judge you.)
Do you have an old sweater? Do you know a baby or small child? Make her some warm leggings with that sweater to wear this winter. These sweater leggings from Make It & Love It are super cute and, not to mention, cost effective! If only we could make them in adult sizes.
Give your little one the ultimate cute hand-me-down with this baby sweater dress tutorial. Just a couple cuts and seams, and you’ve got an entire new piece to add to your baby’s fall/winter wardrobe!
You’ve probably seen those cute boot socks online and thought they weren’t possible unless you’re well-versed in the art of crocheting or knitting. Not so! Even if you’re not a yarn aficionado, you can make your own cute boot socks using sweater sleeves. They also make great leg warmers!
Turn a sweater into a stylish and soft tote bag this season! This tutorial will show you how to make a felted tote bag from a wool sweater. Felted wool is great because it’s durable and doesn’t fray when cut. The author of this tutorial purchased her wool sweater at Goodwill for $3!
You can also turn your sweater into a super cute purse with just some fabric and purse handles. This step-by-step by Lemon Squeezy Home will teach you how to make one of your own in a few simple steps so you can carry around all your essentials in style.
Boring ol’ bracelets? Dress those bangles up for fall and winter by adding some fun texture with a sweater. These also make great gifts when you have no idea what to buy for that Secret Santa gift exchange.
Change up your decor by making some throw pillows out of old sweaters. Not only will they add a cozy texture to your home, they’ll be great to snuggle up with when you’re watching a movie or enjoying a fire. Throw in some cocoa, and you’ve got a perfect setup.
Bring some wintery goodness into your home with these adorable snow-capped mountain pillows. Pillar Box Blue will show you how to make some so you can express your inner outdoorsy-ness even if you’d rather kick it indoors binge watching your favorite shows instead of hiking any day.
Cold floors in the morning can be such a drag. Warm them up with an upcycled sweater rug to keep things soft and cozy under your feet. This season, switch up your floor decor!
Do you love the feel of wearing a cuddly sweater? Well, imagine wrapping yourself in a multitude of snuggles by creating this felted sweater quilt from Yellow Suitcase Studio. Don’t be intimidated by the fact that it’s a quilt. If you can sew a straight line, you can make a quilt! And, the result is like one giant, awesome sweater.
Need extra seating? A place to kick up your feet? A super cute accent piece to tie a room together? The sweater floor pouf is the answer to all of the above. Thoughts From Alice will show you how to turn your favorite old sweater, or thrift store find, into this cute cushion.
If you want to change up your decor for different seasons without breaking the bank, these sweater seat covers are the way to go. They’re super easy to do – and undo – as you see fit. Plus, they look great and add a fun touch of elegance to your dining room or kitchen.
That’s right, you can cover a dollar store vase with a sweater and transform it into a piece that will up your style game and have guests asking, “Where did you get this?!” You should probably start practicing how to humbly reply, “Oh, this? I made it.”
Why, oh why, would you keep your stuff in a plain ol’ box when you could easily dress it up with a sweater? This tutorial from Thrifty and Chic will show you how to create it to store your goods. Or, use your sweater box to store yarn and blow some minds. So meta!
There’s no sense in burning your fingers when you’re enjoying your warm drinks this season. And, let’s face it, those disposable sleeves aren’t doing the environment any favors. Do your part and save your hands by making a coffee cozy that is truly cozy.
Turn a sweater into a pet bed with a few simple steps with this DIY from Handimania. Your furry friend will feel like they’re being hugged by you even when they’re just chillin. Again, can we get one of these in human size?
Let your lighting get all fancy with this sweater-covered lampshade from A Cultivated Nest. All you need is a lampshade, a sweater, a glue gun and scissors to dress up a standard lampshade and turn it into a stylish accent piece.
Pumpkins are great to set out during fall, but then you just end up having to chuck them once the season ends. Transform sweaters into these cute – and reusable – pumpkins and enjoy them year after year.
Like the idea of those yarn wreaths, but don’t have time to wind a single piece of string around a wreath form? We hear ya. Get the same look in a fraction of the time with these instructions from Crafts n’ Coffee that will teach you how to make a sweater wreath. Can be tailored for different holidays or kept neutral and displayed year round!
Those fancy cable-knit stockings are pretty, but they can also cost a pretty penny. The good news is now you can make your own with this DIY from Imperfect Homemaking. They’ll look so cute adorning your mantle, you’ll wonder why you didn’t make them sooner!
Turn sweaters into these fun winter trees this holiday season. Experiment with making them in various sizes and colors. They’re easy peasy to create and are a great way to use a sweater that can be enjoyed for years to come!
If you’re going to holiday parties this season, don’t show up empty handed! Anyone can bring a plain bottle of wine, roll up in style with one of these sweater wine sleeves. It adds a nice personal touch and looks more festive than your basic bottle.
There you have it, our 30 favorite projects you can make from sweaters to dress up old items or create cozy new ones.
This season, don’t banish those sweaters to the giveaway pile. Repurpose them into some upcycled goodness!
What are some of your favorite ways to upcycle sweaters? Share your ideas with us in the comments section!