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50 Super Recycled Sweater Craft Ideas

Loraine loves arts and crafts and used to volunteer at an elementary art class. She loves sharing fun and easy craft tutorials.

what-to-make-with-old-sweaters

Did you realize that you can make amazing sweater crafts from old sweaters? One thing you have to say for sweaters, they seem to last forever. If you have a sweater that you aren't particularly fond of, or one that you hate to get rid of it because "it's like new," you can make something new and amazing from it.

This article is about craft ideas using old sweaters. I have some of those sort of sweaters, and it led me to wonder if there were any ideas out on the web for making crafts from old sweaters. I know how inventive crafters can be, so I wasn't surprised to find easy and fun projects being made using old sweaters. What did surprise me was how these crafters willingly share, not only a picture of what they made, but also directions and patterns.

In this article you'll find, what I consider, some of the best crafts made using old sweaters.

For the instructions to make the cute baby caps shown above, go to Make It & Love It.

what-to-make-with-old-sweaters

1. Fall Garland

Make a beautiful Fall garland using wool sweaters that you have washed and dried with hot water and high dryer heat. This felts your sweater so it is easy to cut and keep the leaf shapes. All the directions for making this garland are found at Her Tool Belt .

what-to-make-with-old-sweaters

2. Cowl Scarves

An easy to make cowl scarf is the perfect way to use an old sweater. See how to make one by checking the directions at Madigan made.

what-to-make-with-old-sweaters

3. Neck Pillow

A neck pillow is a great gift for almost anyone and for any occasion. Whether you are using the neck pillow in the car or when traveling by plane, it is an item that will really be used. Find the easy to follow tutorial for making a neck pillow using an old sweater, at thriftyfun.

what-to-make-with-old-sweaters

4. Tabletop Christmas Trees

I love table top Christmas trees and see many of them that would be suitable to display any time of the year. This recycled sweater project is found at favecrafts, where you'll find the tutorial.


what-to-make-with-old-sweaters

5. Colorful Pillows

You can never have too many pillows,either on a bed or on a couch or chair. These beautiful recycled sweater pillows will be great anywhere you display them The tutorial for making these colorful pillows is found at Inhabitant.

what-to-make-with-old-sweaters

6. Santa Ornament

I'm a Santa collector, so this is a sweater re-do that really catches my fancy. The tutorial for making this Santa ornament is found at just crafty enough. Imagine how many ornaments could be made from just one sweater.

what-to-make-with-old-sweaters

7. Slipper Boots

Talk about a useful, as well as attractive use for old sweaters and you'll come up with this project. Teenagers could make these and give them as gifts. A boyfriend, or a girlfriend, will enjoy these slipper boots. You'll find the tutorial at Wonderful DIY.

what-to-make-with-old-sweaters

8. Snowmen

It's never too soon to start making Christmas gifts and decorations. You'll get lots of nice comments about snowmen made from old sweaters. This is an easy project when following the instructions at DIY Beautify.


what-to-make-with-old-sweaters

9. Sweater Ornament

I think a tree full of these cute sweater ornaments, made from old sweaters, is a fantastic idea. You might even make some of these and some of the Santas shown earlier in this article. The Restyled Junk site is where you'll find the tutorial.

what-to-make-with-old-sweaters

10. Sweater Sleeve Snowman

Here is another cute sweater recycled snowman project. Very cute and so very easy to make. Find the tutorial at High Heels and a Hammer .

what-to-make-with-old-sweaters

11. Slippers

Make little slippers for all the little kids in the family, they'll love wearing them. The nice, and useful, way to use old sweaters has instructions on the Collecting the Moments site.


what-to-make-with-old-sweaters

12. iPod Cozy

Make an iPod cozy for yourself and for your friends using the instructions shown at house wren studio.

what-to-make-with-old-sweaters

13. Snuggly Slippers

Keep your toes toasty warm in these snuggly slippers. You'll find the instructions at craftystylish.

what-to-make-with-old-sweaters

14. Ear Warmer

A stylish little addition to your wardrobe. You'll find the instructions to twelve crafts till Christmas.

what-to-make-with-old-sweaters

15. Head Wrap

This very attractive headwrap is made using a recycled sweater. What a great way to use a sweater that doesn't fit right, but is a color and texture you love. Go to Ruffles & Stuff for the easy to follow instructions.

what-to-make-with-old-sweaters

16. Cowl Scarf

This cowl scarf project actually goes along with the headband project shown above. To make this attractive cowl scarf to wear with the headband, find the tutorial at Ruffles & Stuff .

what-to-make-with-old-sweaters

17. Sweater Trees

Imagine all the ways you can use these little trees in your Christmas décor. They are made by covering cardboard with recycled sweaters. Find the tutorial for this unique craft at Find it Make it Love it.com.

18. Hat Mittens, Scarf, Legwarmers and Boot Toppers From Your Old Sweater

what-to-make-with-old-sweaters

19. Mittens

Make extra pairs of mittens for the kids so they always have dry ones when they play in the snow. Go to Good Home Design to see how to make them.

what-to-make-with-old-sweaters

20. Sweater Trees

A nice, unique look made easily with old sweaters. Pocket Full of Pink has the instructions.

what-to-make-with-old-sweaters

21. Sweater Boots

This is an outstanding project. You'll find the step-by-step instructions at instructables.

what-to-make-with-old-sweaters

22. Cozy Throw

Throws are a great idea for graduation gifts, Christmas gifts, birthdays and anniversary gifts. Woman’s Day is the place to go for the directions.

what-to-make-with-old-sweaters

23. Cute Storage Box

I love the looks of this storage box. To make one like these go to Hometalk.

what-to-make-with-old-sweaters

24. Easy Vase Covers

Add pizzazz to plain vases with sweater covers. Find the directions at Stephanie Lynn.

25. Easy Boot Cuffs

what-to-make-with-old-sweaters

26. Stuffed Animals

Some sweaters just beg to be made into stuffed animals. Martha Stewart will show you how to make them.

what-to-make-with-old-sweaters

27. Scarflette

Can you imagine this beautiful scarflette is made from an old sweater? Impressive!

what-to-make-with-old-sweaters

28. Sweater Dress

Isn't this little girl's sweater dress just too cute for words? Quick and easy directions can be found at Make It & Love It.

what-to-make-with-old-sweaters

29. Sweater Pumpkins

I love when I can make a craft using something that I would normally toss. These pumpkins are a perfect example of finding a completely new use for an old sweater.

what-to-make-with-old-sweaters

30. Cat Bed

Make a warm and cozy bed for your favorite cat. You'll find the instructions at wikiHow.

what-to-make-with-old-sweaters

31. Dog Sweater

And don't forget your doggy friends. You're puppy will love a cute sweater like this. Find the instructions at craftstylish.

what-to-make-with-old-sweaters

32. Lampshade

When you find the right texture and color, make this beautiful lampshade to enhance your lamp. The easy to follow directions can be found at Unskinny BOPPY.

what-to-make-with-old-sweaters

33. Sweater Cap

I think this is a really attractive sweater cap. You'll find the directions at at Second street.

what-to-make-with-old-sweaters

34. Fingerless Gloves

There are times when you need to have your fingers free, even though the weather is cold enough for mittens. These fingerless gloves are easy and quick to make.

what-to-make-with-old-sweaters

35. Pumpkin

Another version of a pumpkin to make using an old sweater. This one has a shabby chic look that many people love. Follow the instructions at SEWING barefoot to make the pumpkin.

36. Slouchy Hat from Sweater

what-to-make-with-old-sweaters

37. Rompers

Craft Passion has the directions for making the rompers made from an old sweater.

what-to-make-with-old-sweaters

38. Sweater Cloche and Sweater Knit Sewing Tips

Did you know you could make a really cool cloche from an old sweater? Also you get tips for sewing sweater knits.

what-to-make-with-old-sweaters

39.Winter Headband

This simple headband could be easily made using an old sweater. Find the directions at HANNAH TYLER.

what-to-make-with-old-sweaters

40. Sweater to Vest

Your little fellow will love wearing a sweater that is made from Dad's old sweater. Find the instructions for this project at Made Everyday.

what-to-make-with-old-sweaters

41. Laptop Cover

Protect your laptop with this useful old sweater project. Find the tutorial at Artsy Ants.

what-to-make-with-old-sweaters

42. Christmas Stockings

Make a trip to a Goodwill store to stock up on inexpensive sweaters to make everyone in the family a beautiful Christmas stocking.


what-to-make-with-old-sweaters

43. Potluck Dish Cosy

This potluck dish cosy is perfect for keeping your food warm when taking it to a party.


what-to-make-with-old-sweaters

44. Baby Booties

Upcycling becomes more fun when you make sweater baby booties as gifts for a new mom and baby.



what-to-make-with-old-sweaters

45. Sweater Bunny Softie

Whether this little bunny softie is given as a child's toy or used as an Easter decoration, it is the most adorable sweater bunny you'll find.


what-to-make-with-old-sweaters

46. Jingle Star and How to Felt Wool Sweater Tips

This is a project that I can't wait to make. I love the vintage look of this wool sweater jingle star. Information includes how to felt wool sweaters and three other projects.


what-to-make-with-old-sweaters

47. Sweet Hat and Mitten Set

Isn't this just the cutest little hat and mitten set? It's hard to believe it was once a nondescript sweater.


what-to-make-with-old-sweaters

48. Kitty Pillow

For all the many cat lovers in your world, make them cute and cuddlykitty pillows.


what-to-make-with-old-sweaters

49. Pet Toy

If you are tired of buying pet toys, consider recycling an old sweater, or two, into a pet toy. Your puppy will love you.


what-to-make-with-old-sweaters

50. Sweater Candle Holders

This is certainly an impressive modern fall centerpiece. I love the simplicity and elegance of the sweater candle holders which make up the centerpiece.


© 2013 Loraine Brummer

Do you recycle old sweaters by making crafts? - or leave a comment

Marilyn from Nevada on November 07, 2018:

Oh, and I also love the Sweater Cap idea. I have three people in my family that love caps...guess what they're getting for Christmas! Thanks for the ideas.

Marilyn from Nevada on November 07, 2018:

OMG!! I can't believe I didn't think of this! What an amazing idea to use old sweaters to make other items. I am particularly interested in the sweater boots, and your other great ideas! This is a great way to save money, and recycle instead of tossing. Fantastic writing, and content. I will be visiting often.

CarrieM925 on April 07, 2013:

Love these great ideas. Wonderful lens.

Wednesday-Elf from Savannah, Georgia on February 14, 2013:

Fabulous craft ideas using sweaters. I have a crafty friend in Wisconsin who makes dozens of pairs of mittens every winter from 'recycled' sweaters (and sells them on Etsy). They are very popular.

textbookmommy on February 11, 2013:

I love all these wonderful ideas! Great lens!

johnsonry on February 11, 2013:

Very nice ideas! I wouldn't ever think of so many ways how to use old sweaters!

greytdogz on February 08, 2013:

Excellent info. Recycling is so important and there are some really good ideas here. Thank you.

emmaheath on February 07, 2013:

The stuffed animals are so cute! I've been looking for ideas for an old cashmere sweater that has holes in it. Just saw Nate Berkus the other day on Rachel Ray, and he was also talking about making pillows out of sweaters. I looked at the Brassy Apple instructions and they're really simple. Thank goodness...as I'm not much of a seamstress. :)

sue826 lm on February 03, 2013:

Great lense. I believe in recycling and finding uses for discarded items. This lens has some great suggestions.

sue826 lm on February 03, 2013:

Great lense. I believe in recycling and finding uses for discarded items. This lens has some great suggestions.