24 Ways to Reuse Old Sweaters

Brr! Now that the cold weather’s rolling in, are you taking stock of your sweater collection? If you’ve got a few ill-fitting or out-of-style sweaters in your stash, try some of these fun sweater crafts to make them useful again!

If you don’t have any old sweaters in your closet, try hitting the thrift store or yard sales to find old sweaters for crafting. Something to keep in mind: it’s only upcycling if the main materials in your project have outlived their usefulness in their current form. Sure, you can buy new sweaters to do these projects, but if you’re using a new sweater – even one you found super cheaply on sale – it’s not upcycling. That doesn’t mean it’s not clever, crafty, or valid. It just means it’s not upcycled.

A Note on Felting

Some of these projects call specifically for wool sweaters, because you’ll need to felt them. Synthetic yarns don’t felt very well, so if a project specifies wool, look for a sweater that’s at least 50-60 percent wool. If you need to learn sweater-felting basics, this tutorial from Julie Finn is a great place to start.

OK! So do you have some old sweaters handy? Let’s get crafty! Check out our sweater reuse ideas on the next page!


1. Lovebird Wrist Warmers – Whip up some cozy wrist warmers for yourself or as a gift! If birds aren’t your thing, you can really use any embellishments you want to customize these.

2. Recycled Christmas Trees – You can use this tutorial to make mini trees or cute, pointy hats!

3. Felted Stockings – Is your mantle a little bit bare? Stitch up some cute stocking from your sweater stash!

4. Sweater Boots – What do you get when you combine an old sweater with a kicked pair of sneakers? Super cute, slouchy boots!

5. More Christmas Trees – This is a different cute take on the sweater Christmas tree.


6. That’s a Wrap – Turn an oversized sweater vest into a trendy, asymmetrical wrap.

7. Child’s Vest – How cute would your kiddo look in this preppy vest made from an old sweater?

8. No-knit Socks – No, for real! Turn those sweater sleeves into a pair of cozy socks.

9. Frumpy to Fabulous – Take an unflattering cardigan and tailor it beautifully.

10. Unravel Them – Pull those old sweaters apart and use the yarn in a whole new knit, crochet, or macrame project!

11. Mittens and a Hat – Turn one sweater into a matching gloves and hat set.

12. Pom Pom Hat – Everything is cuter with a pom pom on it! This hat is no exception.

Up Next: 12 more ways to upcycled old sweaters!

photos by Becky Striepe

sweater cowl

13. Sweater Sleeve Cowl – The sleeve of a shrunken sweater is the perfect size and shape to make a cozy cowl.

14. Felted Brooch – Got some scraps left over from those other felted sweater projects? Make a pretty brooch!

15. Ruffled Scarf – This looks uber cozy!

16. Sweater Skirt – Turn an old Christmas sweater into an adorable mini skirt.

17. Monster Puppets – The kids will love playing with these silly, handmade puppets.


18. Infinity Scarf – Make a button up infinity scarf from an old, felted sweater.

19. Beach Ball Pillows – Are you dreaming of balmy weather? Make some beach ball pillows to keep you comfy and cozy until the warmer months return.

20. Sweater Wreath – Felted sweaters make a beautiful wreath that you could really display year-round.

21. Sweater Bangle Bracelets – Got some boring plastic bangles in your stash? Learn how to cover them with old sweaters for an updated look.

22. Sweater Slippers – Nothing says cozy like a pair of slippers! Here’s how to make a sweet pair from an old sweater.

23. Lampshade – Update an old lampshade with sweater material.

24. Bubbly Sweater Scarf – This scarf would be great for using up your felted sweater scraps!

Have you done any fun crafts with old sweaters lately? Share your ideas in the comments!

photo by Becky Striepe

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Cindy S
Cindy Smith7 months ago


Julia Oleynik
Julia Oleynikabout a year ago

Thank you for sharing

Anne F
Anne F2 years ago

intrigued with the idea of socks or slippers from sweaters.

Edith B.
Edith B3 years ago

Thanks, shared with friends.

Sheila Niermeier
Sheila N3 years ago

Although my favourite sweater craft takes quite a bit of time...it can be extremely relaxing! Sometimes it goes quickly sometimes it take ages!
I unravel the sweaters and make wool dryer balls! They are a great gifts as they save the lucky friend time and money..(cutting down drying time).......Best bonus....no chemicals like plastic dryer balls and those fabric softener dryer sheets.....Plus the clothes come out soft! Check it out on the internet!

I find the unravelling process very relaxing......when it goes quickly. (Another possible downside it can get a bit messy with some fluffy sweaters......but a vacuum can fix that) ! My reading indicates one should use only 100% pure wool for these......

Julie Botsch
Julie Botsch4 years ago

Thank You.

Ganaisha Calvin
Ganaisha Calvin5 years ago

the skirt idea is cute

Sonia Minwer Barakat Requ
Sonia M5 years ago

Great ideas,thanks for sharing

Joanna W.
Joanna W5 years ago

thanx love the ideas!

Melania Padilla
Melania P5 years ago