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40+ ways to upcycle sweaters into something new

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sweater upcycle ideas

40+ ways to upcycle sweaters! Whether you accidentally shrunk a sweater, found one riddled with moth holes, or can’t resists buying cashmere and merino when it’s $1 at the thrift shop, I have some project ideas for you! If you don’t have a wool sweater stash, check out these tips for thrift shopping to upcycle & refashion before you hit up the store, but beware it can be hard to stop buying soft sweaters once you’ve started. This post focuses only on sweater upcycles, as in cutting a sweater up and turning it into anything but a sweater; if you’re looking for ways to refashion a sweater and keep it a sweater, that will be coming soon!

Working with wool is great because it doesn’t fray, is so soft, and feels extra cozy. Many tutorials will call for you to “felt” the sweaters and make them super thick but remember you can just wash them on delicate and hang dry if you want a thinner or stretchier feel! I love keeping even the smallest scraps and shredding them to use as stuffing, wool is my favorite.

While you’re here, check out these other posts too!

Pin this round-up of ways to upcycle sweaters with this link or collage image; please click through to the original tutorials to pin individual photos!

upcycled sweater tutorials

Ways to upcycle sweaters

Make something for your home

sweater to stool upcycle

I’ll be on the hunt for a ‘before’ stool because I love this idea; turning a sweater into an ottoman, from Upcycle That.

upcycled sweater quilt

See how to make a blanket out of sweaters with this easy upcycle tutorial here on my blog!

upcycled sweater lampshade

This adds such nice texture to something that is normally boring and bland, a sweater covered lampshade from Beth Bryan.

upcycled felt garland

This would be cute in colors too, make an upcycled sweater garland with this tutorial from Danse Le Lakehouse.

upcycled sweater sachets

I never get tired of tiny house projects and these upcycled lavender sachets from Sum of Our Stories are so sweet.

upcycled sweater pillow

I love the hand embroidery she added to this upcycled sweater pillow, from Vicky Myers Creations.

upcycled sweater pot

This is so creative, cover an old pot with an upcycled sweater for some hygge decor, at A Cultivated Nest!

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Make an accessory

free pattern easy hand warmers to sew

Handwarmers from wool sweaters are super cozy and quick to sew! I have two styles and a free pattern here on my site.

Oldie but a goodie, click through to see a second version too, with this no sew winter cowl upcycle here on Swoodson Says.

upcycled sweater tote tutorial

This looks really quick to make and classy, an upcycled tote tutorial from Its Always Autumn.

upcycled sweater beret

This looks so professional; sew an upcycled beret over at Ehow by Renegade Seamstress.

Upcycled wool sweater mittens are so fun and this pattern looks like a really nice fit, find it and the tutorial at Make and Do Crew.

A cozy winter project; turn an old sweater into a mug cozy with this tutorial at Vicky Myers Creations

upcycled sweater wrist warmers

We keep our house super cold in winter and I need to make myself a pair of these; simple wrist warmer tutorial from Purl Soho.

upcycled sweater boots

A fun way to make some slippers, with a sweater boot tutorial from Trash to Couture.

upcycled hot water bottle cover

This looks so cozy; an upcycled hot water bottle cover from Vicky Myers Creations, perfect for winter!

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Make something for kiddos

refashioned sweater into hat

Sew a cozy hat from an old sweater! I have a tutorial here, no pattern necessary, on my site.

Not a freebie, but check out the different animal options for these fun little slippers made from an old sweater, here on Swoodson Says.

I cannot believe how cute this is, I would’ve loved this on my kids when they were littler; see how to turn a sweater into a hooded scarf over at My Poppet Makes.

upcycled dog jacket

For your fur children, sew an upcycled dog coat! You could also just use sweaters and sew one of these dog clothes patterns or tutorials too.

No tutorial, but keep in mind that wool makes for a super snuggly add-on to any stuffed animal as applique or part of the pattern, like these inner ears!

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Make something for Christmas

upcycled felt ornament tutorial

I need to make some more of these, but with a simple template and fun trim you can make soft, upcycled ornaments, tutorial here on Swoodson Says.

Love this idea for upcycling sweater scraps into ornaments, from Homemade Heather.

Pretty upcycled stockings from Heather Handmade, I like the trim inspiration with these.

These are SO creative and fun, upcycled snowflakes from Cucicucicoo.

wool scrap wreath

The cutest scrappy little ornament idea, from You Make It Simple!

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Beth Magill

Saturday 19th of August 2023

I just LOVE this list!!!!

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Sunday 17th of September 2023

you're the best Beth!

Park Avenue

Tuesday 20th of June 2023

It was so refreshing to see other crafts (besides the scarf and those hideous shrugs-that no one ever wears in real life) That Christmas ornament and embroidery hoop was so clever, I'm surprised I never saw that one. Thank you for the great ideas PA

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Monday 3rd of July 2023

hey, love to hear it! I like to keep my posts updated and fresh :)

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