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How to make a scarf from a sweater – no sew upcycle tutorial!

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How to make a scarf from a sweater - no sew upcycle tutorial!


How to make a scarf from a sweater, the easy way! I have made several of these without sewing; you *can* sew the edges as a hem, if you want, but after washing and drying the wool it’s pretty unnecessary. You could embroider some snowflakes along the edge and it would make a pretty gift, too! Lots of sweaters have holes along the cuff or in the armpit, and this DIY avoids both those issues without wasting the entire sweater. If you’re looking for a different style or using multiple sweaters, try this infinity scarf tutorial instead! If you’re ready to make one for yourself, check out my tips on shopping to upcycle or refashion and then hit up your local thrift store.

how to upcycle cashmere sweater

How the finished cowl will look depends on the size of the sweater and the fiber content; here you can see a heavier weight and how it hangs differently.

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

how to make an upcycled sweater scarf

Here is the one I’ve worn the most over the years, a stretchy cashmere blend that seems to get softer and softer! This one balls up super small for packing it, too.

Pin this tutorial for how to make a scarf from a sweater with this link or photo:

upcycled sweater scarf

Ready to make your own?

how to make a scarf from a sweater


  • Rotary cutter – [Shop: Amazon  ]
  • Acrylic ruler – [Shop: Amazon  ]
  • Lint shaver – [Shop: Amazon  ]



Step 1- Find a wool/cashmere blend sweater (all of the ones I’ve used are small/medium size, you may need to stitch along the side seams to make it smaller as a scarf if you go larger). Prewash cold & tumble dry or hang dry, however you plan to wash/dry the finished project! The goal here isn’t to “felt” any wool but just tighten it up a bit and make sure you can wash/dry it easily after wearing.


Step 2- Cut with sharp scissors or a rotary cutter in a straight line under the armpits.

step 3

Fold or scrunch and wear! The knit fabric shouldn’t fray or unravel unless you really pick at it, I’ve tested that theory for several years! If you’re feeling ambitious, you could do a blanket stitch or serge around the edge.

You’ll be left with some wool scraps – make some soft hand warmers with my heart-shaped tutorial or browse this list of ways to use up felt scraps. I try to generate as little trash as possible, even when upcycling, some bits and pieces of this sweater will live on as stuffing inside my son’s giant dump truck pillow (free pattern here!). Check out what else I made with this orange sweater, using a recycled sweater slippers pattern.

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Friday 15th of December 2017

So excited to find this just in time for Christmas. I'm going to make these for my hard to buy for hubby who has to stand in the cold to wait for the bus to take him to work. Plus, (hopefully) he'll think of me when he sees the heart shape.

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Thursday 21st of December 2017

I'm thinking you meant to leave this on my handwarmer post, haha, but yay! I hope he likes them!

Lynn H.

Friday 20th of November 2015

Great upcycle project!

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Friday 20th of November 2015

Thanks Lynn!


Sunday 21st of September 2014


Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Sunday 21st of September 2014

Thanks so much! It would be a great gift, and inexpensive too :)


Wednesday 27th of August 2014

Great idea for a quick and easy way to upcycle and accessorize! BTW-I love your expressions!

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Thursday 28th of August 2014

haha - have to keep it interesting, right! Thanks Terri!


Tuesday 26th of August 2014

That's a great upcycle for a sweater. I'll have to try it out.

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Tuesday 26th of August 2014

Thanks Robin! Hope you do :)

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