Upcycle old sweaters – 10 ideas!

upcycle old sweaters

For those of us new to upcycling – it’s a process that allows you to breathe new life into an old, unusable object or material and transform it into something totally new and worthwhile. If while rummaging through your winter wear, you’ve found an old sweater, that’s either out of style, a little snug, or just not what you need anymore, then read on for some fun, interesting ideas on how to transform them.

  • Throw for your living area/ Blanket for your bed: What better than a warm throw made of your own old sweater to keep you cozy in the winter. A throw would need a couple of old sweaters, and a blanket would need more, depending on the size you want. After felting the sweaters (a process that tightens the threads and keeps the sweater from fraying), cut out large sized squares from them (you can choose the size to suit yourself). Then it only involves placing the different colours and sewing them together. For detailed instructions, click here. The throw would be made exactly the same way, just slimmer.

  • Cozy Cushion Covers: Choose a soft and snuggly old sweater for this one. Pick one whose colour would compliment your furniture. Measure the size of your cushion filler and then cut out the area from the body of your sweater (cut out at least ½ an inch more to ensure easy sewing). Stitch up the sides and add some buttons to the bottom open area. Insert a cushion filler and use. For detailed instructions, click here.

  • Gorgeous Pot Covers: Find yourself a colourful sweater sleeve for this one. Alternatively, use the sleeve left behind from your cushion project. If this is your first project, keep aside the body of the sweater for later use. Measure the size of your indoor pot and cut the sleeve accordingly, while keeping an inch extra at the top and bottom. Slip this over your pot and tuck away the raw unstitched part into the pot and do the same with bottom. That’s it; it’s the simplest and coolest idea for transforming those old pots. For detailed instructions, click here.

  • Warm Boots/Socks:  How about fixing yourself the warmest boots that look uber cool too. You’d need an old pair of flat shoes for this one and a sweater with bulky sleeves of a color of your choice. Follow these instructions to make your own warm boots. Alternatively, you could also create warm socks from these. For instructions, click here.

  • Dusters / Dusting Mitt: You can never have enough cleaning mitts in the house. This one involves using a felted sweater and an old shirt (terry cloth). With these two you can now create super efficient dusters/dusting mitts. You need to cut out the sweater into strips by measuring a width that’s a little more than your palm and twice the size in height. Cut the ends into fringes, long enough but ensure there’s a middle patch that’s left unattended (do not cut strips end to end). Sew these over the terry cloth and fold it over once done (refer to images). Sew in the sweater cuffs onto one side of the terry cloth and you’re done. You’d have an efficient dusting mitt ready. For detailed instructions, click here.

  • An Infinity Scarf: Create an infinity scarf yourself by just cutting off the body of an oversized bulky sweater. Sew in an inch from the top and bottom ends of the sweater, to keep it from fraying. You can read instructions here.

  • Baby Sleep sack: Make this for any baby, and they’ll love it – a cozy sleep sack from your old sweater. All you need to do is choose an oversized sweater and use the body to create a sleep sack. It’s  super easy to make, and also keeps your baby warm and snuggled. For step-by-step instructions, click here.

  • Baby caps/ Monkey caps: Another snuggly one for your little one. Make one of these to have them completely winter ready. Choose a soft old woollen sweater for this one with a ribbing at the end (this will sit well on the baby’s head). All you need is the body of the sweater and very basic sewing skills. For instructions, click here.

  • Pet Bed: This one’s for those of us who have pets at home. Make them a warm snuggly bed with an upcycled oversized sweater. This one uses the entire sweater. The sleeves get filled to create a nice headrest and it ends up giving the bed a form too. The body of the sweater gets stuffed with a soft, plush cushion/pillow. All this is then sewn down together. For instructions, click here.

  • Laptop/Ipad sleeve: Woolen sweaters give a nice cushioning when used as a sleeve. Use an old sweater body to create a sleeve. All you need to do is trace out the laptop size on the body of the sweater and sew it in. That’s it; you’d have a sleeve ready. For instructions, click here.

In addition to the above, old sweater sleeves can be cut out to be used as leg warmers, wrist warmers etc.


We hope we’ve inspired you enough to try some of these DIY projects. If you do happen to try them, do share pictures of the final results. We’d love to see.

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