Make It With An Upcycled Sweater

upcycling sweaters

Do you have an old sweater kicking around that you never wear? Perhaps you can give it a second life and upcycle it into something fabulous. You can make a cozy pair of mittens, slippers, a hat or even a skirt. For those of you who follow me, know how much I love making things with an upcycled sweater. I think creating something from a felted wool sweater is just one of the best things ever! Cotton and mixed fiber sweaters can also be used to make fun projects.

In this post I am going to:

  1. Show you how to make the most out of your sweaters by properly cutting out your projects to minimize any fabric waist. (After all, felted sweater material is like CRAFTING GOLD).
  2. Give you some great tips on what part of the sweater to use for what kinds of projects.
  3. Show you what you can make with the SCRAPS.
Play Video

Let’s begin with some wool sweater BASICS.

In  previous posts I have shared information on

Check these out if you want more information on these topics.

Cutting out

Maximize you sweater fabric by placing pattern pieces as close together as possible. SAVE YOUR SCRAPS! I will show you what to do with the scraps later in the post.

If using felted wool, most likely you do not have to worry about placing pieces on the grain because felted wool stretches both ways equally. (not always). Unless the pattern says to place on the stretch or grain, you can place the pattern pieces any which way to not waist fabric.

What part of the sweater should you use for what?

Here is a little sweater anatomy.

Bottom & Sleeve Cuffs

The bottom cuff and sleeve cuffs are great to use for Slipper Boot cuffs, Pilot & Pixie Caps, Mitten cuffs and Beanies.

To use the bottom cuff for projects like these I cut off 4 inches from the bottom cuff and store in a bin for future projects.

* If you think you will be making beanies or caps, hold off on cutting the 4 inches off. Leave the sweater intact.

The rest of the sweater can be used for all kinds of fun projects.

1 Beanies & Hats

2 Mittens

3 Slipper Boots & Boot Socks

4 Slippers

5 Heart Hand Warmers

6 Baby Balls

7 Mitten Cuffs

Patterns to make these items can be found in my store, my Etsy and Craftsy shops


Here is the link to my Skillshare online video classes.

Sweater Thickness & Texture

An upcycled sweater  will vary in thickness and texture. Some sweaters are good for some things and not so good for others.

Thick, Heavy Weight: Good for slipper soles, bags and anything that needs a little more structure. Not good for mittens, slipper tops or hats.

Medium Weight: Good for most projects.

Thin Weight: Good for lining things like mittens & hats. (Cashmere sweaters work really well). Not good for projects that need any kind of structure to them.

I like to use the inside of the sweater as the outside on a lot of my projects. This adds a different texture and gives some character.

What to do with the felted wool sweater scraps?

You will be amazed at what fun things you can do with a small piece of felted wool.

Mini sweater balls, mistletoe, Valentine hearts, laundry dryer balls, hand warmers and so much more!

Click on the links above to see the whole project tutorials.

When you cut out all your sweater projects, DO NOT THROW the SCRAPS AWAY! Get a bin to keep all your scraps in, you never know when a little piece of felted wool will come in handy.

Go find a lonely sweater and and make something fun!

Whew! To those who made it through the whole post, you get rewarded. How about a 30% discount off any pattern two patterns ordered from my shop.

When you are checking out, just type in coupon code:






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DIY Upcycled Poncho

Do you have a few sweaters kicking around that you don’t wear? Turn them into a fun, colorful DIY upcycled poncho.

Ponchos are not just for little girls!

diy Upcycled Poncho

Last fall I designed a few little girl poncho patterns and had the intentions of making them into women patterns, because ponchos are not just meant for little girls, right? Well, I put it off until I had someone request an adult size. It took me a while to tweak and get it right, but it tuned out kind of fun.

diy Upcycled Poncho

Look how cute they are made up using fleece. Just think of all the possibilities and color combinations. Ahhhh, imagine one made up using all black fleece or sweater material, how classy and sharp that would look! Something I will definitely do. If any of you make one of these up, please send me photo so we can share it.

What is fun about these ponchos, is that you can wear them several ways. Flip it sideways and off center and it has a little more whimsy, playful look than just straight on centered. If you use felted wool sweaters, and sew the seams using a single needle sewing machine, the poncho looks real cute worn inside out with the seams exposed.

diy Upcycled Poncho

I use fleece on the neck binding which gives it a soft, comfortable feel around the neck.

diy Upcycled Poncho

The neck binding is easy to sew using a technique I use that saves time and uses less steps than applying normal binding. LEARN HOW TO DO IT HERE.

These ponchos make a fun alternative to a light sweater.

Put a little playful back in your wardrobe!

The patterns are available in my Etsy and Craftsy shops.

Have fun sewing!


Upcycled Felted Wool Sweater Balls

felted wool sweater balls

I hope you have been saving  the sweater scraps when you are cutting out your sweater mittens, slippers, or other felted wool projects, because I am going to show you how easy it is to make these adorable upcycled felted wool sweater balls. Who would have thought that you could still do something with a 3 inch piece of sweater. I don’t throw any of these precious scraps away, even the littlest pieces get saved for laundry dryer balls.

You are probably wondering what you do with a bunch of balls made with sweaters.

Instead of yarn pom poms on my elf slippers, I find a cute sweater color and make a sweater ball.

Look how cute they look just sitting in a bowl. Add a little color and texture to any room.

I have used them for a button on my tablet purse…….

…and on my “hip purse”.

Look how cute they look sewn to this little girl poncho.

Video Tutorial

Here is a quick tutorial on how easy it is to make this little gems.

I know you can make similar balls that are more uniform using special wool fibers for “felting”, but I find these have a little more character, because of the different sweater textures and stitches.

I am hoping to have enough soon to make a fun garland.

Get your tote of scraps, a pair of scissors, a good movie and cut away.

I like to keep a plastic zip bag full of wool circles, thread and a pair of scissors. It makes a great on-the-go project. (For those of you who like to take advantage of down time while traveling, chilling out, or those fun stays in waiting rooms).

I would love to see if any of you have any other great ideas of how to use these cute little fellas. Send me your ideas or better yet, send me a snap of your creations.


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