Uses for Old Sweatshirts

A sturdy cotton fabric that can be fashioned into other things. This guide contains uses for old sweatshirts.

Paris France Sweatshirt
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Sweatshirts can be recycled to make good quilts. They are warm enough that just a backing rather than adding batting may be sufficiently warm if a lightweight quilt is desired. I often alternate sweatshirt materials with jean material. At a thrift store look for 2X and 3X sizes as they have a lot of material in them. You might want to cut around lettering and pictures on the shirts. I prefer buying plain shirts if I can find them.

By halstein from Valley City, ND

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Uses for Old SweatshirtsTips for reusing old sweatshirts that aren't fit to wear anymore.

Make a Doggie Sweater

Cut off the sleeves with pinking shears and cut two leg holes in the appropriate places and make a doggie sweater for a small dog. Cut sleeve to appropriate length for size of doggie.

By Cjgeo

Hoods for Emergency Hat

You could also cut off the hood and throw it in your trunk. If you have to change a tire in the cold, it's a quick protection from the wind and won't smash your hair down like a stocking cap does. They make good dusting rags too.

By Barbie

Rainy Day Decorating

If you have kids, pick up some fabric paint that is on sale. The next time it's raining outside and the kids are going crazy, bring out the paint and the old sweatshirts, and let the kids go to town decorating.

By Sheree

Hoods for Cleaning

Recycle an old hooded sweatshirt by cutting the hood off with the strings still attached. Tie it over a mop or broom and use it to dust ceilings and walls. The hood can be washed and used over and over.

By June S.

Use for Mopping

Replace string mop head with old sweatshirt, putting the fleece side out for best scrubbing action. You may also cut off sleeves and hood for to use as wet cleaning rags.

By Prudence

Doll Clothes

I'm using my old sweatshirts to make play clothes for my niece's dolls. They make great shirts and sweatpants for the little dolls, and they're easy for the kids to get on because they stretch, just be sure to use a zig zag stitch!

By Shelly


I use old sweatshirts and t-shirts to dry my face and hair. They are so much softer than towels. Also when I got my new glasses, the assistant told me to use either a sweatshirt or tee shirt to wipe them to prevent scratching.


Use and Reuse

After the sweatshirt is worn out, I turn the sweatshirt inside out and cut the sleeves out. Viola, a new shirt and then I use it as a rag. Three times is a charm.

By Sally

Use Pictures as Quilt Squares

Old t-shirts and old sweat shirts with interesting pictures, designs etc. can make interesting blocks for a quilt.


Make a pillow if you liked the sweatshirt (or t-shirt). Cut the sleeves off and close the bottom seam, neck and armholes. Makes a nice throw pillow. You can use the arms for part of the stuffing!

By Cantate

Cover Outdoor Cushions

I think they might make neat covers for outdoor furniture. You could slip them on cushions and pin sleeves and excess fabric on the back.

By Pat

Make a Quilt

If you aren't too attached to them but don't want to pitch them, another good idea might be to cut out the pretty parts and stitch them together to make a quilt front. Then, purchase a flat sheet and use it as the back, or just use the front as an afghan instead of a quilt.

By Melissa

Dog Toys

If you have dogs, cut them into strips and make them into rope toys. Just knot one end and plait them, they're strong and last for ages.

By Daisychain

Make a Jacket

Cut the sweatshirt down the center in the front; hem it and put decorative ribbon. Use fabric paint and paint on the sweatshirt jacket! I got a sweatshirt jacket at Christmas time for a gift; it was painted with fabric paint. It is really cute!

By WandaJo

Frame It

If it's got a meaningful print on the front of it, cut it out and take it to Goodwill. Look for a frame that fits, usually a buck or two. Ive done this with a lot of my bf's tshirts and sweatshirts and once they're on the wall, no one can tell it's a shirt! He really loves this with his favorites like his Beatles t-shirts. (smile)

By Lily 59

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Use outgrown holiday sweatshirts for pillow covers. Measure the pillow (or pillow form) plus one inch all around. Cut out matching front and back pieces of sweatshirt or fronts from two sweatshirts if you want reversible pillows. Stitch around three sides, put pillow inside sweatshirt cover, and stitch fourth side.

You could also tuck the sleeves inside sweatshirt body and put pillow inside, tucking in extra fabric and hand stitching, if you want to be able to re-cover the pillow again after the holidays.

By MooseMom from Elk Grove, CA

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Better Living Green Living ReusingSeptember 25, 2013
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