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Don't throw away old sweaters. Recycle them! I have even bought them at thrift stores to recycle. Most projects can be done in under an hour.
Total Time: 1 hour or less
By Jackie from Burlington, KY
At garage sales, I always keep an eye out for turtlenecks. I don't like the way I look in them; rather, what I do is bring them home and snip off the "turtleneck" part, which I then wear as a stretchy headband! Just make sure you cut so that the seam is still attached to the neckline of the shirt. That way, you have a finished edge on what is left, and your new headband stretches nicely. :)
By AlaskanAurora from Dutch Harbor, AK
Leg-warmers are back in style and can easily be made from the sleeves of old sweaters, even sweaters with holes! Just turn the sweater inside-out and cut the seam out at the arm-hole using sharp scissors. Next unravel the sleeve (from the top down) until the top is straight and level all around.
Look at the latest holiday edition of www.threadbanger.com for instructions how to make easy beanies and matching mitten from an old sweater! Kids are always losing theirs, so this would be great for a wintry mom.
Wool sweaters (with or without alpaca/angora/cashmere) will shrink (felt) in hot water, and then they are amazingly dense and warm! No sewing or hemming needed. Long sleeves make leg warmers that stay up without elastic.
My daughter is 14 years old and very particular about her clothes. Luckily she is happy to shop at thrift stores and is willing to spend her own allowance and money from relatives on clothing she doesn't "need".
I like making them into pillow tops. The sleeves can be bolsters and the backs can be the main front of the pillow. Keep in mind that some pillows are for decoration only, so it's OK to put things like the buttons, any rosettes, embellishments, etc. on them.
Old sweaters are excellent (and beautiful) for recovering throw pillows, or making pillows for the kids to use on the floor while playing video games. Another great use for them is to cut them into huge squares and sew together.
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A worn or stained sweater can find new life as a pair or two of mittens. This is a guide about recycled sweater mittens.
Repurpose an old sweater in to some warm woolen mittens. This is a guide about making mittens out of wool sweaters.
This is a guide about recycle yarn from old sweaters. Old outdated sweaters of your own or thriftstore finds are a great source for reclaimed yarn.
You can decorate using one or two main colors of sweater - like all white or all cream or white and blue, for example. Or you can use many colors throughout.
You can create a romantic wedding with sachets out of white or cream sweaters, napkin rings out of strips of white or cream sweaters tied around rose colored napkins and a silk rose on floral wire, whatever you can think of to add that vintage look!
Using these sweaters has been my favorite crafting ever!
This is a guide about recycling sweaters into scarves. Rather than discarding your old sweaters, you can turn them into fun, unique scarves.
Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
I am interested in the ideas, hopefully patterns or directions, for using recycled large sweaters. I want to make toddler girls' jumpers, hats, and mittens. Other matching ideas are appreciated.
How can I recycle old knitted cotton sweaters?
By Loretta from Steep Falls
There are a lot of great ideas on this site alone, and you can also find some great ideas on these sites:
I made an old sweater of mine into a hot water bottle cover! I didn't have a pattern, just snipped off the arms, ballparked the size, and did a quick stitch around. I kept the turtleneck opening of the sweater around the spout of the bottle. Keeps it very warm and cozy!
Does anyone know how to make mittens and afghans from old sweaters?
The best way I've found is to take the sweater apart and unravel it into a ball keeping it very loose. I take the arms off first, then find the connecting yarn and open them up. Usually, the thread runs from the wrist to the underarm. I cut off the wrist piece & work from there. Then, detach the neck piece & discard, or save for emergency scrap material, Last, separate the shoulder seams.
The front and back pieces will have a few inches of cut yarn, usually. I trim these, and then pull the pieces until I reach the first row that goes all the way across, and ball from there. If you save each piece in a separate ball and use one arm and front or back first, you will know when you've used half of your material, and be able to gauge how much more you have to work with.
I've found that 2 mens XL sweaters will make a nice sized afghan.
If you shop at thrift stores, (of course, wash first) you can find some wonderful quality yarn for just a few dollars. Sometimes, if the garment in the store is damaged, it sells for pennies, You might also ask the manager if you can buy (by the bag) the sweaters that they don't deem fit for sale. Some will be unusable, but most can at least be used for granny squares. Have fun : )
I use the sleeves of the sweater to make mittens. Trace a mitten shape as big as your hand (or whomever you are creating for) on the inside of the sweater sleeve using the cuff of the sweater as the wrist of the mitten. Cut out the shape, sew along the edges and turn inside right.
I would be interested in craft ideas for reusing felted wool sweaters.
By sumarks from Minneapolis, MN