Old sweaters are wonderful things, and though it is very difficult to say goodbye to wearing them, there are many ways to keep those comfy get-ups around. Obviously, if a sweater doesn’t fit anymore but is still pristine, the right thing to do is probably donate it for someone else to enjoy. But, if it has passed its prime, repurposing the old favorites can be a meaningful and fun way of continuing to enjoy them.
Repurposing sweaters doesn’t have to be something difficult. For those with modest abilities in cutting and sewing, the possibilities are vast and varied, but even for those a little wary of crafting, there are still some projects that scarcely involve more than the motivation to do them. And, it’s worth it. Sweaters seem to have the ability to really make folks comfortable, both wearing them as clothes and reinventing them as other things.
1. More Winter Clothing
They were built to be warm, so why not continue taking advantage of that? Using the waist-side hem of a sweater, it’s very easy to cut out patterns for mittens, cowls, and hats. Otherwise, the sleeves can be removed to be leg warmers or fingerless gloves. This requires little more than scissors, needle, and thread. The sewing doesn’t even have to be too proficient because sweaters tend to be fuzzy or rustic and hide such work.
2. Funky Coasters
With so many hot beverages making the rounds in winter and so much time spent inside, the need for coasters escalates. Cut-up sweaters make fantastic, funky coasters with a myriad of colors and patterns to choose from. And, while they may not actually be warming us as that beverage is, a sweater-y coaster sure creates an atmosphere that suggests being snuggled up. It’s the right frame of mind for winter.
3. A Cozy Pillowcase
Since sweaters are usually beloved for being comfy and cozy, it only makes sense to turn old favorites into pillows. Again, this is as easy as sticking a cushion in the body of the sweater, cutting around the cushion and sewing up some loose ends. Cardigans work especially well for these because the buttons create an instant way to remove the cushion when necessary. These make great throw pillows for the winter months.
4. Hand Warmers
Most of the time hand warmers come as either disposable items or wrapped in a lot of plastic. These might be more convenient (and effective) for outside, but when around the house, reusable hand warmers are amazing. Just cut out a couple of squares, sew them into a pouch, and fill it with rice or lentils. The warmers sit on the radiator, hot air vent, or stove to heat up, or they can be microwaved. Then, it’s just a matter of holding onto them.
5. A Shoulder Bag
For the crafty sorts, looking for bags to hold yarn, or even the traveling types, looking for a quick and easy carry-on bag, an old sweater can make a unique carrier. There are many patterns for making bags out of sweaters, but it’s not so difficult to figure out. Sew the body shut on one end, and attach or cut out some straps on the other.
6. A Pet Bed
This project is awesome for a couple of reasons. One, those with pets are likely familiar with how much they love to sleep or rest on something that smells of their guardians. Two, this doesn’t require any sewing or cutting; just stuffing. Stuff the sleeves and hook the cuffs together to make a puffy ring. Put an old pillow in the body. That’s a bed that pets will love because it’s both comfortable and reminiscent of their companions.
7. Decorative Plant Pots
It’s easy to find old plant pots at yard sales and thrift stores, but these are often either slightly damaged or a bit tacky. A cool thing to do with them is to cover the pots with old sweaters to give them a nice-looking exterior that’ll spruce up the house. Then, of course, it’s an amazing thing to grow some lettuce, herbs, or other food in those pots. They’ll be attractive vessels for productive houseplants.
And, that’s how we hang on to the sweaters we’ve grown to love. Long after they’ve left our closets, we can continue the love them, be comforted by them, and make use of them. What a great way to get through winter!
Lead Image Source: Flickr