Recycled Sweater Mittens

Have you ever thought about making mittens from old wool sweaters?

by Craftbits (shellie wilson)

Follow these simple instructions and you'll have a pair of cozy woollen mittens in no time.

What you need

Felted wool sweater
Tape measure or yard stick
Pair of sharp scissors
Marker pen
Blunt end needle
Yarn or thread for sewing pieces together
Pins or safety pins


Your sweater should be felted before you begin.

The easiest way is to use the sweater sleeves. You might as well use the cuffs that are already there and reduce the need for stitching.

You will need to know how to sew back stitch too.

Here’s how to make mittens from old wool sweaters…

  1. Push your hand into the sleeve from the cuff end.
    You can feel how long your mittens should be at the cuff,
    so you know which part of your wrist should be at the start of
    the tape measure.
  2. Lay your hand on the tape
    measure with your fingers pointing along the numbers. Take into
    account the depth of cuff you want and note the measurement
    ONE inch past your fingertips. This measurement will include
    your seam allowance.
  3. Turn your sweater inside out. Place tape measure on
    sweater sleeve and cut straight across sleeve at correct
    measurement. Repeat on second sleeve.
  4. Pin or safety pin the sleeve together to prevent twisting.
    Place your non-writing hand on one cut sleeve piece with your
    wrist over the cuff section and the sleeve seam right next to your
    little finger. Spread your thumb away from your hand so that it lays
    parallel with the sleeve fold.
  5. Keeping at least a ONE INCH space around your handand tapering from
    the sleeve seam, draw a rounded mitten edge around your fingers and
    down to your thumb joint. Keeping a HALF INCH space around your thumb,
    draw up the length of your thumb and around the top tapering the thumbs’
    top curve into the sleeve fold.
  6. Cut along your line. Pin your second sleeve together, place
    your mitten template on the other sleeve so the seams are on top of
    one another. Draw around and cut out the second mitten.
  7. You’re now ready to
    back stitch
    your mittens about a quarter inch in from the cut edge. Work
    from the sleeve seam all the way around the open edge for
    each mitten, tapering into the seam and the fold.
  8. It’s probably more comfortable to wear if you trim your seams down
    to about a quarter inch width. You should also make a small snip
    in the seam edge of both mittens at the point where your thumb and hand parts meet.
    Snip in towards the seam but be sure not to cut your stitching.
    This will prevent wrinkling at the thumb joint.
  9. Turn your mittens right side out and you’re done!

Now you know how to make mittens from old wool sweaters. Don’t throw away the rest of the sweater yet. You can save the small pieces to try some needle felting. The rest you can turn into a bag or a multitude of items.

You could try needle felting or embroidering a design onto the back of your mittens to spruce them up a little.

If you think your mittens are a little loose at the cuff, stitch some elastic around the inside of the cuff or make a decorative band across the back of your wrist by crocheting with some fancy yarn around the elastic.

I hope you enjoy making mittens from your old wool sweaters.

Jill Wright is the author of this article. Jill owns – a website dedicated to teaching crochet and felting. Find patterns, techniques and tips to help you learn and master these fun crafts.

Have You Seen These Ideas?

New Comment
New Comment