Repurpose Old Clothes: 5 Items From ONE Thrift Store Sweater

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Are you wanting to repurpose old clothes? Buy 1 thrift store sweater or re-purpose an old sweater of your own to make 5 ideas that are easy and will warm your home during the cold months!

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Are you wanting to repurpose old clothes? Buy 1 thrift store sweater or re-purpose an old sweater of your own to make 5 ideas that are easy and will warm your home during the cold months!

Repurpose Old Clothes Instructions

I found this sweater at our ARC thrift store, and you can check your local Salvation Army, Goodwill, etc. You can also use other clothes you find like towels, flannel shirts, old tees, a pair of jeans, etc to upcycle clothes and create these DIYs! I’ll even explore some additional tutorials after this sweater to create things like turning old t-shirts into tote bags, leggings to a door draft stopper, and more.

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1. Repurpose Old Clothes into a Sweater Pillow

Pick a pillow that you will insert into the sweater cover. I had this pillow on hand, it came from IKEA for $2.

Turn the sweater inside out and hot glue the bottom together, this will be the seam.

Turn the sweater right side out once the glue is cool.

Measure your pillow you’ll be inserting inside your pillow cover so you will know where to cut it next.

Use a scissors to cut the sweater across.

You can hot glue the new cut edges together if you are okay with leaving the pillow permanently in the sweater cover. I wanted to make my sweater cover removable so I decided to use Velcro that I purchased from Dollar Tree. Measure the amount of Velcro you will need on your sweater and cut it.

Hot glue “scratchy strip” of the Velcro to the outside of the front side of the sweater, and the soft strip of Velcro to the outside of the back side of the sweater. You can use self-adhesive Velcro if desired. There are also several colors of Velcro so you can find the color you like the best. High in side I maybe would have used black.

Insert the pillow, and flip the 2 sides of Velcro into each other and press together.

This will be the bottom of your pillow. If you don’t like seeing the Velcro, Turn the sweater inside out. Hot glue seams like you did in the first step. Next hot glue the Velcro to the on the inside of the sweater above the seams you just made. Turn your sweater right side out, put your pillow in, and press the Velcro together.

Here is this completed pillow!

My husband is happy to see this sweater every day, and my kids love laying on it which also makes him happy as well.

You might also be interested in seeing my other sweater pillows including one I made from my husband’s old sweater that was a gift from his grandma! You can find that tutorial at Easy and Awesome No Sew DIY Pillow Covers For Your Home

I’ve also made several other pillow covers in a variety of ways using shower curtains, placemats, and more. I’ve even made chair cushions out of rugs. You can find all of those tutorials at:

2. Repurpose Old Clothes into a Door Draft Stopper 

This is what we have left of the sweater after the first project. You’ll need 2 tube socks, and rice to continue. My tube socks came from Dollar Tree, and my rice was from Walmart.

Fill both tube socks with rice.

Flip out one edge of the tube sock. Place hot glue on the turned out edge and press the other tube sock onto the hot glue. Continue all the way around to seal the sock.

This is what it should look like when you’re finished.

Cut your sweater sleeve and part of the chest of the remaining sweater to be on the outside of the socks.

Turn inside out and hot glue any edges that need to complete the tube shape. Turn right side out after glue cools. Slide rice sock pack into the sweater sleeve tube.

Slide rice sock pack into the sweater sleeve tube.

Hot glue the outside of the sweater sleeve ½ way around. Flip the sleeve inside and press together to seal. Repeat to the other side.

Place the door draft stopper in front of your door.

3. Repurpose Old Clothes into Coffee Cuffs or Coffee Sleeves

There is what we have left of the sweater for round 3

Cut the cuff edge.

Slide onto travel coffee mug… but wait here’s the 2nd one.

Cut another section of the sleeve.

Cut a slit in the section vertical.

Slide onto the mug and slip the handle through the slit.  If your sweater had any embellishments feel free to glue them onto your sleeve to decorate, or add your own buttons, stickers, etc.

4. Repurpose Old Clothes into a Candle Sleeve or Candle Warmer

Measure the candle you will be covering.

Cut another section off the sleeve

Slide the section onto the candle. Decide if you want it folded over or not, &/or whether you want to wrap around the bottom or be exposed above the bottom.

If your sweater had any embellishments feel free to glue them onto your sleeve to decorate, or add your own buttons, stickers, etc.

5. Repurpose Old Clothes into Hand Warmers 

There is what we have left of the sweater for round 5. Cut 2 rectangles

Hot glue 2 sides and fold together

Once the glue cools, flip the pocket inside out.

Add rice.

Put hot glue on one side on the outside of the sweater.

Flip both sides in and press together.

To use as a hand warmer, place in the microwave for a few seconds. It depends on the strength of your microwave but 10 seconds is enough in mine. Use to warm cold hands after coming in from outside. Warm and place inside your mitten for added warmth.

These also double as cold backs for sore muscles and boo-boos. Place your hand warmer in the freezer. Pull out when you are ready to use it and place it back in the freezer when you’re finished.

And now you have 5 things from 1 thrift store sweater!

Find out “What Exactly Does It Mean To Repurpose Or Upcycle“, save money, and create the most amazing things.

Repurpose Old Clothes Video

Come watch my video of this tutorial with Hometalk TV

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More Repurpose Old Clothes Tutorials

What can I make out of old clothes? I have 3 ways repurposed clothing can keep you warm during the winter that are easy and helpful.

What To Do with Old Clothes with Video

What can I make out of old clothes? I have 3 ways to use repurposed clothing to keep you warm during the winter.  These projects are super easy, you might already have them lying around, and they can make great gift ideas as well. You can find all of these tutorials at What To Do with Old Clothes with Video

My daughter's leggings had a hole in one knee so I'll be recycling the good leg into 1 door draft stopper. If you have a good set of leggings, you could make 2 door draft stoppers.

How To Upcycle Clothes

Do you have clothes you won’t wear anymore, or do you love thrift stores? I’m sharing how to upcycle clothes with just a few twists and tweeks. You can find these tips at How To Upcycle Clothes

Do you want to upcycle clothes? There are several ways and in this article, we'll be covering giving your clothes an update with embroidery.

How To Upcycle Clothes With Embroidery

Do you want to upcycle your old clothes? Today I will be sharing an easy way to give your clothes an update with embroidery. You can find this information at How To Upcycle Clothes With Embroidery

Learn how to transform a shirt into convenient and eco-friendly "shirt bags" with this step-by-step DIY tutorial.

Shirt Bags: Convenient and Eco-Friendly Easy DIY

Learn how to transform a shirt into convenient and eco-friendly “shirt bags” with this step-by-step DIY tutorial. Perfect for grocery shopping, produce bags, and school gear, repurpose your favorite shirt into a practical and stylish bag. Easy-to-follow instructions for beginners, plus optional decoration ideas. Reduce waste and get creative with these eco-friendly DIY shirt bags. You can find the full tutorial at Shirt Bags: Convenient and Eco-Friendly Easy DIY

Are you wondering how to make an ice pack or a rice heating pad? I have a super easy and inexpensive tutorial to share.

How to Make An Ice Pack and Rice Heating Pad: Easy DIY

Are you wondering how to make an ice pack or a rice heating pad? I have a super easy and inexpensive tutorial to share. We’ll cover a few options when creating these and include sew and no sew options, use a variety of materials (even old socks), and alternative ideas to help make exactly what you are looking for. You can find the full tutorial at How to Make An Ice Pack and Rice Heating Pad: Easy DIY

Repurpose Old Clothes Q & A

What can I make with old clothes?

There are numerous creative and practical ways to repurpose old clothes instead of discarding them. Here are some ideas:
Upcycled Tote Bags:
Use old denim or sturdy fabric to create reusable tote bags. This is an eco-friendly alternative to plastic bags.
Quilts or Patchwork Blankets:
Combine different fabric scraps to make a colorful quilt or patchwork blanket. This is a great way to preserve memories associated with each piece of clothing.
Rag Rugs:
Cut old clothes into strips and use them to make rag rugs. This is a simple and functional way to repurpose fabric into home decor.
Cloth Napkins or Handkerchiefs:
Transform old shirts or other soft fabrics into cloth napkins or handkerchiefs. This is not only practical but also reduces waste.
DIY Pillow Covers:
Create custom pillow covers by repurposing old shirts, sweaters, or any other fabric you have on hand.
Stuffed Toys:
Use old fabrics to make stuffed animals or toys. This is a fun way to repurpose clothes, especially if they have sentimental value.
Fashion Accessories:
Turn old scarves, t-shirts, or jeans into headbands, scarves, or belts. Get creative with the patterns and textures.
DIY Cleaning Rags:
Cut old clothes into small pieces to use as cleaning rags. This is a practical way to give your old clothes a second life.
Plant Pot Covers:
Wrap old sweaters or fabric around plant pots to create decorative covers. This adds a touch of warmth to your home decor.
Clothing Patches:
Cut interesting patterns or shapes from old clothes to use as patches for repairing or adding flair to other clothing items.
Fabric Wall Art:
Stretch colorful fabric over a canvas frame to create unique and personalized wall art.
Dog or Pet Bedding:
Sew together old clothes to create a comfortable bed for your pets.
DIY Face Masks:
Convert old cotton t-shirts or other breathable fabrics into reusable face masks. Ensure they are properly cleaned before use.
Wrist Cuffs or Bracelets:
Use small fabric scraps to create stylish wrist cuffs or bracelets.
Convert old shirts or jeans into aprons. This is a practical and durable option for messy activities like cooking or crafting.
Before starting any project, consider the type of fabric you’re working with and the intended use of the final product. Some fabrics may be better suited for certain projects than others. Get creative and enjoy giving new life to your old clothes!

What should I do with old clothes?

There are several environmentally friendly and creative options for dealing with old clothes instead of simply discarding them. Here are some suggestions:
If your old clothes are in good condition, consider donating them to local charities, thrift stores, or shelters. Many people in need could benefit from gently used clothing.
Clothing Swaps:
Organize a clothing swap with friends, family, or community members. It’s a fun way to refresh your wardrobe without buying new items and helps others do the same.
Sell or Consign:
If your clothes are still in good shape, you might sell them online through platforms like eBay, Poshmark, or at a local consignment store. This can be a great way to earn some extra money.
Upcycling and DIY Projects:
Use old clothes for various DIY projects, as mentioned in the previous answer. Upcycling allows you to transform garments into new, useful items.
Textile Recycling:
Some areas have textile recycling programs. Look for local drop-off locations or services that accept old clothes for recycling. Textiles can be repurposed into new materials or turned into insulation, for example.
If the fabrics are natural and biodegradable (such as cotton or linen), you can cut them into small pieces and add them to your compost bin. They will break down over time.
Create a Cleaning Rag Collection:
Cut old clothes into smaller pieces and use them as cleaning rags around the house. This is a practical way to give your clothes a second life before they are completely worn out.
Art and Craft Projects:
Use fabric from old clothes in art projects or crafts. The varied textures and colors can add an interesting element to creative endeavors.
Turn them into Rags:
For clothes that are no longer suitable for donation or resale, cut them into rags for cleaning or other household tasks.
Memory Quilts or Blankets:
Transform sentimental pieces of clothing into a memory quilt or blanket. This can be a meaningful way to preserve memories associated with the clothes.
Pet Bedding:
Use old clothes to create comfortable bedding for your pets.
Store for Future Use:
Keep some fabric scraps for future DIY projects. Small pieces can come in handy for repairs or smaller crafting needs.
When deciding what to do with old clothes, consider the condition of the items, the materials they are made from, and their potential for reuse. Opting for sustainable options helps reduce waste and contribute to a more environmentally friendly approach to fashion.

What are some no sew options for repurposing old clothing?

If you’re looking for no-sew options to repurpose old clothing, there are plenty of creative ideas that don’t require any sewing skills. Here are some suggestions:
Cut-off Shorts:
Transform old jeans or pants into shorts by cutting them to your desired length. You can leave the edges frayed for a casual look.
T-Shirt Tote Bag:
Turn an old t-shirt into a simple tote bag without sewing. Cut off the sleeves, and then cut a large U-shape around the neckline. Knot the bottom hem to create a bag.
No-Sew Blanket:
Create a cozy blanket by tying together two layers of fleece or other soft fabric. Cut fringes along the edges and tie them in knots.
No-Sew Pillow Covers:
Use fabric glue or iron-on hemming tape to create no-sew pillow covers. Fold the fabric and secure the edges with glue or tape.
Knotted Scarf:
Cut a long strip of fabric from an old t-shirt or other clothing item, then stretch it to create a yarn-like texture. Use this strip to make a knotted scarf.
Braided Headbands or Bracelets:
Cut thin strips from old t-shirts or fabric scraps and braid them together to create headbands or bracelets.
No-Sew Face Masks:
Fold and cut an old t-shirt or fabric into the shape of a face mask. Use hair ties or elastic bands to secure it around your ears.
No-Sew Fringed Tank Top:
Cut the sleeves and neckline of an old t-shirt, then make vertical cuts along the bottom to create a fringed tank top.
DIY Fabric Banner:
Cut old clothes into triangles and attach them to a string or ribbon to create a colorful fabric banner. Perfect for parties or home decor.
No-Sew Fabric Wreath:
Cut fabric into strips and tie them around a wreath form. This can be a festive and decorative way to use old clothes.
DIY Head Wraps:
Cut a wide strip from an old t-shirt or fabric, and wrap it around your head to create a stylish head wrap. You can secure it with a knot.
Knotted Dog Toy:
Braid or knot together strips of fabric to make a DIY dog toy for your furry friend.
No-Sew Rag Rug:
Cut fabric into strips and knot them together to create a colorful and no-sew rag rug.
No-Sew Patchwork Quilt:
Arrange fabric squares in a desired pattern, and use fabric glue to attach them to a base fabric or old blanket. This creates a no-sew patchwork quilt.
DIY Fabric Coasters:
Cut small squares or circles from old fabric and attach them to cork or felt using fabric glue to make no-sew coasters.
These no-sew options provide creative ways to repurpose old clothing without the need for a sewing machine or hand-sewing skills. They are also great for quick and easy projects.

Are you wanting to repurpose old clothes? Buy 1 thrift store sweater or re-purpose an old sweater of your own to make 5 ideas that are easy and will warm your home during the cold months!

Share it with others!

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  1. OMG Chas! I’ve never seen anyone do so many items with one sweater! I love the hand warmers with the small little pieces and all of the sleeves. It makes me wish I had an old sweater, but last summer I went through all my clothes and donated a lot of them. I only had a few sweaters (long story – you know me. LOL) and most of them went. Great job!

    1. Thank you Linda, I know how that goes. I have done that too – got rid of something and then find the perfect project for them – lol. We can’t keep everything right? 🙂

      1. Oh, you are so right! That’s why I’m cleaning rooms right now. It’s more about the “stuff” than anything. I managed to get a lot of it organized in Nov. so that’s a huge help. But my bin for “possibilities” is pretty much full. LOL

  2. That is awesome! Who knew you could make so much out of just one sweater. I love it. Thanks for sharing with us at the Virtual Refrigerator. Pinned.

    1. Thank you. It was a fun challenge to make as much as I could from 1 sweater. Now I have to challenge myself to new ideas… 🙂

  3. Great ideas! I’m wondering how the hot glue holds up to being microwaved repeatedly. Doesn’t it get soft again when it gets hot?? (I don’t use hot glue much; I’m kind of afraid of it after burning myself a few times.)

    For the pillow, why did you put the velcro on the cut side instead of the hemmed side? I would think the cut edges would get more sweater fuzz into the velcro. But I don’t know which kind of edge is better when you’re closing it up with glue instead of sewing…. Washable pillow covers are definitely a good idea!

    1. Thank you Becca. Yes the hot glue can get soft and then will re-harden as it cools. We don’t really heat them up that hot so we haven’t had the trouble of letting the glue get too hot. You can always sew them instead. For the pillow, you can put the velcro side on which ever one you want. I did it on the open end to flip the ends in and make it look prettier as the other side already looked good with the hem. Great questions 🙂

  4. ‘Hopping over from Bloggers Pit Stop… WOW! You really got a LOT of projects out of one sweater! I especially like the pillow cover and hand warmers! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

    1. Thank you Marci, it was a fun challenge I made for myself and there wasn’t much left by the time I was done 🙂

    1. Thank you Kathleen, it was a fun challenge 🙂

  5. Amazed by all the cute things you were able to make with just that one sweater! Loved the coffee cuff especially.

    1. Thank you and I do love that too. Sometimes when I have heated up my water for tea in the microwave the cup is so hot, this really saves me 🙂

  6. Great ideas! so glad you shared your post on Our Simple Homestead Hop! As one of the co-hosts I will be featuring your post this Thursday!
    – Nancy ( Nancy On The Home Front )

    1. You are so sweet, thank you so much Nancy. Thank you for also co-hosting a place for all of us to share ideas and I look forward to stopping by again this week! 🙂

  7. Wow, talk about getting mileage out of something! Great way to use up every little bit of that sweater. Wish it were cold enough here in Arizona to need hand warmers! Visiting from Waste Not Wednesday party.

    1. Thank you so much Victoria 🙂 I know I’ll be wanting to head to AZ soon. We are lucky to be having a mild winter so far… I know it’s coming 🙂

    1. Thank you so much. Now I wonder if I could come up with more things to make with a sweater – I have a couple ideas…

  8. I love this post! I need a draft stopper for the patio door and this would be ideal!…love the candle wrap too.

    1. Thank you very much Suzy 🙂 I’m glad that you found a couple things you like/need. Stay warm this winter!

  9. Now, this is really making the most of your materials! What great ideas all of these are. You’re a wonderful example!

    1. Thank you so much Richella, you are so kind 🙂

  10. Such a great project. Love the coffee mug coozies. Thanks for sharing this with us at the Waste Not Wednesday link party. Can’t wait to see what you are up to this week.

    1. Thank you Denise and thank you for stopping by 🙂

  11. Wowza, that’s a lot from just one jumper! Especially when you consider one of them was a cushion. (I feel like my comment is too English and might need a US translation – ‘a lot from one sweater’,’one of them was a pillow’ – that’s better!)

    1. Thank you Julie, and I love the translation and learning – that was fantastic! Thank you 🙂

  12. WOW, that is some fantastic ideas, I could see me using some of thrm for sure. Thank you so much for sharing with us. Is everything just on Facebook? If so that makes me sad as I got off Facebook a few months ago and will not go back on.
    Thanks again for sharing your great ideas.

    1. Hi Johni, thank you very much. This show in particular I was hired by Hometalk to do. Some shows I do on Facebook, some I post on YouTube, but one thing is for sure… you will always be able to find whatever I’m doing right here on my blog 🙂 So even if I do post a show on Facebook, I’ll drop it here to for you to see so you don’t have to belong to Facebook to see it.

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