How to Make Mittens Out of an Old Sweater

Do you have an old sweater you just can’t bear to part with even though you don’t wear it anymore? Maybe it’s time to turn that sweater into a pair of mittens for this winter.  What? You’ve never used a sweater to make mittens before?

Where have you been living all these years? Suburbia?  Ha Ha Ha.

What if you don’t have a sweater?  No problem, just stop by a thrift store and find a sweater with made with at least 80% wool.

Toss the sweater into the washing machine and wash using HOT water.  Dry on the HOT setting to shrink the wool sweater.  It won’t fit you anymore but the material will be felted enough to make a pair of thick mittens.

To make a mitten pattern simply grab a piece of card stock, and trace your hand {fingers together, thumb spread out like the picture above}.

Lay the pattern piece on the sweater and cut 2 piece from one side of the sweater, then flip the pattern piece over and cut two more. When you cut the pattern out allow 1/2- inch seam allowance.

Place right sides together, then sew each mitten together and leavening a 1/4-inch seam allowance. .

To prevent fraying, sew around the mitten again, leaving a 1/8-inch seam allowance.

When you are finished sewing, turn the mittens right-side out, and press with an iron {on the wool setting}.

Talk about an easy craft project.  If you have a bunch of old sweaters on hand you could make everyone a pair of mittens this year for Christmas. Being thrifty and repurposing stuff is fun, don’t you think?


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  1. Helen in Meridian says

    Mavis, now take the sleeves and turn them into boot socks. Just use the cuff for the fold over boot socks top. You may have needed to cut the sleeves off before you shrink felt them. I can’t remember if it was onegoodthingbyjillee that showed this or what.

  2. Jill says

    Imagine if a group got together and made mittens for people who can’t afford them? That would be a great way of turning something we’d normally throw away into something that would benefit others.

  3. Heather T. says

    wow I am going to make these, I love Mittens but don’t want to spend $20+ for them wonder if there is a way to make them more water proof?

  4. Tracy J says

    Heather T.
    If you washed the mittens in warm water with wool wash that has a high percentage of lanolin, that should waterproof them pretty effectively. That’s how I used to care for my boys wool pants when they were in cloth diapers. HTH!

    • Tracy J says

      btw, don’t rinse them after you wash them. Just squeeze them out and let them dry. I like Eucalan. It works great and has a nice scent!

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