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How to Make Mittens Out of Old Sweaters | Pattern + Video

We all have one or more sweaters that we love too much to throw out, but can’t wear it because it’s too worn out. Fortunately, there’s a great solution to that problem and it’s called sweater mittens!

I came up with this project soon after I decided to switch over to using mittens instead of gloves during the winter. Nothing beats the warmness and comfortableness of a sweater, so I thought that it would make sense to feel all that on my hands as well. And that’s when the sweater mittens were born! For extra warmth during the coldest days, you can pop a pair of hand warmers in the microwave for 30 seconds and insert them in the sweater mittens. Boom instant warmth!

recycled sweater mittns

If you are like me and need your hands to stay extra warm during the cold winter days, then you have to try this project out! Let me show you how to make your own sweater mitten pattern . Just follow this step by step tutorial and you” learn how to make mittens out of old sweaters in a flash! Just grab an old sweater and let’s get sewing!

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How to Make Mittens out of Sweaters

Supplies and tools

supplies for sweater mittens

  • 100% wool sweater (felted)
  • Piece of paper
  • Pencil and sharpie
  • matching thread
  • scissors
  • iron and ironing board
  • sewing clips or pins
  • sewing machine (or handsew this with a needle and thread)

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How To Sew Felted Sweater Mittens

Watch the diy wool sweater mittens video first and then follow the written step by step instructions below.
Please enjoy and don’t forget to Like and SUBSCRIBE over on YouTube to be kept up to date with new videos as they come out.



STEP 1: Prepare the sweater mittens pattern

Place your open palm onto a piece of paper, with your palm about 2 inches from the bottom of the paper and trace around it with a pencil. Then grab a sharpie and draw around that, but add a bit leeway for the seam. About quarter of an inch should be enough, no need to add any more than that.

trancing hand to make pattern for mittens made out of old sweater

Cut out the drawing and your wool mittens pattern will be ready for action.

sweater mittens pattern

STEP 2: Make sure the sweater is felted

We need a felted wool sweater to make the mittens – this guarantees the mittens will be super warm. If you have thrown the sweater in the washing machine and it shrunk – perfect! Don’t throw it away –  you can use it to make these sweater mittens.

If not – you can either find a worn sweater you no longer wear (100% wool or cashmere is recommended) and wash and dry on high setting. It should felt.

To make sure the sweater is felted, make a small slit around the armpit, near the seam. Rub it with your fingers – if it does not fray – perfect, proceed with making the mittens.

choosing wool sweater to make recycled mittens

STEP 3: Cut out the fabric for the recycled sweater mittens

Take the sweater and place it on your workspace with the bottom hem facing down. Press it flat just a bit with a turned-off iron.

Next, grab your pattern and place it on the bottom left side of the sweater, near to the fold and along the bottom hem. Pin the pattern to the sweater. Use scissors and cut out the fabric through both layers.

mittens pattern pinned to sweater

Flip the pattern horizontally and place it on the other side of the sweater, near the bottom-right edge, and pin it. Cut around the pattern through both layers one more time.

flipping the felted sweater mittens pattern

Keep in mind that your scissors must be sharp for this step. If you use a blunt tool, it will ruin the fabric because it won’t be able to go through both layers.

STEP 4: Pin

Now you will assemble the felted sweater mittens.

Take one pair of fabric pieces and place them on top of each other with their right sides facing inward. Align the edges and secure the layers together with pins. Repeat for the second set.

all fabric pieces needed to make mittens out of sweater

STEP 5: Sew the wool sweater mittens

Sew all around the sweater with a needle and a thread or with a sewing machine. If you are handsewing – use backstitch or blanket stitch. If sewing with a machine, make sure to backstitch at the beginning and end of each seam

Don’t forget to leave the bottom edge unsewn.

While you’re sewing around the mittens, try to go as close to the edge as possible so that the seam allowance doesn’t get big and bulky. Or you can just trim the excess allowance later on with scissors if that’s easier for you.

Repeat for the second pair of fabric pieces.

hand sewn vs machine sewn sweater mittens

STEP 6: Trim the excess

This is the time to trim the excess seam allowance. Make sure the curves are curved and that everything seems fine.

STEP 7: Turn inside out

Take both mittens and turn them inside-out through the opening. Push out all the edges and make sure everything seems alright with the edges.

STEP 7: Press

Grab your iron and press both mittens flat.

Be careful with the heat if your mittens are not 100% wool, you may need to place a cotton fabric on top before ironing so that you won’t ruin them!

press the felted mittens


You can fold the bottom upward for a few inches on both mittens. Since you cut out the fabric near the bottom, your mittens will probably end up having those characteristic ribs that most sweaters have on their bottom edge. This will give your mittens an additional appeal.

Press the folded sections flat to keep them in place like that and form cuffs. You can also make a seam near the upper edge of the cuffs to make sure they will keep their shape.

Your new wool mittens are finished!

felted wool sweater mittens


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Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 18 comments
Carol Elizabeth Moffett - January 25, 2021

Very nice. could you line the mittens with fleece or flannal to make thr mittens more warm.

    Helen - January 26, 2021

    Sure! I actually have another pattern coming up this week showing how to make fleece mittens with fur lining. Stay tuned – I will probably upload it on thursday or friday

Betsy - January 26, 2021

This is so cool! I think I’ll try making them out of sweatshirts, too, I bet I can even use the sleeves, too. I can hardly wait to start. Thanks for the great idea!

    Helen - January 26, 2021

    Sure you can use the sleeves too!
    I prefer to make leg warmers out of the sleeves though,it’s soo easy 🙂

Julie - January 26, 2021

Brilliant, we all wanna make these now don’t we? Who would have thought they’d be such a sudden trend! I love how simple you’ve made them too. I’ve seen some very overcomplicated patterns but this is very do able.

Shelbee on the Edge - January 30, 2021

I have a pair of handmade sweater mittens that I absolutely love but I never thought that I could make them myself. This looks like a super easy DIY project and I do always have cold hands! I am pinning this to give it a try when I have a sweater that is ready for upcycling!


Jennifer Dynys - February 2, 2021

I love mittens! This is such a great and simple way to make them! Thank you for sharing at EH&F!

Rhondda Mol - February 3, 2021

This is a fantastic idea! I think I might be able to make these myself with my beginner sewing skills!! Thank you for sharing your Sweater Mittens with us last week! Your mittens are being featured tomorrow at Wednesday Link Party 384. Here’s the link to your feature in case you’d like to share it:
Have a wonderful week!

    Helen - January 22, 2022

    My pleasure Rhondda! I’m sure you will be able to make these, they are super easy to make. Please let me know how they turned out!

Rebecca - February 4, 2021

Helen, what cool sweater mittens! I love that they’re upcycled and easy to make. These would make wonderful gifts. I bet everyone would love a pair like Bernies lol! Thanks for sharing at Celebrate Your Story! Link Party. You’ve been featured this week 🙂

Stephanie 139a - February 4, 2021

That’s a great way of reusing an old favourite jumper. thanks for sharing with #PoCoLo

Jennifer Dynys - February 5, 2021

Thank you for linking up with us! I am featuring this post today!

Naush Samama - February 8, 2021

Such a fabulous upcycle project !I love it.
Thank you for sharing with us at Meraki Link Party at Doodle Buddies. Drop by this evening to join the next Meraki Party..
Much love

    Helen - February 9, 2021

    Sure, will do.

Leslie - March 10, 2021

Hi Helen, Thank you for sharing your great project tutorial with us. Your mittens came out wonderfully. I especially liked the added hearts to the backs of the mittens and in different sizes :). I have one question please, would it be better to wash the 100% wool sweaters in hot water, or iron before cutting to sidestep shrinkage just in case? I know there are washable wool garments but I was thinking to make sure about the shrinkage.

    Helen - March 11, 2021

    Hi Leslie, you are welcome! Thank you so much for the kind words.
    I love the hearts – I think they add a cute twist to the mittens.
    Definitely wash and dry the sweater before you start working on the mittens because felts and shrinks the wool (a lot) and the want the mittens to be felted

Janice - November 16, 2022

Great idea! The cuffs from sweaters and sox also make toques for 18″dolls. Trust a Canadian to think of that!!


    Helen - November 17, 2022

    Great tip,Janice!
    Another thing you can do is use the sleeves as fingerless gloves OR leg warmers for the kids


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