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DIY: Recycle Your Winter Sweaters

The rain has finally ceased, and the sun has finally returned, inspiring everyone to sift through their closets to weed out the winter wear and make room for spring dresses and skirts. Some of your sweaters probably never even made it out of the closet this season, a sure sign that you probably don’t love them enough to keep them for another year. Instead of packing them up for the thrift store, reuse them!

Your sweater probably has some defects; maybe its sleeves are too short or it has some mysterious stains that are most likely the aftermath of some late night nachos. Although these attributes may make it un-wearable as is, they also makes it a great candidate for renovation.

Two great things that almost any unwanted sweater can be made into are: circle scarves and leg warmers.

To make a circle scarf, simply cut a straight line horizontally across your sweater, directly beneath the armpits. Your resulting material will be a wide loop of sweater that you can easily loop around your neck once, or twice if it’s chilly. Although this easy project requires absolutely no sewing, a hem can easily be sewn on the top and bottom edges of the scarf to eliminate potential fraying.

Remember to consider where you would like to cut your horizontal line, the higher you cut, the thicker your scarf will be.

Legwarmers are just as easy  to make as scarves! All you have to do is cut your sweater’s sleeves off at the shoulder seams. The end of the sleeve near your wrist usually contains enough elastic to easily pull over your calves to nicely appear as a finished legwarmer. If the wrist end of your sweater does not have enough give, the shoulder end can be used instead.

If you have slender legs that cannot hold up your new leg warmers, it is just as easy to adjust them. Turn the sweater sleeve inside out and pull on, as it would normally be worn with the seam in the back. Once on, you can pin the material close to the underside of your calf with safety pins to your desired fit. After the pins are secure, simply turn it right side out and wear with the excess material folded inside the legwarmer. If you have access to a sewing machine, a seam may be sewn instead of pinned, and the excess removed, (this is just an extra option).
These legwarmers are often very warm (as the name entails) and long, making them a great item to wear under boots or over leggings.

After you finish DIY-ing, you will have recycled almost your entire sweater into great new winter accessories for next year. You can even use the extra remaining neck material as a dust cloth, to be absolutely waste free.

Edited by: Brianna Frisch

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