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How-Tuesday: Quick Mittens

Jan 18, 2011

by Anda Corrie handmade and vintage goods

Using a few high fiber ingredients that might already be lurking in your craft kitchen, you can stitch up a pair of cozy mittens to protect your paws. Anda Lewis Corrie, long-time Etsy Admin and current force behind the Etsy Labs in Berlin, has cooked up this wintry tutorial for those of us with an appetite for recycling in this week’s How-Tuesday post.

Recycle an extra sweater into a pair of folksy mittens. In a half hour you’ll have warm hands.

Supplies you’ll need:

  • A sweater, any knit will do
  • Paper & pencil
  • Scissors & pins
  • Lightweight yarn and a large needle


Trace your hand on the paper, adding a little extra space around your thumb and along your wrist. Cut out.

You’ll want the cuffs of your sweater or the bottom hem for the openings of your mittens. So decide which part of your sweater you prefer to use, flip inside-out, lay flat and pin pattern through both layers.

Sew about 1/2″ around the pattern with a zig-zag stitch. Remember to leave the cuff open!

Note: The reason I don’t cut out the pieces first is to make it easier to handle and forgiving of alignment mistakes. But, if you’re a sewing pro, do this step however you like.

Trim around stitching and remove pins. Flip your mitten right-side out and do a little shaping to make it look right.

At this point, you have a mitten. You can make a second one and call it a day. But I find that mittens in this style tend to kind of look like you’re wearing socks on your hands. Decorative blanket stitch to the rescue!

Blanket stitch around the edges of your mitten with a contrasting yarn. Repeat all steps for second mitten. You’re done!

We did this project at a Craft Night at Etsy Labs Berlin recently. Check out photos here. (Dieses Tutorial ist in Deutsch verfügbar

If you make your own recycled mittens, please share a photo with us in the How-Tuesday Flickr group!

Make a Chipmunk From a Lonely Glove | More How-Tuesday Posts | Mittens on Etsy


  • JudiPaintedit

    JudiPaintedit said 9 years ago

    Oh I have been needing instructions on how to do this. Family members gave me my Mother In laws closthes when she passed away last year and asked since I was creative if I could do something with them... Now I have instructions. Thanks!!

  • jammerjewelry

    jammerjewelry said 9 years ago

    Wonderful article, very creative and clever.

  • TwinkleStarCrafts

    TwinkleStarCrafts said 9 years ago


  • anicastillo

    anicastillo said 9 years ago

    toasty toasty!

  • Krystyna81

    Krystyna81 said 9 years ago

    I could have used this last week when we were surprised by a major snow storm in ATL! I'm going to remember this for next time...

  • SimpleJoysPaperie

    SimpleJoysPaperie said 9 years ago

    This looks quick and easy! Now I'll be rummaging through the closets tonight! ;)

  • kabukikreations

    kabukikreations said 9 years ago

    love this! the world needs more mittens :)

  • thelittlemarket

    thelittlemarket said 9 years ago

    Great article!!!

  • LoveBeachDays

    LoveBeachDays said 9 years ago

    What a cute idea ...loved it thanks!

  • RubyRedDragon

    RubyRedDragon said 9 years ago

    Hooray, I just love recycled-old-sweater-thingies :D Thanks!!

  • myvintagecrush

    myvintagecrush said 9 years ago

    Fun, fun, fun! I love it, thanks so much for these posts!

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage said 9 years ago

    What a great way to use old sweaters! Very clever!

  • cdavis74

    cdavis74 said 9 years ago

    Oh I love that! That was motivation to bust out my daughters sewing machine.. and give it a try! :-)

  • northernhearts

    northernhearts said 9 years ago

    I love it! Too bad I love all my sweaters...

  • SandBoxStudio

    SandBoxStudio said 9 years ago

    Great tutorial! I've seen some that have several different sweaters used for the mitten and then lined with a soft material. Very funky!

  • LittleWrenPottery

    LittleWrenPottery said 9 years ago

    So cute! Really love how quick and easy this is. Looks like fun!

  • gatheringsgirl

    gatheringsgirl said 9 years ago

    I am always looking for ideas for my girls that can be donated-Love this!!

  • BingoBox

    BingoBox said 9 years ago

    Awesome way to re-purpose sweater bits ; )

  • QueenofCuffs

    QueenofCuffs said 9 years ago

    What a simply wonderful wonderfully simple idea !! many thanks.

  • bcellars

    bcellars said 9 years ago

    Clear instructions. I have accidentally shrunk a few sweaters in the wash so this might be my consolation.

  • ourfrontyard

    ourfrontyard said 9 years ago

    Those are so cute and so simple, too!! Thanks for the instructions!

  • PlumeandPetals

    PlumeandPetals said 9 years ago

    Very cute!~ Such a great idea =)

  • Saxiib

    Saxiib said 9 years ago

    Yeah! I can't wait to try these!!

  • Earleyimages

    Earleyimages said 9 years ago

    Very creative!

  • claudiascreation1

    claudiascreation1 said 9 years ago

    Love it! Easy mission of accomplishment!

  • DecadesOfVintage

    DecadesOfVintage said 9 years ago

    F a b u l o u s

  • daydreamjewels

    daydreamjewels said 9 years ago

    Great idea <3

  • nonesuchgarden

    nonesuchgarden said 9 years ago

    AWESOME! I need to make like 12 of these... Then maybe my hands will stay warm!

  • tfamily5

    tfamily5 said 9 years ago

    oh, so inspired! Keep up the amazing work!

  • VivaGailBeads

    VivaGailBeads said 9 years ago


  • rarebeasts

    rarebeasts said 9 years ago

    Not the time of the year for this kind of thing here but a brilliant idea. I should get making for winter.

  • Nikifashion

    Nikifashion said 9 years ago

    Nice gloves!

  • TheLittleRagamuffin

    TheLittleRagamuffin said 9 years ago

    Oh, this makes me think of my mom! She's been making mittens from recycled sweaters for years. She always keeps an extra pair in her car so she can give them away to an unsuspecting frozen-pawed stranger in the event of a cold handed emergency! They are always the warmest mittens around.

  • millcreekcottages

    millcreekcottages said 9 years ago

    Great idea. Thanks for sharing.

  • bombastitch

    bombastitch said 9 years ago

    So clever!!! I have a few sweaters that I've held onto for years hoping to make something new out of them! Thank you so very much for the inspiration!!!

  • TheLetterboxPress

    TheLetterboxPress said 9 years ago

    LOVE these!

  • overthemeadow

    overthemeadow said 9 years ago

    Great idea! Looks fantastic and easy. I have lots of old sweaters that I could use for this. Thanks for sharing :-)

  • overthemeadow

    overthemeadow said 9 years ago

    TheLittleRagamuffin.... How wonderful! Your Mom sounds like a real angel!

  • dharma8designs

    dharma8designs said 9 years ago

    any good sites with instructions on how to do a blanket stitch (she's asks sheepishly...)?

  • lauraprill

    lauraprill said 9 years ago

    yes the blanket stitching does the trick, lovely :)

  • AntoinettesWhims

    AntoinettesWhims said 9 years ago

    Has old sweater ~ Needs new mittens!!! <------------------------ Thanks so much for the how to!!! Awesome article!

  • 2boos

    2boos said 9 years ago

    THIS IS AWESOME!!! I'm going to try it!!

  • edibleoregon

    edibleoregon said 9 years ago

    Very clever idea. Love it!

  • BarelySewn

    BarelySewn said 9 years ago

    Can't wait to make my own pair! Thanks!

  • PopsyBee

    PopsyBee said 9 years ago


  • remodernseries

    remodernseries said 9 years ago

    what an adorable project! i love the blanket stitch.

  • im14given

    im14given said 9 years ago

    How clever!! i just love them...

  • AMWestchester

    AMWestchester said 9 years ago

    Great idea! This will save me loads of time

  • AMWestchester

    AMWestchester said 9 years ago

    Great idea! This will save me loads of time

  • rusche

    rusche said 9 years ago

    another related shop: Awesome mittens and other fun stuff!

  • birdie1

    birdie1 said 9 years ago

    Really cute idea!

  • blufaerie

    blufaerie said 9 years ago

    Awe to the SOME! I will be making these soon!

  • lesyeux

    lesyeux said 9 years ago

    pleasepleaseplease a how-to on making rag rugs. pretty please. like those from talkingsquid love them, can't afford one, want to make one!

  • filofashion

    filofashion said 9 years ago

    Great idea !!

  • sunkae

    sunkae said 9 years ago

    ***Great tip!***

  • InYourBones

    InYourBones said 9 years ago

    Love this!

  • Zafirah

    Zafirah said 9 years ago

    I have to try one of these NOW.

  • TheWinglessDesigns

    TheWinglessDesigns said 9 years ago

    Aawww! Love this! Thank you so much for sharing. How easy is that!

  • grandmamarievintage

    grandmamarievintage said 9 years ago

    Ive done this before. So fun and easy! Yay etsy!

  • perebags

    perebags said 9 years ago

    I LOVE this!! Can't wait to try it out! Thanks!

  • WoodlandCottage

    WoodlandCottage said 9 years ago

    So cool--I mean, WARM! Love it! We could have used these in Alabama last week (and might have use for them next week, too)! Thanks for sharing.

  • ChrissiesRibbons

    ChrissiesRibbons said 9 years ago

    Gorgeous idea- thank you!

  • fallingforpieces

    fallingforpieces said 9 years ago

    I just had someone give me five garbage bags of old I know what everyone is getting for Christmas 2011 :) Awesome easy idea! Thanks for sharing with us.

  • leatherstuff

    leatherstuff said 9 years ago


  • EarthBabyDesigns

    EarthBabyDesigns said 9 years ago

    Wonderful!!!! One of the challenges I have with mittens and snow is that they get wet. Recycling wool sweaters would solve that. Of course my brain that never shuts down is of ways to really fancy here with lining and fulling and.....

  • LaBellaTerra

    LaBellaTerra said 9 years ago

    How cool are those! Thanks for the lesson.

  • JanJat

    JanJat said 9 years ago

    Hee hee cozy mits for me and all those sweaters better look out!

  • thelacystar

    thelacystar said 9 years ago


  • thelacystar

    thelacystar said 9 years ago


  • theapawthecary

    theapawthecary said 9 years ago

    my little guy is always loosing his mittens (or at least one of them) so I am off to make some more!!!thanks for the tutorial. . . this is gonna be fun!!

  • SpottedFish

    SpottedFish said 9 years ago

    Great idea for an old sweater!

  • ModFarmgirl

    ModFarmgirl said 9 years ago

    What a perfect tutorial for this week! It's FREEZING over here in Minnesota!

  • TheDreamMerchants

    TheDreamMerchants said 9 years ago

    Wow what a great way to tidy up my sweater drawer and make some room in it! :o)

  • LadyHudd

    LadyHudd said 9 years ago

    I will be making some for my girls!

  • Agent137

    Agent137 said 9 years ago

    oh, very sweet idea. These would make a lovely gift.

  • thebeadgirl

    thebeadgirl said 9 years ago

    great. now i want to make mittens!!! aaaarrharrhhrharg. i can't make anymore stuff. you're killing me etsy. killing me. (it's a pretty freakin awesome idea :)

  • LovEwe

    LovEwe said 9 years ago

    Great idea for sweaters the kids have outgrown. SEW simple they could do it themselves with supervision!

  • ZellerZazzles

    ZellerZazzles said 9 years ago

    so cute!

  • stellaranae

    stellaranae said 9 years ago

    love this idea I have a stack of sweaters to repurpose, wondering as well is there a place for a good tutorial for decorative stitching, ie: blanket stitch?

  • yellowdog

    yellowdog said 9 years ago

    Love it! Thanks. I am making some mittens tomorrow, Folks!

  • ZurDesigns

    ZurDesigns said 9 years ago


  • pannikin

    pannikin said 9 years ago

    Oh man these are great! Even though it's a sweltering hot Summer day here in Australia, I'm going to whip up a pair right now using a children's jumper I bought at the opshop.

  • PinkMoustache

    PinkMoustache said 9 years ago

    Stellar idea!

  • shabbyroses

    shabbyroses said 9 years ago

    I've got the old sweaters ,and lots of grandkids,thats a very good idea! Thank you !

  • TheMillineryShop

    TheMillineryShop said 9 years ago

    Here's a good tip but do this step BEFORE you cut out your pattern, to be prepared for shrinkage. If you have one, use a 100% WOOL sweater and wash it in the machine in HOT water COTTON using detergent and then softener, and dry on high heat. No delicate cycle, you want to FELT the wool and tighten it up a lot(that's the shrinkage I mentioned) but it will make warmer and more water resistant washable wool mittens. NOW go throw snow balls.

  • handmaderomance

    handmaderomance said 9 years ago

    love this idea! and i have the perfect sweater for it. thanks for sharing with us.

  • mariagreene

    mariagreene said 9 years ago

    Very cool! Recycling old sweaters and keeping your digits toasty!

  • aynart

    aynart said 9 years ago

    nifty! a mitten emergency!!!

  • megandarienzo

    megandarienzo said 9 years ago

    So easy and really fun...I want to try doing this with my daughters on their next snow day! (Which I hear could be Friday!) :)

  • LizzyLizano

    LizzyLizano said 9 years ago

    Cute, I love it.... hmmm whos sweater am I going to capture and cut up! ;)

  • Joystreet

    Joystreet said 9 years ago

    great idea-am thinking of doing a tree of single mittens!!and that next snow day is TODAY!!

  • britto801

    britto801 said 9 years ago

    I love this idea, my father-in-law has some super ugly sweaters but they would make great mittens! Now to figure out a way to smuggle them out of his closet...hhhmmmm.

  • fairydtales

    fairydtales said 9 years ago

    Great idea, I have to try them

  • breekola

    breekola said 9 years ago

    very cute but what do you do with the rest of the sweater?

  • Paper2Roses

    Paper2Roses said 9 years ago

    Fantastic Idea, I will be trying this!!! THANKS for sharing!

  • BlueRoseRetro

    BlueRoseRetro said 9 years ago

    Reduce, reuse, rejoice!

  • nightowlcraftworks

    nightowlcraftworks said 9 years ago

    ooo! where's my scissors?!

  • ShahanaKhan

    ShahanaKhan said 9 years ago

    I'm tempted to head to the 2nd hand store for sweaters now! Thank you :)

  • EllaJewelry

    EllaJewelry said 9 years ago

    Thanks for sharing!

  • redemptionart

    redemptionart said 9 years ago

    thanks for sharing and for re-purposing! Aloha


    LANCERIKA said 9 years ago

    Wonderful recycle Tip! love it :)

  • ikabags

    ikabags said 9 years ago

    Formidable ! Thanks for sharing!

  • Meliscraft

    Meliscraft said 9 years ago

    Good idea! Thank you..

  • KimBalee9

    KimBalee9 said 9 years ago

    Nice I love it.

  • beliz82

    beliz82 said 9 years ago

    This is great !!! Thank you for sharing !!!

  • alatsupplies

    alatsupplies said 9 years ago

    simple and lovely! thanx!

  • harvestmoonbyhand

    harvestmoonbyhand said 9 years ago

    I have a sweater that doesn't fit properly, and wondered what to do with it. After seeing the instructions for making handmade mittens...I know what I'm making!! Perfect in time for the cold weather (well below zero) here in Minnesota!

  • piper187

    piper187 said 9 years ago

    Great idea!! I usually felt the wool first, and do a fleece lining, if I have any leftover lying around. They'll even hold up to a Canadian winter that way!

  • mrsmacolsson

    mrsmacolsson said 9 years ago

    Fabulously simple and gorgeous idea. I really like the idea of recycling sweaters. I already recycle tshirts and crochet mats and oven gloves from them,but this takes it up to a whole new level!

  • vanyasArts

    vanyasArts said 9 years ago

    It is a great idea and planet friendly.I love it and for sure will use it.My little daughter always loses her mittens.Thanks for the tutorial.

  • ScoutingSquirrel

    ScoutingSquirrel said 9 years ago

    Thank you! Here in Sweden I have been looking for some nice thick mittens to fit OVER my cashmere gloves for dog-walking ... Men's mittens do the job but are just too bulky ... I really think that this pattern is going to be the solution! (and I have a stain down the front of a favourite fleece jumper .... It shall be reborn!)

  • BooPatch

    BooPatch said 9 years ago

    I will have to try these!! I make wrist warmers from recycled sweaters, now I'll have to give these a shot! Thank you!!!

  • kimmchi

    kimmchi said 9 years ago

    Great Tutorial Anda! The project looks great!

  • nanouke

    nanouke said 9 years ago

    I'm tottaly doing this :) Thank you for sharing!!

  • pinkbijou

    pinkbijou said 9 years ago


  • MyGrandpasPen

    MyGrandpasPen said 9 years ago

    So much fun!!

  • AmberGypsySky

    AmberGypsySky said 9 years ago

    It'a so simple :)

  • Garbaje

    Garbaje said 9 years ago

    what a great idea!! i'm passing this on :)

  • lorwich Admin

    lorwich said 9 years ago

    "But I find that mittens in this style tend to kind of look like you’re wearing socks on your hands." Adorable. Thanks for this!

  • frommylifetoyours

    frommylifetoyours said 9 years ago

    That is the cutest idea , I want to make these for my kids right now. Thanks

  • TehachapiSockCompany

    TehachapiSockCompany said 9 years ago

    What a great article! I'm heading to the thrift store in the morning to look for old sweaters!

  • MissHildebrandt

    MissHildebrandt said 9 years ago


  • knittingmomma

    knittingmomma said 9 years ago

    i just love this idea and have been felting some sweaters. Thank you!

  • dssweets

    dssweets said 9 years ago

    Very cool! I could use this for my little ones, instead of spending $12.00 on a pair of mittens each.

  • lucillejean

    lucillejean said 9 years ago

    great article! I just felted a wool sweater and made a pair for myself and my sister a few days ago. Best mittens I've ever had and they were free!

  • AnnShirleys

    AnnShirleys said 9 years ago

    Such a simple idea but so clever too. Shall find an old sweater immediately and have a go at those babies.

  • rumpunchboutique

    rumpunchboutique said 9 years ago

    Very cool. I am learning how to knit and crochet now. Difficult and rewarding. I really enjoyed this how-to and am envisioning my favorite old sweaters that are due for repurposing.

  • MariesFiber

    MariesFiber said 9 years ago

    Wonderful article, very creative and clever.

  • BLinkWedding

    BLinkWedding said 9 years ago

    too cool! I love this tutorial!

  • NaturalFlavors

    NaturalFlavors said 9 years ago

    on it. asap!

  • FiberArtsy

    FiberArtsy said 9 years ago

    Wow, that's a great idea. A lot faster then my hand knitted gloves. So creative. Will give it a try.

  • TheKnottyDaughters

    TheKnottyDaughters said 9 years ago

    Now I can't wait to go to Goodwill! Watch out winter, here comes warmth. Awesome!

  • debs102

    debs102 said 9 years ago

    I love the idea, I think I will give mine a fleece lining or furry lining depending what I have here for extra cosy mittens! Now to find a jumper...

  • EarthboundpotteryNC

    EarthboundpotteryNC said 9 years ago

    I love this idea and look forward to making this.

  • AllYarnCreations

    AllYarnCreations said 9 years ago

    What a great idea, I shall go to the thrift store, and see what I can find, I love this one. Thank you for sharing these mittens.

  • CreativityHappens

    CreativityHappens said 9 years ago

    awesome!! Thanks :)

  • Elbenta

    Elbenta said 9 years ago

    great project! thank you for sharing :)

  • ohbabydotcom

    ohbabydotcom said 9 years ago

    I'm marking this one. What a great idea!

  • JanetsStore

    JanetsStore said 9 years ago

    Thanks! I have just the sweater and more snow is coming this week. Very helpful.

  • chini

    chini said 9 years ago

    Awesome! So easy! Reminds me of Nana's knit mittens. mmmmmmmmmmmmmm.............. nice!

  • CabinOn6th

    CabinOn6th said 9 years ago

    I like you mittens . They look really warm! :)

  • Keymandesign

    Keymandesign said 9 years ago

    lovely and clever :)

  • yippiedesigns

    yippiedesigns said 9 years ago

    This is perfect. I've been hanging on to four ripped cashmere sweaters for a couple years. Finally a way to put them to use!!

  • arlenena

    arlenena said 8 years ago

    I am feeling very inspired to share this with my little neighborhood kids/friends. Thanks for the great idea

  • themefragrance

    themefragrance said 8 years ago

    Love the upcycling~clever and easy. We all lose mittens. Fun! Making these this weekend.

  • WexfordTreasures

    WexfordTreasures said 8 years ago

    Great idea! Thanks for the great instructions:)

  • WexfordTreasures

    WexfordTreasures said 8 years ago

    Great idea! Thanks for the great instructions:)

  • mildajlingerie

    mildajlingerie said 8 years ago

    That's an idea for next year's xmas presents:D

  • osunny1sotrue

    osunny1sotrue said 8 years ago

    I am a knitter and still appreciate this information. No use in wasting 'good, old knitted sweaters'. Yep, I will use this....

  • EmjoyCreations

    EmjoyCreations said 8 years ago

    I have made a few little items with old sweaters... I'll try it!!

  • mesguerra

    mesguerra said 8 years ago

    that sweater is so cute! I wouldn't want to cut it. haha

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