Upcycled Sweater Tote Bag

Breathe some new life into an old wool sweater by transforming it into a nifty one-of-a-kind bag


Felt an old (or already shrunken) wool sweater. Turn inside out, cut out the neck and remove the sleeves so that two handles are left. Sew the bottom closed.

For ages: six and up

Time it takes: Washing time + about 20 minutes to cut and stitch


  • wool sweater
  • chalk
  • scissors
  • needle
  • thread
  • buttons or other adornments to decorate


1 Felt an old wool sweater by running it through the washing machine in hot water. The stitches should become tighter, making the sweater shrink. If your sweater doesn’t look like store-bought felt at first, try running it through the machine again. Lay flat to dry.

Easy Craft: Make a Cute Tote Out of an Old Sweater2 Using chalk, mark a line from the armpit of one side of the sweater straight across to the other side’s armpit: this will become the top of your bag. Next, mark a line straight down from the shoulder seam of one sleeve to meet the horizontal line already drawn. Draw another vertical line about two inches away from the line made at the shoulder seam. Repeat this process on the other side of the sweater. These lines will form your bag’s straps. Then, using your lines as a guide, cut out both sleeves and the middle square portion.

Easy Craft: Make a Cute Tote Out of an Old Sweater3 Turn the sweater inside out and straight-stitch, by machine or by hand using a double threaded needle, across the bottom of the bag to close the waistline opening. Turn right side out.

Personalize your bag with buttons and adornments or create a pocket by sewing the bottom and sides of a piece of leftover material to the front of the bag


This story is part of our Daily DIY series. Check it out every day for a new DIY project to sink your teeth into.

Comments are closed.