Don’t sweat worn sweaters

I am one of those people who feels guilty about throwing anything away. I’m not a hoarder, but if there’s a way I can re-use something, or find someone else who will re-use it, then that’s what I will do.  Especially when it comes to clothes.

I try to take care of our clothes, so when we outgrow them I can re-sell or donate them without holes, tears or stains. It’s not very easy. Sweaters seem to show age and wear more than other items — at least in my opinion.

They pill up, get stretched easily, fade, fray, get chewed on by insects, etc. For me, the pilling is the worst. What can you do with a pill-y sweater? I’ve been looking for a solution, since I hate to throw clothes away and hate to donate clothing that looks so worn.

Over the past week, I stumbled upon some very creative uses for worn sweaters that I wanted to share. These are all crafty uses. If you aren’t crafty, you might have a friend or acquaintance who is.

Most of these ideas use the torso portion of the sweaters. The areas where I spot most pilling are at the armpits, so the pilled sections aren’t used.

Sweater pillows — I saw this idea on HGTV. It would probably work best with neutral, adult-sized sweaters. You use the torso portion of the sweater by cutting a straight line across the sweater starting at the bottom sleeves. Turn it inside out, stitch it up, stuff the open end of the sweater (the bottom hem) with a pillow form and hand-stitch it closed. Voila! A cozy looking pillow.

For more in depth directions, look here and here.

Sweater toys — I’m a fan of the blog, The Simple Dollar. He sometimes writes about his wife buying old sweaters at thrift stores in order to make cute little toys for thier kids. This is a cool idea, and I love the idea of making toys for my kids. You could use old buttons for eyes if your kids were older, and you didn’t have to worry about a choking hazard.

Sweater quilts — I read about sweater quilts in a home magazine last month. If you feel a special connection with your sweaters and can’t bear to part with them, then maybe you could look into having an heirloom made out of the special sweaters. I’ve had friends do this with T-shirts as well.

What do you do with your old sweaters?


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