DIY Gift Ideas / DIY Projects / Fall / Winter

Recycle a Sweater Into DIY Leg Warmers / Boot Toppers

Make these super easy DIY legwarmers/boot toppers from the sleeves of an old sweater. Such a fast, adorable DIY gift idea with minimal sewing required. Click to see full tutorial. |

It’s becoming that time of winter. You’ve been wearing all your favorite cold weather clothes for months. But if you’re like me,  there are a few things that haven’t made it out of the drawer since you put them there in October. Well, today’s the day to make room for something new and simultaneously give your winter wardrobe the little pick-me-up it needs to endure a few more chilly months.

I made these DIY leg warmers in two shakes of a lamb’s tail and if you have an old sweater you’re willing to part with, you can too. (Of course, if you can’t stand the thought of butchering your own clothes, pick up a $2 sweater at a thrift store and tell yourself you’re butchering someone else’s clothes. Although I think legs will appreciate your arms’ sacrifice, don’t you?)

1. Cut the arms off your sweater. I cut mine at an angle originally, but eventually decided to level them out straight across. I wanted tall leg warmers so I used most of the sleeve. If you don’t want the extra bulk and are in the market for more of a boot topper, you can cut a shorter section of the sleeve.
2. Using a sewing machine or needle and thread, sew a straight line around the bottom, ragged end of the sleeve. The point of this is simply to keep the sweater from fraying too much. If you want the bottoms to look nice and clean, you can roll the sweater over and give it a more tidy hem. (I didn’t care since I know these leg warmers will always be tucked into boots.) I used a zig zag stitch.
3. THAT’S IT! Seriously easy, right? Like I-have-a-tw0-month-old-baby-and-I-still-made-these easy.

Whether you wear your leg warmers scrunched down or pulled up, your bound to get more use out of them than you did in their previous old sweater state. And what to do with the leftover wooly “tank top?” I cut rectangles out of mine and made an additional pair of shorter boot toppers. I simply used the waist of the sweater as the top of the boot topper, sewed the rectangle into a little tube and “hemmed” them as described above. This allowed me to get two pairs of fancy leg flair out of one sweater. (Hello, perfect speedy DIY, Anthropologie-looking-but-not-costing gift.) A few more months of winter aren’t looking so bad now, are they?

If you have more sweaters you’d like to chop up, you’ll love this tutorial about Making Mittens From a Felted Sweater. (And it includes a free pattern!)


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.