How can I reuse or recycle novelty Christmas jumpers?

I got this email from Edie a few weeks ago but I thought I’d keep it until people were thinking a little more festive-ly — I hope it’s not too late for Edie now though!

I love silly Christmas jumpers but not to wear, god, not to wear! I’m thinking of getting some to make into Christmas cushion covers but thought I’d ask to see if you had any ideas for making other things from them too and the bits like the sleeves etc.

Some of the various sweater-to-cushion-cover tutorials I’ve seen have used the sleeves to make a flap like on a housewife style pillow. Another tutorial suggests making patchwork cushion covers – depending on the patch size/style, that could easily use up all the different bits of a jumper. Sleeves could also be used to make hot water bottle covers, with the cuff “hugging” the neck of the bottle.

Other ideas for the jumpers: lots of people make Christmas stockings out of old jumpers – the sleeves might be enough for that too. Could they also be cut up to make Christmas placemats or pot holders? If they’ve got a high wool content, they could be felted for extra heat protection (although that would probably distort the pattern). Or how about a skirt for the Christmas tree if it’s in a pot?

Any other suggestions for Edie?

(Photo by lisa humes)

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9 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle novelty Christmas jumpers?”


  1. Send them to me!!! I love tacky Christmas jumpers. In fact I have a very tacky Halloween cardigan which is fabulous :) If you don’t want to send them to me then cushions would be fabulous. If they are pure wool then you can also felt them in a washing machine and make all sorts without worrying about the fibres coming loose.

  2. aggie says:

    You could make them into hot water bottle covers

  3. anna says:

    You could also shrink them in wash if they contain wool and then make them into some nice christmas bags.

  4. Danny says:

    What about wrapping presents in it? Cut the sleeves off and use them as wine bottle gift bags. The middle section. Do a quick sew on the neck and put a gift inside. A quick thick wool sew on the bottom that can be untied and voila, instant reusable gift wrap.
    I would imagine you could also turn it into a food travel bag for taking those holiday meals with you when you travel to friends for dinner. I’m sure if the sweater keeps you warm it’ll do wonders for that casserole dish.

  5. wong wear says:

    Accessories is probably the broad term to describe using parts of them. You’ve had a few suggestions but perhaps you could sew up some mittens, arm warmers, gloves without finger things, children’s slippers, childrens’ hats, children’s scarves and so on.

    Also remember that children enjoy Christmas for the few weeks before 25 Dec and afterwards so they can get a lot of wear out of Christmas themed garments. Or you could also make children’s clothing out of them by using pieces from your jumpers combined with another fabric eg denim or velvet.

    You could even make a christmas fairy outfit with a knitted top with frilly red and or green tulle skirt. As I say children will wear Christmas garments much longer than adults would and could exhaust the garment with excessive wear in December and January.

    Dolls’ and teddy bears’ clothes would also be loved by children.

  6. megan says:

    This year I’m going to two ‘tacky Christmas sweater’ themed events. I have a friend who has used that theme for the last six years. Make the holidays a little more jolly by donating them or hosting a ‘tacky Christmas sweater’ themed party of your own!

  7. Medeea says:

    Looking at the picture, the sweater on the left looks like it can be salvaged by replacing the front. So if you can knit, go for it!
    The tacky part can be made into a pillow cover or chair cover.

    The sweater on the right, on the other hand… covers/gift bags for wine bottles.
    I like the idea above of turning the sweater itself into a gift bag.
    I would sew the top part, turn it upside down, sew some handles on the trim and voila! Reusable gift bag!

  8. kp says:

    Sew the main part of the jumper into a square shape and put on your dining chair backs to make them Christmassy. The sleeves can be used as leg warmers boot toppers if worn with cuff at ankle



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