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Do it yourself arm and leg warmers!

Updated on November 8, 2009
Even High Fashion loves the arm warmers!
Even High Fashion loves the arm warmers!
A creative use of color and texture from a  gifted crafter photo from
A creative use of color and texture from a gifted crafter photo from
some really pretty leg warmers! photo from
some really pretty leg warmers! photo from

Do it Yourself arm/leg warmers from an old sweater!

Hello there friends and fellow crafty types! I'd like to share with you a wonderful way to recycle/re-purpose/reuse old sweaters for Holiday gifts or for yourself during the cold winter months! If you're like me you have all manner of old sweaters that you hold onto because they're pretty or they have sentimental value, or you think you'll fit into them again... someday...

Well I have a suggestion for a great way to make a new set of arm/leg warmers out of them so that you can have multiple new items for yourself to wear. Apart or together. You can also make these items and send a matching set of lovingly hand crafted items to friends and family! This is a VERY simple instructional that takes very little sewing know-how and is wonderful fun!

I will be posting instructional pictures ASAP!

Firstly you need to pick your victim, I mean sweater! You want a long sleeved sweater made of a nice soft material. Pick one that you love but is way too big for you, or if you're making this for a friend or family pick one that they'd like the colors and fabric of, but would be way too big for them!

Things you'll need:


Thread (that matches the sweater)

1 safety pin

Sewing needle

Chalk (for marking)

2 yards of pretty ribbon (about 1 quarter inch wide)

1 old pretty sweater that is too big for the intended person

Step 1: Turn your sweater inside out. Lay out your sweater on a flat surface free of clutter. debris and cats.Be sure it isn't rumpled on the underside.

Step 2: Using your chalk mark a line across the topmost area of the sleeves of the sweater, before it begins to curve so that the line is straight.

Step 3: Again (with the chalk) mark a line about 6 inches out from the seam on either side of the body of the sweater.

Step 4: Using your scissors carefully cut along the chalk lines you've made. (save the scrap fabric for later!)

Step 5: Now that you have your fabric cut out you can begin to sew . The arm warmers (sleeves) will need very little alteration. Turn the cut end down about a half an inch, to an inch and sew (loosely) around the opening. You're looking to create something of a tube. However since most sweaters are of a stretchy type of fabric you want to be sure that you're not making the opening too small by sewing the opening too snugly. As you're sewing be sure to stretch the material on occasion to be sure that it's still got some elasticity to it.

Step 6: Now sew up the tubes you cut from the body of the sweater, being sure to not sew the tube closed (they are leg warmers now!) As you did with the previous step, make sure to turn each end and sew about and inch down, make sure you remember to sew them loosely!

Step 7: You should now have 2 smaller tubes and 2 larger tubes. These are your arm and leg warmers respectively. This is where you turn them right side out.

Step 8: Make small holes about an inch apart in the area you'll decide is the front facing area of each leg/arm warmer. You can do this by gently pulling apart the knitted fabric. Or if it is a tightly woven material just cut 2 small holes with your scissors. Make sure you do this step in the area where you turned the top/bottom areas down (you created a casing pocket without even knowing it!)

Step 9:Taking the pretty ribbon you picked to go with your sweater fabric, you want to secure the safety pin to one end of the ribbon. Gently push the safety pin through the casing area until it comes out the second hole. tie a large bow. Knot each end so that it won't slip through the casing area when it's untied.

Step 10: Repeat step 9 with the top end of the other arm warmer, and with both ends of each leg warmer.

Step 11: Now that you've made your very own (or very own gift to give) arm and leg warmers you can decide what you'd like to do with the scrap material. There are a lot of neato uses for scraps of sweater material. You could:

make wrist warmers (think little tiny arm warmers).

Make a headband (simply use the collar or sew a strip of fabric together on one end creating a circle).

Cut strips of the fabric and braid them together for a cute, sew one end for a fuzzy bracelet or leave it long and straight for a festive hair ornament.

There are many uses to scrap fabric, Maybe you could check out another of my hubs and get some more ideas!

Have fun Making!

Yours Truly,

Lady Make


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      rushyrush 8 years ago

      perfecto! I used your instructions and made a set for each of my nieces! They've all turned out wonderfully. I'm giving all my friends your site so they can make stuff for their fam this christmas!!! THANKS !!!