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Get thrifty this Christmas

Get thrifty this Christmas

Upcycle an old jumper to create 3 great gifts

After years of wear, jumpers are usually retired to an attic box, the back of a drawer or worse, the bin. But you can give an old, wooly jumper new life by upcycling it to make not one, but three charming presents to give this Christmas. Yes that’s right, you can make a bobble hat, a pair of mittens and a tablet case from one jumper.

It’s a win, win situation. You save money, and the recipient will be amazed that you took the time and effort to make something really special for them. They won’t even realise how simple it was.

All you need is a pair of scissors and a sewing kit. If you don't have expert sewing skills, don't worry. It's easy, and a great way to reuse and get creative with a jumper that you already have (or can pick up from a charity shop). Let's get started...


Tools used
  • An old sweater
  • A hat (to use as a guide)
  • Scissors
  • Needle and thread (or sewing machine)
  • Marker/ chalk
  • Ruler
  • A ball of wool
  • 2 x empty toilet roll tubes
  • Large button
  • 10cm of ribbon


Step 1: Turn your jumper inside out.

Step 2: Using the hemline on the front of your jumper as the hemline for your new hat, mark off the area that you want to sew with chalk or a marker (use a hat you already have as a guide and make it bigger than you need for seam allowance.)

Step 3: Cut the shape out.

Step 4: Fold and align the piece of fabric.

Step 5: Stitch it up using a needle and thread or a sewing machine.

Get thrifty this Christmas

Now for the pom-pom…


Step 1: Place the end of the wool between the two toilet roll tubes and let it hang loose.

Step 2: Wrap the wool around the two tubes. The more you wrap the fuller the pom-pom will be. Try not to wrap it too tight.

Step 3: Cut the end of the wool and tuck the loose end into the rest of the wool.

Step 4: Cut an extra piece of wool that’s about 30cm long, making sure it's long enough to tie around the wool and have some excess. Insert the ends of the wool lengthwise between the two tubes (over the wool).

Get thrifty this Christmas

Step 5: Holding tight to both ends of the wool, pull the two toilet roll tubes out.

Step 6: Pull the extra piece of wool tight and tie it in a knot, making sure it is secure.

Step 7: Now it's time to cut your wool. Slide your scissors into the loops and cut. Do this all the way around the pom-pom. As you are doing this, be sure to keep your long pieces out of the way. You will want these long pieces to attach the pom-pom to your hat.

Step 8: Trim so it doesn't look so scraggly.

Get thrifty this Christmas

Step 9: Attach the pom-pom to the hat by threading the long strands into the top of the hat before turning the hat inside and securing with knots. Now it’s done… enjoy!

Get thrifty this Christmas

Tablet Sleeve:

Step 1: On the back panel of the jumper (still inside out), measure out a long rectangle using your tablet as a guide. Allow an extra 3cm for seam allowance and use the hemline as the upper flap of the sleeve.

Step 2: Cut the shape out.

Get thrifty this Christmas

Step 3: Fold and align the piece of fabric, leaving one side longer (the hemline) to use as a flap.

Step 4: Stitch it up using a needle and thread or a sewing machine.

Step 5: Turn it inside. In the centre of the underside flap, sew the ends of a 10cm piece of ribbon to create a loop. Close the flap, and using the ribbon as a guide, mark where your button should be placed. Sew the button to the sleeve. There you have it, a new tablet sleeve.

Get thrifty this Christmas


Step 1: Cut the sleeves off your jumper (still inside out).

Step 2: Put your hands inside the sleeve, using the existing cuff as the cuff to your mittens. Once you’ve decided on the desired length on your wrist, trace the shape of your hand using a marker allowing for a 3cm seam allowance.

Step 3: Cut the shape out.

Step 3: Align the top of fabric, and stitch it up using a needle and thread or a sewing machine.

Step 4: Turn it inside.

Get thrifty this Christmas

Step 5: Repeat steps 2 - 4 to create the second mitten.

Get thrifty this Christmas

There you have it… three beautiful, cosy holiday gifts that won’t cost you a penny.

A big shout out to our friends at HUBBUB and TRAID for providing the inspiration and know-how for this content.

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