10 Luxe DIY Gifts Made From Old Sweaters

Screen capture. Martha Stewart/YouTube

From purses and pet beds to mufflers and mittens, these upcycled sweater projects are super cute AND eco-friendly.

More than any other category of clothing, I'm most partial to sweaters – and when they give up the ghost I can't bear to part with them. Whether they get involved with the dryer and become toddler-sized or get discovered by small things with big mouths or get in the way of a richly pigmented liquid or whatever sad fate they may face ... I keep them squirrelled away awaiting reincarnation. Which is especially important given that Americans throw away 13 million tons of textiles every year, accounting for 9 percent of total non-recycled waste.

I have found that many of my saved sweaters are quite forgiving with my special brand of "scissor altering" – the sweater-becomes-sweater-vest kind of thing. But beyond cast-offs being fair game for my "creative" layering looks, they also offer the perfect material for all kinds of other projects – and sometimes very nice ones at that. If you have a very nice sweater, it can lead to a very nice, say, pair of mittens! This can also be an especially lovely way of retiring baby and children's sweaters as they can be hard to part with, but less so when given to grandma in the form of a scarf. Also, if you are awesome and have managed to keep all of your sweaters in perfect shape, there's always the thrift shop. Consider the following tutorials for ideas and instructions on how to give your old beloveds a new lease on life.

1. Mittens to be smitten with

2. Cozy cozy pet bed

3. Cool colorblock scarf

4. Super cute sweater purse

5. Baby clothes! A hat, pants, and a head band

6. Adorable pillow monster

7. Sweater balls for kitty

8. Fingerless gloves

9. Skirt and leg warmers

10. And one for inspiration: The impossible sweater coat!