Thrift Shop Sweater Hats & Snowflake Mittens

Guess what everyone in my family is getting for the holidays this year?  That's right- it's thrifted mittens and hats for prezzies!  As you can see, I made a bunch for family and I suspect we'll donate a few of the warmer mittens as well.

Note- I know the hats look a bit asymmetrical in the photo but I think that's just how I placed them.  They look good on... promise!

I've seen awesome stockings made from old sweaters online like these and I've always wanted to make them, but I've been afraid the sweaters would unravel.  Luckily, the internet is filled with crafty people and I learned from their trial and error so allow me to share some tips and instructions with you guys:

1.  Pick up some old sweaters at a thrift shop.  I headed to Value Village and I looked for large men's sweaters to give me the most fabric to work with.  I looked for colours I liked and sweaters that were 100% wool.  I found that merino wool and lambswool yielded thinner mittens after they were washed, whereas regular wool became thick and warm but had more of a felt texture.

2.  Wash in hot water and dry on high heat.  We used the sanitize cycle since the sweaters were coming from a thrift shop.

3.  Trace your hand as well as a hat you like... then allow some space around the perimeter for a seam.

4.  Pin your template to the sweater and cut it out.  I used the bottom (or waist) of the sweater to give some stretch at the wrists.  Don't forget to flip your template and cut through both front and back layers again for the other hand.

5.  Next, flip inside out and sew around the perimeter.  I used the tops of the larger sweaters to make hats as well.  When finished, flip back so that the outside is back on the outside.

6.  The next step is optional but I wanted to add some embellishments to some of mine.  I purchased some iron-on crystals at the local craft store and decided to arrange them to look like snowflakes.  I'm not a huge fan of ironing, so I opted for the precision of my hair straightener.

I was really happy with the finished products...

Although I think my favourite was the small hat (which matches two of the larger ones) that I made for the baby.  Are we going to be a matching hat family?  YES!!!  We're dorky like that!

I also wanted to share another tutorial I just found for the same sweater mittens.  Check out the idea this other blogger had for embellishing hers here.

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