Home » DIY Tutorials » DIY Sewing » Sewing: Clothing » Accessories » Hats made from Old Sweaters (nothing is safe from my scissors…ha!)

Hats made from Old Sweaters (nothing is safe from my scissors…ha!)

Remember how I put up a post last Friday about our little Denver meet-up?  And then I said to check back later, because I had a post ready to go up?  Yeah, sorry about that.  Plans changed.  My littlest one hasn’t been feeling well lately.  And the second half of Friday turned into a fussy-bucket day.  You see, it’s teething season.  And with teething season comes achy little gums and low fevers and cranky nights and tugging at ears.  I took my little teether to the doctor a week ago, sure she had an ear infection or an eye infection or a something infection, to explain the ear tugging/eye rubbing in addition to the achy gums.  But nope, nothing.  So, I knew I just had to bare this teething season a little longer.  Well, each day, the fussiness got a little worse.  And her eyes started gooping up.  She was just getting more and more fussy and stuffy and cranky and achy.  So the rest of Friday I did a lot of holding.  And not much else.  (But secretly I kind of like it when that happens.  Because then busy babies slow down and let their mommas rock them.)  Then, over the weekend, this little one of mine woke up with gooped-shut eyes.  She was miserable.  So I took her into Urgent Care, once again sure that there was some sort of infection bugging her.  And yep, this time I was right.  She had developed an ugly ear infection.  Which caused the goopy little sad eyes.


So that, my friends, is why Friday turned into a busy day.  And that the tutorial that I was excited about, had to wait another couple days.


But here’s what I made.  Cutie-pie little baby hats……made from old sweaters.  If you’ve never tried it, the bottom rim of sweaters makes a perfect hat brim.  (Wanna see a really old tutorial of mine?  Go here.  I turned an old sweater of mine into a hat back when my 2 older kiddos were so itty bitty.  Wow, things have changed!)



And guess what?  Today I have girl versions AND boy versions. Yay.






Turns out, the striped hat kept my little baby’s ears nice and snuggly on our way to Urgent Care over the weekend.




Funny how little ones can perk up and flash you a smile, all while feeling cranky and achy.  But awww, those sick little eyes.  Glad she’s on the mend.




Good thing I made her 2 hats, so she can have a backup.




When we arrived to the Urgent Care………it still didn’t open for 15 more minutes.  So I plopped her up in the front seat with me, while we waited in the parking lot.





She loved it.  And her hat kept her little ears nice and snuggly warm.  Whew.




What a fun way to make your own little personalized hats though, right?  Cheap too.





I can’t look at old sweaters the same way any more.  And yeah, they kinda don’t stand a chance next to me and my scissors.  Ha.








I love them all.






The boy hats are baby size……so my 3 year old boy can’t wear them.  But I just had to sew up a few in baby boy styles too.  Just for fun. 


So, if there’s anyone out there who wants a little re-purposed sweater hat for their little boy, let me know.  You can totally have them.  (they are about a 9-12 month size)  There are still several chilly months left, right? 


I’d hate to see these just sit on my sewing table, so if you’d like one of the hats, let me know in a comment below this post, and then I’ll just pick 2 different people at the end of today.  Sound good?



Well, as long as you don’t care about my little tag on the back.  (You can always pick it off and pretend you made it.  Ha….I won’t tell!)



Anyway, I’m keeping the two girl hats.  But the boy ones are up for grabs.  Any takers?

. . . . .




Back to the hats.


If you’d like to turn your own sweaters into little hats (even for you!), here’s how:



First of all, you need sweaters.  I have found that the best sweaters to use are the ones with ribbing along the bottom.  That will give you a nice snug brim for the hat.  Look in your closets, check out the hand-me-down pile, or look at your local thrift store.  There’s always an old sweater that needs a new life.


Then, line up the bottom edges of the sweater (the front and back) and then cut out a nice rounded hat shape.  Be sure that it’s tall enough to cover the head and then come down to cover the ears.  (Click here and here for other hat examples.)


To make the argyle hat, cut two diamond shapes and iron some fusible adhesive onto the back (more help with that here).  Iron the diamonds down onto the front hat piece and then stitch around each diamond, attaching it to the sweater.  Then stitch a “V” shape and then an upside down “V” shape in another color……creating that argyle look.  I sewed the “V’s” two times each, to make them a bit bolder.


Next, place the 2 hat pieces together, with right sides together.  Stitch all along the curve of the hat.  Then either sew another straight stitch next to the first one……or sew a zig-zag stitch.  Sometimes sewing a zig-zag on woven sweater material can stretch it out, so increase your stitch length so that it jumps over more fabric.  Otherwise, just stick to another straight stitch.  Then trim the excess edges.

**HINT: Pulling and a bit of rippling is normal while sewing old sweaters.  Press flat with an iron and steam and that rippling will flatten out and sort of suck back into place.


Turn the hat right side out and then press again.  Don’t pull or stretch the sweater but press the iron straight down.


To make the pink hat with a bow, cut the hat pieces out the same way.  Then, cut another strip of the sweater that is just a bit wider than the hat pieces and then twice as tall as you’d like your bow to be.  Then fold the top and bottom edge of the strip towards the back.


Then turn that strip over and lay across the bottom edge of the front hat piece.  Sew along both ends, attaching the strip to the hat.


Then, cut another little strip of sweater, wrap it around the center of the strip that you just attached to the hat.  Then hand sew the two ends of that small strip closed, making sure that the strip is nice and snug, pulling the bow into a nice shape.  Rotate the hand-sewn edges to the back side of the bow.  Then sew the front and back hat pieces together to create your hat, just like shown above.


The navy blue hat just has 2 buttons sewn right to the hat, after the hat was all sewn together.


For the pom-pom hat, sew your hat together like the hats above…….but then cut some strips of kit fabric (that won’t fray).


Cut those strips into shorter pieces.


Then group your little pieces together and then tie thread around the middle, nice and tight.  Knot it closed.


Then bend all the little pieces upward and then wrap thread around the bottom, forcing the little pom-pom pieces to sit upwards.


Then hand-stitch the pom-pom right to the top of the hat.




And that’s it. 


A few new hats made from old sweaters.



I promise, they’ll make you happy to make. 


Nothing beats the whole “trash to treasure” thing. :)





Ashley Johnston
  • Save

Ashley Johnston

Owner at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with the craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!
  • Save


  1. Alicia says:

    Thank you for posting this tutorial! I just need to find some sweaters now so I can try this out.

  2. kari says:

    What a clever idea! My babies are grown, but I’m going to keep my eye out for cute sweaters to upcycle as gifts. :)

  3. Leah says:

    A newbie sewer here. Can I use my regular needle on these thicker sweater projects or should I use a different one?

  4. anila says:

    I like it very much I will try it my hate looking beautiful

  5. Glenda says:

    Great idea. I’m making me some hats got myself.

  6. Deborah Hoffman says:

    ah another idea Ive been making flowers for headbands they r removable ones made with hair clips alligator clips ect. could clip one of those on them to… just a idea everybody have a wonderful day!!

  7. Deborah Hoffman says:

    Love this upcycle you are a women after my own heart.. Had children of Nine. so well you can figure out the rest.. I have a thrift store around the corner that sells sweaters for 1.50 wow this will be fun.. Another idea for you is you can take the sweater legs and make leggings. Lots of atta boy for ya. Thank you for the pics and blog.


  8. LisaS says:

    Approx. how wide did you make the hat?

  9. cucicucicoo says:

    Hi Ashley, I just saw this on pinterest and remembered it being yours, but they cropped out your watermark and put in their own. Just wanted to let you know:

  10. Anonymous says:

    Good Idea!! Will try it soon. Thanks

  11. Hayley says:

    Wish I had a little one because I love to make baby stuff. My relatives are so lucky. hehe Just wish they would hurry up and have more – – no, they have enough. It would just give me an excuse to try some of these cute little sweater hats.

    1. Deborah Hoffman says:

      You could make these for yourself you know… or give to your charity of choose. I was saying to you cant take the arms of the sweater to make leggings. I have also made fingerless gloves from these.. Real cute so much to choose from from your local thrift store too.. oh yea you can felt by shrinking you wool sweaters…

  12. branwen willow says:

    love the hats but how do I know what size to make,my grandaughter is a year old and lives far away,my other grandaughter is 5 and far away too so please tell me how to know how big to make them?
    branwen in vancouver canada

  13. Anonymous says:

    Precious and a great idea!!

  14. VEE says:

    Great presentation. Now I have some ideas for my old sweaters.

  15. Elsi says:

    By the way, you can turn the sleeves into leggings for your little ‘un. Wouldn’t that be so cute? Matching hat & leggings?

  16. Charlize says:

    This is soooooooo great! I was looking for a hat for my little girl and then I found this great hats.
    Today I´ll try to make a hat myself.
    Thanks for the great inspiration!

    P.s. Sorry for the bad English, I´m from the Netherlands ;-)

  17. Molly says:

    Thank you for the great ideas! I am looking forward to making some of these hats. I am not particularly talented in this area so I really appreciate people, like you, that share your great ideas with me.
    I will share my info with you…unsolicited advice from my area of expertise. For little ones that are teething, when they reach that point of irritated ears and eyes, have a good Pediatric Chiropractor check them out. Usually this will keep your little one from getting ear or eye infections. I won’t go into details here of why or how this works but feel free to email if you want to know. There are many Chiropractors trained in working with children, just ask them. There is also a list at International Chiropractic Pediatric Association. .
    Thank you again!

  18. Susan Conley says:

    Is there a pattern? I would LOVE to have it.

  19. Shay says:

    This is an awesome idea. I was planning on doing the sweater dress and depending on how much sweater is left I just might make a matching hat :)

  20. Franzi from amy eighteen says:

    What a cool idea! I just need swaeters!


  21. Neha jain says:

    your ideas are just amazing..i’m sailing right now but can’t wait to go back home and try these hats designs..and all other stuff..just loved it..from whr u get these ideas i’m so happy to found this site…

  22. Diane says:

    I have 2 sweaters that ive been saving, knowing I’ll find a good use for them. So, I’m gonna go sew a few hats tonite. Thank you for the best ideas and tutorials. Ive made quite a few legging using your pattern. You definetly know what your doing and are talented. Ive sewn for 42 years and still get all excited to see good patterns. I now have a boatload of grandkids, and if I win a hat, a grandbaby might havva warm head next winter. We have 3 coming by the end of the year.

  23. brandi says:

    I would love to know where you get your little tags for the back of your stuff
    and the hats are so cute

  24. Amber says:

    omg this will be perfect! if only i could find a sweater good for this!

  25. mary cottrell says:

    I love this idea about the hats but I cannot find a size for babies or todlers

  26. krista says:

    Thankyou so much for this great tutorial!
    I just finished my first sweater-beanie! Great!!!!
    Check my blog if you would like to see the result!
    Greetings from Holland

  27. Sally from Frills and Fun says:

    These are so cute & oh so practical! :)
    I love that you’ve upcycled sweaters so they’ll probably be nice and soft for little heads.
    I’m in New Zealand and we’re just going into the cooler months so i will be making several of these.
    Thanks for sharing!! :D

  28. Mindy says:

    I’m playing catch up in my reader. Your posts are killing me with the cuteness!! What’s going to happen when all the kids are grown?! :(

  29. Becca says:

    Love the hats! So cute and snuggly. My 7 month old little guy would think so too, I’m sure. I’m now racking my brain to determine if I have any sweaters on hand to try this out.

  30. emma grace lapp says:

    so totally awesome and super creative!! i have a 14 mo. and a 4 mo.(both boys) and would love one of your hats!!

  31. Nadia says:

    So very cute!! Love the idea!

  32. Amy says:

    What a great way to make baby and kids’ clothes last a little longer! Take that sweater you love to see on your kid that he’s outgrown and make a hat the next size up! Love it! Going to rummage now . . . Thank you!

  33. Emily says:

    Oh my! Came across your site a few days ago and is now safe to say I have fallen in love with your ideas! I must also admit im a bit envious of your domestic goddess super powers lol!! Big HUGE fan. Gonna check out your boy crafts now that ive drooled over your girl ideas lol. Your truly awsome all though im sure you already know that so here is a high 5 via internet lol!

  34. Torrie says:

    I am sure you’ve already given them away-but I would love either of the boy hats!

  35. Sewil says:

    I admire your ideas. Thank you very much. I will visit your site and in the future.

  36. Ruth says:

    how or where do you make your clothing labels,this is something I’ve been wanting to do for the clothing I make for my children,just not sure where to start. any info would be greatly appreciated! & I love the hats,will definately be making some for the kiddos

    1. Kirsten says:

      Ashley has a posting about it on here under the Clothing tutorials. If you scroll down a little bit, there’s a posting explaining where she got them and links to their site as well. They are cute little labels, aren’t they?!

  37. Jessica says:

    I love the blue hat with the buttons! Very cute.

  38. Laura says:

    This is seriously amazing!!! Love the hats and your photos are gorgeous.

  39. CM says:

    Adorable! I think the argyle hat is my fave

  40. SLS says:

    So cute! Off to find sweaters :)

  41. Karen says:

    I have a super cute 7 month old that would make good use of one of the hats! Of course I would keep the tag on too!

  42. Natasha says:

    My 7.5 month old has got a big noggin, so a hat is perfect!!

    By the by – I LOVE your tutorials!!

  43. Erica says:

    I would LOVE one of those little boy hats! Not only for my 3 month old, but as a pattern to make more. :)

  44. Michelle says:

    I have a little boy who would look adorable in one of those hats!

  45. Kim says:

    Love the hats, and especially love the adorable pics of your baby girl! Hope she’s feeling better soon :)

  46. bjahlstrom says:

    I’m having my first baby in May…a boy! By the time winter arrives, these hats will be rockin’!

  47. Jenna says:

    My little guy would love one of those hats for our winters here in Minnesota. Also a suggestion, what about matching mittens out of the bottom of the sleeves?

  48. aimee says:

    Love the boy hats. They are so stinkin’ adorable. Totally need to make some for my liitle guys.

  49. Liz- Image3D says:

    Such an AMAZING idea!

  50. Jennifer says:

    I love the last picture of your daughter with her little chubby baby hand pressed against the window. SO adorable! I love your hats too. Although, we live in Houston and it doesn’t really get cold enough here for hats.

  51. Annie says:

    I love the boy hats! Well, I think they are all pretty cute, but I am pregnant with my first boy, due in 2 months, and the boy hats are just so darling! Pick me!

  52. Christa @ BrownSugarToast says:

    I would love to win one of your boys’ hats! I take my little girl and boy running with me in my double jogging stroller, so he’s always bundled up in a hat! But if I don’t win, I’ll definitely be keeping my old sweaters for this project! Thanks for the inspiration!!

  53. Lila @ sweet and lovely crafts says:

    HOLY cow. These hats are so amazing. I can’t wait to try to make ones for my kids.
    Amazing. How did you even think of this?

  54. Andrea M says:

    Those hats are adorable!! I just had a baby boy two weeks ago today : ) He would love to sport those hats!
    I am sure they are already spoken for. So, maybe someday when my sewing machine gets fixed, the house gets/stays clean, and I am not tired then I will finally learn to sew!! Until then I will just keep reading your blog and getting my head full of ideas ; )

  55. Kylie says:

    I know I’m too late, but I have a 9-month old boy and those hats are just too cute! I’ll have to try out the tutorial. :)

  56. Emma says:

    You are very talented, I am always impressed by your creations. I have two little boys who would put your hats to good use!

  57. Heid says:

    Hi, Those hats are the best!! I’d love to have the chance to win a hat for my little man. thanks

  58. Danna says:

    Ohhhh I would just love one of those hats for my little man! Very studly looking ;)

  59. Ashley says:

    i’d love to have those two little hats and put them to good use! :)

  60. ira lee henson says:

    ok, this is a great idea. i have some sweaters that havent been worn in a couple winters. however, slouchy beanie hats are in right now. i just bought one at american eagle for $20!!! gasp!! ikr. maybe this would be worth trying to make into a slouchy adult sized hat. hmmmm…

  61. Lara says:

    I may be too late, but I have an adorable 7 month old little boy who would be a perfect fit for one of those hats. I’m kicking myself right now because just last month I donated a bag full of old sweaters! Oh, what was I thinking!

  62. Kelly O. says:

    I’m loving those hats! especially the boy ones because I have a boy! and I’m incubating another one too! and he’d look sooo sweet! you can send them to me! great ideas! thanks for sharing!

  63. Liz says:

    Those boots she’s wearing are gorgeous! Are they handmade too?

    1. Kate says:

      I love the boots too! Ashley, share the scoop! :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Hi, I'm Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

Back to Top
Share via
Copy link