Recycling a Sweater into a Green Purse

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It is sad to throw out beautiful sweaters when they become too small or are a little worse for the wear. Our landfills are full of many items that we have decided have outlived their usefulness. Many of these items like sweaters can be recycled into other objects. Enjoy this tutorial on making a “green” purse out of discarded sweaters. Any fiber content will work, but wool sweaters are fabulous for making purses, especially if you have accidentally shrunk a sweater in the washer and dryer. This project is so easy to do you will want to make several as gifts for family and friends. Just think of all the money you will save.


Small bit of fabric for lining



Sewing Machine

Corrugated cardboard

Glue gun

Needle and matching sewing thread

Small amount of Velcro


Step 1

With a sweater turned inside out, measure and cut two rectangles 12″ x 14″. These will be the outer bag of your purse. Cut two pieces 12″ x 14″ from the fabric for the lining. Measure and cut two pieces from the sweater sleeves 4″ x 16″. These will be the handle for your sweater purse.

Step 2.

Pin the sweater pieces together on both 12 inch sides and one of the a 14 inch sides. Sew along the pinned edges using a half inch seam allowance. Pin the fabric lining pieces together on both 12 inch sides and one of the 14 inch sides. Sew along the pinned edges using a half inch seam allowance and leaving a 4 inch opening along the bottom edge.

Step 3.

Match a side seam of the sweater bag to the seam up the bottom. Measure down 2 inches from the point that is formed and pin. Sew across the pinned measurements creating a triangle. Cut the triangle off to relieve the bulk. Sew and cut a triangle on the other side bottom of the sweater bag and both bottom corners of the fabric lining.

Step 4

Fold a handle piece in half lengthwise with the right sides facing and pin the long edges together. Sew a 1/2″ seam allowance along the pinned edge. Turn the handle right side out and press. Repeat for the other handle piece.

Step 5.

Turn the sweater bag right side out and slip it into the fabric lining back of your purse and match up with the side seams. Insert a handle between the bags. Match the ends of the handle to the top edge of the purse bags. Center and separate the ends by 4 inches and pin the handle’s through all layers of the purse bags. Sew a 1/2″ seam allowance around the top edge of the bag connecting the handles as you sew.

Step 6.

Turn the purse right side out through the opening in the lining and hand sew the opening closed. Press the top seam on the purse. Sew a 1/4″ top stitch around the top edge of the purse. Cut a 1″ length of Velcro. Center and sew each half to the inside center of the purse just below the edge.

Step 7.

Measure the boxed bottom seams on the bottom of your sweater purse. Cut a piece of cardboard using these measurements. Wrap the cardboard like a present and glue using a glue gun. Insert the wrapped cardboard into the bottom of the purse to give your purse a rigid bottom.






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