59. How to Upcycle an Old Jumper

Upcycle an old jumper

If you’d like to skip straight to the creative project and learn how to upcycle an old jumper into these cosy fingerless gloves and scarf, scroll down to find Blue’s paw print below.salvagebox.co.uk - Blue's paw

This episode is subtitled: ‘What does Jaz see in him…?’

‘Yes, the date is still free. We’d be delighted to prepare your wedding flowers for you…’

The bride from last week was on the phone, booking us for her wedding flowers and I was in the process of taking her deposit. Phew, I thought. I was convinced we’d lost that one.

While I was talking to her, a thin man with a pasty white face walked into the flower shop and was trying to say something to me so I put my hand over the phone and told him that I’d be with him in a moment. But he was insistent.

‘Just leaving this for Darren,’ he said and held out a package about the size of a book with a Tesco bag wrapped tightly around it.

‘There’s no one called Darren here,’ I said.

‘He said he’d pick it up from this shop.’

‘Well you can’t leave it.’

‘He said to give it to Jaz.’

‘Oh… She won’t be back from lunch for half an hour so you’ll have to wait,’ I said reluctantly, trying to get back to my phone call. He looked aggrieved and tried one more time to give me the package but I held firm. I didn’t have any concrete reason not to trust Jaz’s boyfriend Darren but intuition is valuable and I wasn’t prepared to take delivery of a strange package. He sighed and leaned on the counter to get himself settled for the wait.

He was still there, leaning, when I finished my phone call but just at that point I was distracted by Kim who came rushing through the door waving a piece of paper. ‘We got it!’

‘Got what?’ I said, absently.

‘The planning permission!’

‘What planning permission?’

‘Oh Jenny,’ she said, exasperated, ‘I can’t believe you’re not excited about us knocking the shops together and reorganising the business. The builders said they can start next week.’

I didn’t admit to Kim that I was only vaguely aware of the plans and I certainly hadn’t realised that building work was imminent.

‘How long will it take?’ I asked.

‘They said about eight weeks,’ she replied.

‘But what about Mothers’ Day?’ I said. Our busiest day of the year would be a disaster if we had to share the shop with workmen. It made me shudder.

She pulled her phone out of her pocket, flicked up and down the calendar and said, ‘I’ll have it done in six,’ then was out of Tulips and back into Teacups before I could say, ‘Well, if you’re sure.’

I was reflecting on the changes to the business when I spotted the Tesco bag on the counter containing the package that I was desperately trying to avoid, Pasty Guy nowhere to be seen! It’s nothing to do with me I told myself; Jaz will have to deal with it when she comes back.

‘It will be nothing, Jenny, stop worrying,’ said Jaz when I showed it to her. She did look curious, though, and turned it over a few times in her hands.

She left it out of sight in the back while she served a customer but she was obviously still mulling it over because she went straight back to it and picked it up again. Her fingers were trying to resist the urge to dive in but they failed and I saw her lift out the item, which was still hidden beneath several layers of loose newspaper.

‘Should I look?’ she asked, nervously.

There was no way she wasn’t going to peek under the newspaper when she’d come this far so she didn’t wait for a reply but unwrapped it piece by piece.

When she eventually got to the core, it was a large bar of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk with a note taped to it: I KNEW YOU WOULDN’T BE ABLE TO RESIST! MEET ME AT THE CLOCKTOWER AT 7PM THIS EVENING. DARREN.

She beamed. It was the day before Valentine’s Day and Jaz saw this gesture as both romantic and mysterious. I just thought he was an idiot. And besides, didn’t he know that florists work late the night before Valentine’s Day? I didn’t want to dampen her enthusiasm, though, so I let her go, packing her off with my newly salvaged scarf and gloves in case she waited and he didn’t show up.

How to Upcycle an Old Jumper

salvagebox.co.uk - Blue's pawThis jumper doesn’t look too bad in this photo but it’s misshapen, bobbly and has a few holes. It’s perfect for an ‘upcycle an old jumper’ project.

Upcycle an old jumper

The first thing to do was to de-bobble it. I couldn’t lay my hands on my de-fuzzer tool so I risked it with a razor which I’d heard was a good way to do it and it worked really well.

Upcycle an old jumper

I made a pattern for half of the scarf (45cm x 15cm) and rounded one end.

Upcycle an old jumper

You might be able to double up your fabric and cut out the hole scarf in one piece but I had to cut two pieces for the outer and two pieces for the lining then sew them together down the short edge.

Upcycle an old jumper

Then I pinned the lining to the outer, right sides together. I started at the middle on each side and pinned to each end. Even though I tried very hard not to stretch the baggy piece of jumper, there was still excess jumper at each end!

Upcycle an old jumper

After trimming off the excess I stitched all the way round, except for a gap of about 7cm so I could turn it right way out.

Upcycle an old jumper

After trimming the seam allowance and clipping the curves, I turned it right way out, ironed it and hand stitched the gap.

Upcycle an old jumper

I cut an additional piece of the jumper for the toggle – about 16cm x 10cm.

Upcycle an old jumper

I folded it in half lengthways, right side on the inside, and stitched it into a tube. After turning it right way out I folded it the other way (with the first seam on the inside) and stitched along the short edge. The final step was to turn it right way out.

Upcycle an old jumper

Upcycle an old jumper

Upcycle an old jumper

Upcycle an old jumper

When you upcycle an old jumper you have plenty of bits to play with so I chopped off the sleeves to make some fingerless gloves, using the original cuffs as the cuffs for the gloves. I marked the length that I’d seen on another tutorial with pins but decided I wanted to make sure I had plenty of warmth past my wrists so I cut higher up, at about 25cm. However, I wish I’d cut even higher because it would have made it easier when I came to neaten off this edge.

Upcycle an old jumper

The pins in the photo below show where the thumbholes would be (horizontal pins) and where I wanted to sew a seam to reduce the width (vertical pins).

Upcycle an old jumper

I stitched along the vertical line on each glove but left the thumbhole unstitched. Although I hand stitched this, I later decided that a row of machine stitching would make it stronger and it only took a couple of minutes to do.

Upcycle an old jumper

I trimmed the seam on each glove but left some extra fabric at the thumbholes.

Upcycle an old jumper

When I folded this back and stitched it down, I made sure the stitches didn’t show through to the front (this wasn’t as difficult as you might think because the knitted fabric is quite thick).

Upcycle an old jumper

My preference would have been to fold the raw top edge down a couple of times on the outside and catch it with a few stitches but I didn’t have enough length for that. Therefore, I had to turn it in only once and stitch very small and neat blanket stitches to ensure I didn’t get my fingers stuck when I put them on.

Upcycle an old jumper

Upcycle an old jumper

Here is the matching set.

Upcycle an old jumper

But I wanted to bring in the fabric from the scarf’s lining so I recovered some old buttons and added them to the garments.

Upcycle an old jumper

Upcycle an old jumper


  • I looked at several videos to see how people had made gloves. You might like this one.
  • I used instructions from Second Chance Studio to make the scarf.
  • Cut plenty of length for your gloves – you can always chop some off if they are too long.
  • If you turn your wool jumper into felt by washing it on a high heat you won’t have to worry about any raw edges.

Salvaged Items:

  • Old jumper
  • Old covered buttons

Hmmm… I wonder whether I should make a hat out of the rest of the jumper?

Hope you all have a good week and look forward to seeing you again next week.


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