Introduction: Upcycled Sweater Boots

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What do you get if you mix and old sweater, some cheap flat shoes, and lots of hot glue? Sweater boots, that's what!

Step 1: The Supplies

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To make your boots, you'll need a big bulky sweater with nice large sleeves, some cheap flat shoes, a hot glue gun, and some buttons, as well as a sewing machine and a needle and thread. I machine embroidered my boots as well, but it's not necessary, just awesome :)

Step 2: Fitting Your Boots

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Snip off the sleeves where they meet the sweater, flip them inside out, and slide them up your leg, sweater cuff first. Slip on one of your flats, and then stretch the sleeve to form to your leg, while keeping the edges wrapped around the shoe.  This will give it a nice boot shape, instead of a big slouchy triangle.

Pin the new stretched shape in place.

Step 3: Sewing Your Boot

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Once you have the shape you want, snip off the excess outside of the pins (I found there was a lot of excess near the back of the foot and especially at the heel, don't feel bad about snipping off quite a bit there).  Carefully slide the sweater off your leg without disturbing the pins, and sew a seam down the side to secure your new boot shape.

Step 4: Fitting Your Shoe

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Take your flat shoe, and slip the inside of the sole into the bottom of the sweater (the open side without the cuff), Line the back seam up with the heel.

Step 5: Glue!

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Take your hot glue gun and go to town! Run a line of glue just above the seam of the sole, and glue the edge of your sweater in place.  I started at the back near the heel, making sure the seam was centered, and then worked my way around to the front.

Step 6: Flip Them Right Side Out

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Turn your boots right side out. This can be a bit challenging, but those cheap flat shoes are pretty bendable, which helps quite a bit.  Test the fit to see if you like em'.

Step 7: Making the Cuff

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Take the rest of your big bulky sweater, and snip off about 10 inches off the bottom. We're going to use the finished bottom edge as the bottom edge of our cuff.  Snip it in half, and use the pieces to wrap around your leg.  Measure how much you need, pin, and cut it to size. I cut some height off my sweater boot as well, to get it to the size I wanted.

Step 8: Embroider

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Totally optional, but awesome addition.  I did this with one of my embroidery designs, on both pieces of the cuffs.

Step 9:

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Fold your cuff right side in, and sew a seam along the edge you trimmed.  Turn your cuff right side out again.

Step 10: Sewing on the Cuff

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With your cuff turned right side out, tuck it inside your sweater boot. If you have embroidery, make sure it's facing the way you want it to once it's turned right side out again.  Pin the edges together, and sew a seam around the top. You might want to reinforce this seam a few times, since this will be the part of the boot that will be tugged on the most.

Flip your cuff right side out, and if you wish, sew on a button for some cute embellishment.

Step 11: Your Finished Boots!

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Ta da! Awesome sweater boots from a lame old sweater and some cheap flats.  If you want a slightly more detailed tutorial or want to know how to machine embroider on knit, you can see the full thing here.  I hope you enjoy your new boots!


darklotus (author)2015-01-29

These look great!

Like most great ideas, I found myself slapping my forehead and saying to myself "Why didn't I think of that?" But I hadn't, and kudos to you for doing it, and thanks for sharing!

The instructable is clear and easy to follow, too, so I can see many people trying this, me included. I've made boot cuffs and leg warmers by upcycling before, but these are just beautiful.

They'd also make great costumes for school plays, costume parties, cosplay, halloween and the like.

Amy D.J (author)darklotus2016-12-18

I do that constantly!!...When my first son was born, 21yrs ago, my husband thought that he had invented the best thing ever...HE EVEN CALLED ME AT WRK WITH HIS BRAINSTORM...."Honey, I have a really cool idea, a baby carrier that you take out of the car and you can attach it to a stroller!!!"....2 days later, at the baby shower , we got one!

kelly.strople (author)2014-12-07

Love them!! I have a q. Could you send me an email.

SylviaPrice (author)2014-09-21

I have a question. How well does the hot glue stay attached? I have 2 girls and if I make these for them and since it is Sept and getting close to Christmas, I think I will make them some, they will wear them out and get them wet. If the hot glue doesn't stay very well after being wet a few times, is there something else that will work? I haven't tried it with anything but what about that Gorilla Glue? Please send me an email cause I might not find my way back here. LOL Thanks, I love this pattern. Sylvia

sandra.gomes.73932 (author)2014-08-26

Omg! I am so going to do this! I want to try it with my leg warmers! Thanks for posting this

eliz.ponce1 (author)2014-08-21

People should post pictures of their finished product so we can see...

SweetTee (author)2013-12-06

I want to thank you for posting the instructions on how to make these boots. I wear a size 4-5 little girls and I'm an adult. I can't wear boots with heels due to a bad back and if you find boots with no heel they aren't pretty or nice looking. I'm going to make me some and I've called my daughter to ask her to gather up my grand daughters flat shoes and sweaters that has stains on the body that can't be worn. I'm going to make a pair of boots for my daughter for Christmas gift. Thank you for sharing these instructions so we can make them.
Thank you,
Sweet Tee

Boann (author)2013-11-17

These boots are really cute and seem to be very easy to make. My husband decided to "help" with the laundry and shrank and felted a $95 cashmere sweater. I was wondering what to do, other than strangle him with it. Now I know. Thanks!

t-tutorials (author)2013-08-03

can also for men?? I suck to walk on socks in my home

jzedalis (author)2013-07-07

just freaking love these, gotta makem

grt57 (author)2011-10-09

I admit I didn't read all the comments...sorry if this was already covered... but could you make these with dorks? (AKA Crocs).

wilgubeast (author)grt572011-12-02

It seems like Crocs should work. You might be better off with the flat versions rather than the full-on clogs. A very sharp knife (Ginsu, perhaps, since it's shoe-tested already) to cut the foamy rubber should leave you with those sweet, cushy soles. Make a version.

Bounty: 3 months of pro membership to anyone who responds in this comment thread with a Crocs version of these. grt57, will you accept the challenge?

KateOriginals (author)wilgubeast2012-03-08

This instructable was soo great I has to have a go. I had a pair of the clog style imitation crocs, which are sooo comfy. I just trimmed them back a little on the top and then followed the instructable. (I used a lambswool sweater and washed it hot to make them felted)
They are so awesome!
do I get the bounty??

jmray (author)KateOriginals2012-12-24

I might have overlooked it - but do you felt the sweater before or after the sewing?

KateOriginals (author)jmray2012-12-27

I hot washed the jumper to felt it, before cutting it down to make the boots, otherwise they might have shrunk too much.
Hope this helps

wilgubeast (author)KateOriginals2012-03-08

Most definitely. Post the full step by step of your Crocs version for a full year of pro. Those are definitely better looking than any Crocs I've ever seen. Absolutely deserving of 3 months of glorious ebooks, pdfs, ad-free viewing, and seeing all steps on one page.

KateOriginals (author)wilgubeast2012-03-09

Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou!
Darn it though I knew I should have taken photos as I did them. Still it just means I will hae to make another pair!!


Les Créateliers (author)2012-11-08

These are adorable!!! I posted your tutorial on my website, here's the link:

sprinkles68 (author)2012-10-15

I wish I had a seeing machine!! ARGH

efoster-thomas (author)2012-10-11

I absolutely love these off to make a pair right now but i think im going to use an old pair of heals i have

ThisIsAUsername (author)2012-07-19

I wish I knew how to sew. o__o These are... epic. LOL

a_lil_monkey (author)2012-06-17

wow.. So very cool!! I mean, warm, but awesome.

Rowan_Winterhaven (author)2012-05-22

1) I've been drooling over Urban Threads for more than a year now and wishing I could afford an embroidery machine with which to embroider everything I own with nearly every single one of your designs.

2) These boots are so darned CUTE! And simple? Sacred bovine! I can't find boots to fit my big fat calves but you can bet I've got sweaters and cheapo pairs of flats that I can cobble together.

Now I'm probably going to go and save every single one of your instructables then dream crazy little dreams of awesome embroidery bits all over everything.

Thank you! :D

beeta (author)2012-05-22

love it

CatTrampoline (author)2012-05-22

Amazingly awesome! The embroidery adds just the right touch of chic. I cannot fit into off-the shelf boots so these are perfect.

jadedjas (author)2011-01-02

omg..thank you! I have bigger calves but size 6 finding these kind of boots is near to impossible for me!

CatTrampoline (author)jadedjas2012-05-22

I have a similar problem. I finally put duct-tape gussets in a pair of black rubber work boots but never thought of doing something cute or fashionable.

Dusk Shadows (author)2012-05-22


rdigiacomo (author)2012-03-30

The flats you use are flats i just got like a week ago hahah

vlavertu (author)2011-09-14

This is amazing!! I love it so much and I have got to make these. I featured this on my blog today. Check it out if you want!

LelouchZero (author)2011-03-31

Seriously awesome.

triciab1212 (author)2011-01-26

these are so well done! awesome choice of everything! love them. i wanna make some now. thanks!

Sophielinker (author)2011-01-08

I try them out with one of my husband old wool sweater. I love them!
But unfortunaly I use a cheap dollar store pair of rubber sole slippers, and when I washed them the rubber tore up in the dryer!!! :(
So, I guess I'll have to take them apart and attach a new pair of slippers to them......

nerdmom920 (author)2010-12-10

Awesome instructable. Getting shoe sizes from family for some quick Christmas gifts.

moutngrrl (author)2010-12-06

I love your embroidered design! I don't have a machine :( May I suggest the possibility of you embroidering designs for sale? I would love to purchase some like the ones you used on these boots!

jamipetner (author)2010-12-02

Awesome Awesome all of the great additional ideas.

goincraz (author)2010-12-01

I hit a 50% off sale at the salvation army today and scored some awesome sweaters to hack. I also plan to make these using those OH SO UGLY Crocs that are oh so comfy!

desya (author)2010-11-24

hey I bet you could do that with a shoe that has a small heel too

sheilamommy (author)2010-11-24

Thanks much! I think I just hit upon a great idea for Chritmas gifts for several little girls on my list. Thinking of making slippers in the style of boots. Thanks so much!

Ladyofevilness (author)2010-11-19

I love your design! I am totally trying to make a fux fur pair for the Renaissance Festive this year.

Kinosha (author)2010-11-03

you should make a youtube video i love em mine are pink

CuttiePiie (author)2010-09-21

this is cool

kolleenk (author)2010-09-17

these are great

SinAmos (author)2010-09-17

You are my kind of Instructabler.

platinum15 (author)2010-09-14

im sorta confused :\ but im reading all the comments and they'r all positive (: could you make a video ?

platinum15 (author)platinum152010-09-14


Alinora (author)2010-09-02

OMG! I love them! They're sooooo easy to make! 1st step: find a sweater XD

Warm_Lizard (author)2010-08-23

Has anybody tried this with leather? It seems plausible to do so. Am I right?

Applejuice11 (author)2010-08-21

This is great! I really need to make them!

mrsvee (author)2010-07-17

I have never been so happy to find anything else on the interwebs as I am to find this. I'm totally making myself a pair of Zelda boots now. GAME ON URBAN THREADZ. I LOVE YOU.

About This Instructable




Bio: Art Director and Evil Genius of Urban Threads, an alternative machine and hand embroidery site. Every week I cuss and swear in my studio and ... More »
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