How to Make Glittens (fingerless Glove-mittens)




About: I am a freelance model maker and plush designer living in greater London. Visit my blog for more crafty stuff

If you enjoyed this insructables please vote for it in the Sew Warm contest by clicking 'vote' at the top of the page. I *really* want to win that sewing machine :)


I love to wear big rings so i wanted to make a pair of gloves that didn't have individual fingers, and flap over mittens to keep my fingers warm.

This instructable shows you how to make an old cardigan into a pair of fingerless gloves that transform into mittens. Includes a free pattern that can be easily resized so you can make these for any sized hands.


A new instructable every Monday on

Step 1: You Will Need

A donor cardigan - i picked one with cabling detail as i thought it'd look cute on the backs of the gloves. What the cardigan is made of is down to personal preference, but one with a tightish weave will be easiest to work with. You could always use a sweater you'd just have to buy matching buttons separately

a) pins
b) scissors
c) needle
d) thread
e) pen

Printed copy of the pattern

Step 2: Cut All Your Pieces Out

1) Select which part of the fabric you want as the main feature of your gloves. I decided to have the cabling on the jumper running down the middle of the gloves.

2) Mark and cut out the hand part of the gloves, placing the cabling in the centre of one half of the glove. Cut another with the cabling on the opposite side

3) this is what your two main hand parts should look like, with the cabling design on opposite sides on each piece.

4) cut the mittens out - two with cabling running through the middle and two without.

5) Cut the thumbs from a plain part of the cardigan

6) Cut the ribbing from the rib at the bottom of the cardigan

7) Cut the hanging ribbons off the cardigan, these are for the button loop later. If you cardigan doesn't have these just use a coordinating ribbon. Cut off two buttons.

Step 3: Sew Everything Together

8) Pin the cuff to the main glove and hem using straight stitch. Bind the edges with a zig zag stitch. I used black thread so you can see the where i've sewn, but a matching thread would be best!

9) Fold the glove in half and pin together the seam over the top of the thumb. Sew in place.

10) Lay the glove out flat and pin on the thumb, lining the centre of the thumb up with the seam you just made. Sew along this edge.

11) Fold the glove back in half. Pin from the top of the thumb to the bottom of the cuff and sew all along.

12) Zig zag around the raw edge at the top of the glove. Turn it over to the inside and pin in place. Sew all around with a straight stitch.

13) Pin together the mitten tops, one cables piece and one plain piece for each. Hem as you just did on the top of the glove.

Step 4: Finishing Touches

14) Pin the mitten top to the glove about 1.5cm from the hem (this is indicated on the pattern) Sew in place with a line of straight stitch

15) Put the glove on so you can see where the button needs to go. It will probably want to go on the join where the cuff meets the glove (depends on the size of the button - i used quite big ones) Sew the button in place and then use the ribbon you saved earlier to make a button loop.

16) Sew the looped ribbon to the reverse of the mitten, right at the top. Make the loop long enough that the button slips out quite easily, they don't need to be super tight as the mittens will fold back naturally when you're not wearing them its just to stop it flapping about.

Step 5: Ta Daaaa!

Thats it! Now put your mittens on and impress your friends with your warm fingers, big rings an the ease at which you can write text messages once you flip the mitten up!

A new instructable every Monday on

Finalist in the
Sew Warm Contest



    • Beauty Tips Contest

      Beauty Tips Contest
    • Pets Challenge

      Pets Challenge
    • Fandom Contest

      Fandom Contest

    30 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    They look really nice, I'm a fan of your instructables ;)


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Try this:
    and this:


    9 years ago on Step 1

    In your pattern it looks like the cutting line is inside the sewing line, but I think it is supposed to be the other way around.

    Your instructable came just in time...I was about to throw away a wool sweater that shrunk four sizes in the dryer. I was going to throw it out but now I can have a better use...I shrunk a cashmere sweater too but will have to find it...that would be awesome a cashmere mitten.

    4 replies

    Never throw away shrunken wool/animal fiber garments!

    There is a whole plethora of fun things you can do with them.

    Once felted (or fulled I guess) the wool won't unravel when you cut it so you can make appliques or cut strips and add buttons for coffee sleeves. You can make these mittens or cut flower shapes for broaches or earrings. You can make a coin purse or a big purse. The only limit is your imagination.

    I would suggest stuffing it in a pillowcase and rewashing on hot with a little soap, 1/2 cup baking soda (increases felting) and a few towels or old pairs of jeans. This will tighten it up even more making a thicker fabric which won't fray when cut. The pillowcase will protect your washer from the ton of fuzzies that the felting will release.

    Then I would google "felted sweater crafts" or something like that.

    Good Luck!

    Thanks for the tip. I didn't know it wouldn't unravel but it makes sense. I plan on making the mittens but probably with half fingers added in. I am hoping to design a way to put the seams on the back of the hand and fingers rather than between the fingers or on the palm. We'll see what happens.

    waa i hate when that happens! My washing machine has no gentle cycle, so i have to save up my delicate cardis for when i see my mum cos im so worried ill 'felt' them! look at me - a 26 year old saving up her washing for her mum ha ha!

    My problem tends to be the humidity. Nothing gets dry unless I set it to HOT then promptly forget to take the wools out to hang dry. I rarely wore that sweater but it still irritates.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    your instructables are awesome and ur really crafty so do you mind reviewing my instructable? tell me what to change.


    ps it was like my 4th time sewing

    1 reply

    9 years ago on Step 5

     Awesome, I can't wait to go to find an old sweater to try making my own!!

    They're amazing!! I have a pair I bought but  the they have fingerless thumbs so when I wear them as mittens my poor thumb gets chilly! These are soooooo much better! When I figure out what material I wanna use I'll make some n send a pic =]

    try adjusting the tension on your machine or place a layer of tear away interfacing underneath when you sew :)