Think twice before throwing out old knitwear – you can give it a new lease of life by turning it into cosy items

Santa Stocking

An old jumper can be transformed into a charming stocking, perfect for stuffing with gifts on Christmas morning.

You will need:

✤ Textured or patterned old jumper
✤ Felt
✤ Remnant of ribbon
✤ Beads
✤ Paper, pencil and scissors
✤ Wool
✤ Matching sewing threads

1 Draw a template of a stocking shape on to a piece of paper then draw a line on the paper where the ankle seam will be. Cut the template out, then cut along the ankle seam line.

2 Fold the jumper in half, making sure any stripes are level andcut two pieces of each pattern, adding a 1.5cm seam allowance all around.

3 With right sides together, pin each ‘foot’ piece to each ‘leg’ piece and stitch the ankle seam, then press open.

4 Lay a piece of felt at the heel, pin in place and use wool to stitch it in place, then add a toe piece. Repeat with the second side.

5 Pin the stocking together with right sides facing taking care to match any pattern and also the edges of the felt. Stitch all the way around the outside with a 1.5cm seam allowance. Turn right side out and press.

6 Measure the top edge of the stocking and cut a piece of ribbing this measurement plus 2 x 15cm high.

Stitch the side seams together (1cm seam allowance) to make a hoop then slide the cut edge over the top edge of the stocking, overlapping 3cm. Stitch in place around the top, then fold the cuff over to hide the join.

7 Stitch a loop of ribbon to the back seam as a hanging loop, plus any decorations – we used beads, but pom-poms or bows all look lovely.

Turn an old jumper into a Santa stocking

Fair Isle Cushion

Have an old jumper covered in a fabulous Fair Isle pattern? Don’t throw it out! You can turn it into a chic cushion in 6 steps.

You will need:

✤ Fair Isle jumper
✤ Cushion pad
✤ 4 buttons
✤ Chalk
✤ Scissors
✤ Matching sewing thread

1 Cut through the side seams of the jumper and cut off the sleeves.

Cut at the shoulder seams to separate the front and back.

2 Use chalk to draw lines down the jumper to create rectangular pieces. Work the width from the smallest part (at the armholes) to the cuffed hem. Cut along these lines.

3 With right sides up, lay the rectangles on the floor with cuffs together. Overlap the cuffs and pin together.

4 Fold the two cut edges to the centre to create a square. Pin, then stitch together, and trim off excess sweater, leaving a 2.5cm allowance. Press this seam open.

5 Position the cuffs where you want them to be – this could be to one side or in the centre; it’s up to you. With right sides together pin and stitch the side seams. Turn the cover right side out and put the cushion pad in.

6 Measure and mark the positions of the buttons and stitch these in place through both cuffs to secure the cover shut.

Cushion made from old jumper

Star Bright

Scatter these sweet stars about your home for an instant festive feel.

You will need:

✤ Textured-knit jumper
✤ Felt
✤ Toy stuffing
✤ Paper, pencil and scissors
✤ Embroidery thread or wool
✤ Red satin ribbon

1 Cut a paper star 10-15cm wide (there are many templates to print from the internet) and use this to cut a star from felt.

2 Pin the felt to the right side of the jumper, centring any pattern in the knit.

3 Use a sewing machine, or hand-stitch, around the outside, with a 5mm seam allowance. Leave a small section (3-4cm) unstitched at the ‘inside’ point of the star. Trim the jumper at about 1cm around the edges and a little more at the opening (in case it frays as you turn).

4 Turn the star right side out through the hole, fill with stuffing (use the end of a pencil to help push into the points),
then stitch the hole shut.

5 Use embroidery thread or wool to blanket-stitch around the outside of the star for a decorative finish.

Thread ribbon on to a darning needle to make a hanging loop.

Christmas stars made from old jumper