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DIY: Studded Sweater Leg Warmers

One of my favorite parts about do-it-yourself is the ability to use something in more than one way. I love taking an item, material or technique and adding an unconventional spin. Admittedly, some of the less quirky & unadventurous types might raise a brow…but who cares?! An “intended purpose” is a concept created by the human mind – so I say, why not do something different. 

…Like wearing your sweater’s sleeves on your legs, for example. But hey, with a couple snips and stitches, a pair of sweater sleeves can actually be a set of wearable, cozy leg warmers. This is a great way to recycle an old sweater you might laying around, proving that it all comes down to how you look at something.  


– Sleeves from an old sweater
– Fabric Scissors
– Liquid Seam Sealant (such as Fray Check)
– Iron
– Iron-On Studs (I used 12 dome gunmetal studs)
– Straight Pins
– Sewing Machine & Thread (Optional, or may not be needed)


1) At the fraying end of the sleeve, along the shoulder seam, trim across to create a straight edge.

2) Turn inside out and determine where you can sew, vertically, to straighten out the width of the sleeve. You may not need to do this step if your sleeve is already an even, straight tube – the “extra” fabric on the right is due to the style and size of the sweater I used. If so, skip to Step 5.

3) Sew straight down. Because my sweater already had ridges, I used one as a guide.

4) Tie off and trim the thread. Cut away the excess sweater material.

5) With the sleeve still facing inside out, fold down the raw edge about 1 inch/2.54 centimeters. Pin all around.

6) Sew.

7) Add liquid seam sealant (or clear nail polish) along the raw edge to prevent the fabric from fraying.

8) Iron the studs on on a protective surface, such as ironing board. 


9) Let cool. Repeat with the second sleeve.

Pretty easy!


Here, I wore the leg warmers with my favorite Rag & Bone jacket, black knee high boots and a Leopard Print Scarf (c/o I’m loving how the bit of brown from the leopard scarf plays off the scattering of yellow leaves! Brooklyn in the fall is my favorite.

Depending on the material, size and style of the sweater, you might be able to wear them with knee-high boots like I did. Otherwise, most sleeves will be more appropriate for shorter autumn and winter footwear, such as combat boots.

And if you’re trying to figure out if  a sweater will work for this project? Just do me a favor and don’t slip your legs into a sweater…while it’s still a sweater. And if you do, don’t tell anyone I gave you the idea. 

Tutorial Images: Kirsten Nunez