11 Genius Ways To Repurpose Oven Mitts When They Are Too Far Gone For The Kitchen

Oven mitts are essential in the kitchen, but if you cook frequently, they also take quite a beating. These simple gloves are designed with protection in mind and are typically made of several layers of heat-resistant cotton and batting, but even the most durable materials are prone to singes, staining, holes, and loose threads. After years of protecting your hands from hot pans and baking sheets, it's not uncommon to find that your go-to oven mitt is looking a little worse for wear.

With some creativity, however, this doesn't have to be the end of its life. If you have an old oven mitt that's starting to feel like it's not quite as protective as it used to be, it's a good idea to replace it with something more durable to help prevent injury, but this doesn't mean that it isn't still fit for another job around your house. Oftentimes, reducing your waste is as simple as finding a new way to use something you already have on hand, and sturdy and protective oven mitts make for a fantastic base for a wide array of projects. Whether you're just looking to use your existing mitt for a new purpose, such as extra hand protection from snow, or trying to find a way to upcycle it into something entirely new, like a glasses case, check out some of these creative DIY ideas.

1. Stockings

Decorating for Christmas on a budget can be quite the struggle, but if you're looking to create a unique, cozy, and homey setup without shelling out the big bucks, DIYs are the way to go. Oven mitts are fairly large, so they give you quite a bit of material to work with, and they're often made of quilted material with unique prints, so they can bring some color and variety to an otherwise simple design scheme. Repurpose the material from your oven mitts, combining it with other scrap fabric, if necessary, to create your own DIY quilted stockings.

2. Baskets

Extra storage is always a win. If you're looking for a unique twist on a plain basket, consider repurposing an old oven mitt to create your own. Cut off the hand portion of the mitt to create a cylinder shape, then flatten and sew on the extra material to add a bottom to the basket. Finish it off with some simple handles, and you're good to go. The durable, layered material will give the basket some support and allow it to stand up on its own, regardless of what you choose to store inside.

3. Glasses case

Eyewear, whether it's a pair of prescription glasses or a cheap pair of sunglasses from Amazon, needs protection. If you don't have a case on hand, however, try your hand at making your own out of an old oven mitt. Cut a square shape out of your oven mitt that's a bit longer than your glasses, then fold it in half and sew along two of the edges. Either leave the final side open to create a sleeve or add on a fastener like a button or zipper if you want to make a closed-off case.

4. Coasters

Coasters can help protect your surfaces from water and heat damage, but they can also add a fun decorative accent to your space. If you have an oven mitt that you like the look of, consider cutting it down to create a couple of DIY coasters. These can be just about any shape, so long as you make sure they're large enough to fit under the cups you use. Because oven mitts are already designed to be heat-resistant, you can rest assured that your coasters will be well-equipped to protect your table from even the hottest of mugs.

5. Curling iron cover

It's important to let your heat styling tools completely cool before packing them in your luggage, but if you don't have the time or simply want an extra layer of protection, consider turning an old oven mitt into a heat-resistant case for your curling irons, wands, and hair straighteners. This DIY is simple — all you need to do is sew down the side of an old oven mitt and cut off the excess to create a more streamlined pouch, but, in a pinch, you can also leave the mitt as-is and just place your hot tool inside.

6. Door hanger

Because they're frequently found hanging on cabinet pulls or next to your oven for easy access, oven mitts often serve both functional and decorative purposes. If you have a mitt that's a bit too worn or isn't great at protecting your hands from heat that you still like the look of, consider turning it into a fun decorative door hanger. Add some seasonally appropriate foliage or faux flowers into the mitt as if it were a vase, then attach a hook or string to the back of the fabric to easily hang it on your door. 

7. Gardening hand protection

Gardening is often seen as a relaxing activity, but that doesn't mean that it's without its fair share of hazards. Whether you're repotting succulents or digging out a new garden bed, it pays to have some hand protection. While an oven mitt likely isn't the best option if you're prioritizing dexterity, they're a great substitute for garden gloves in a pinch. Some options even have textured silicone patches, which can help improve your grip if you're working with old garden tools and want to avoid ending up with blisters, splinters, or rust on your hands.

8. Makeshift snow mittens

A solid pair of gloves or mittens can go a long way in protecting your hands from chilly temperatures in the winter, but, for more involved tasks, sometimes plain knit gloves just won't cut it. If you're doing something that includes more direct contact, like shoveling snow or wiping off the ice on your car, consider layering some oven mitts over your existing gloves to give you an additional layer of protection. The mitts will help keep your hands extra warm, but they'll also prevent melting ice from soaking in and getting your gloves wet.

9. Koozie

If you're tired of relying on the ugly, promotional koozies that you've collected over the years when you want to enjoy a cold drink, consider crafting a DIY upgrade. Because they're already designed to insulate your hands, oven mitts can make for the perfect base for your own upcycled koozie. Cut down a strip of fabric that's slightly larger than the circumference of a can or bottle, then sew along the seam and add a circular bottom. The layered material will keep your drink cold, keep your hands warm, and help absorb any condensation.

10. Trivet

If your oven mitts have damage and wear in some areas but are still in pretty good shape in others, it doesn't mean that their life in the kitchen has to come to an end. Cut off the damaged portions, then cut down the fabric into a simple square shape. Add some binding around the edges to finish it off, and you'll be left with a cute fabric trivet to help protect your counter or table from hot dishes. This DIY is incredibly simple, so it's a great way to learn simple sewing skills if you're a beginner.

11. Holiday decorations

Oven mitts might look like mittens, but have you ever considered using them as a hat? This easy holiday décor idea offers a chance to get creative with the materials you have on hand. Glue a piece of white fuzzy fabric into the opening of your oven mitt, then glue a small wooden ball where these two pieces meet to act as a nose. Finish off the craft with a ribbon tied around the top of the mitt to make it look more like a hat and conceal the thumb, and you have an adorable gnome decoration.