By far, one of my favorite things to up-cycle for crafting purposes are wool sweaters! It’s nearly addicting. And you can find them for only a few dollars at your local thrift store.
TIPS FOR FINDING YOUR SWEATER & FELTING THE WOOL
You want 100% wool sweaters. Unless you have some you can pick from your drawer, you will want to head to your local thrift store. The thrift store is a treasure trove of cheap crafting goodness! Check out the men’s section first — and go for the biggest sweaters you can find. Because when the felting process is complete, your sweater will be a smaller version of your original. So, start big.
Machine wash your sweater in hot water with detergent on the cycle with the most agitation. Then, toss it in the dryer on the hottest temperature setting. When you’re done, you will have some dreamy felted wool to work with. The beauty of the felting process is that the fibers are now so tight, that you can cut the wool and not worry about any fraying. This makes it a breeze for crafting, because it requires minimal sewing.
4 EASY FELTED WOOL PROJECTS
I want to share 4 easy DIY projects that can be made with only one or two sweaters. Below is a diagram showing what part of the sweater each project came from.
Felted wool pillows are easy to make. Just cut, sew the whole thing except for a little spot for stuffing. Stuff the pillow and finish sewing shut. The side seams on this pillow were already the side seams of the sweater, so I cheated on the sewing! The ribbing and cables on your sweater add interest and texture. You can even use some leftover scraps to make coordinating felt flowers. I glued mine on with E6000 glue. Or you can tack them on with needle and thread.
These super easy coffee cozies require no sewing (unless you want to tack on some decorative buttons). Just cut a section from the sleeve of your sweater. Remember, the felting process makes your wool free from fraying — yay! So, just slip on the arm piece to fit your coffee cup however you like, and you’re done!
These stars are fun to make, and look nice by the half-dozen… nestled together in a wooden bowl, or tucked in a basket.
Just cut a star template out of cardboard, cut 2 star pieces from your sweater (you can use the upper arm of the sweater for this… cut the arm open at the seam, and you will be amazed how much wool is available). No need to sew right sides together on any of these felt projects. Just sew all the way around your star, leaving a little spot for stuffing. Stuff, sew shut, then add your raffia and jingle bell. Sweet!
These cozies are made like the coffee cozies. Just use a section of the sweater arm. No sewing required. Slip it on a glass votive candle holder, fold up the cuff, and that’s it.
So, there you have it… 4 easy DIY crafts from 1 wool sweater. Get to it! Which one will you try? Have any other great felted wool ideas? I’d love to hear them. And check out my Pinterest Board for more felted wool DIY’s.