Clever crafts to make from old sweaters | Living the Country Life
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Clever crafts to make from old sweaters

Dig those old sweaters out from the back of your closet (or hit up your local thrift shop), and make these comfy, cozy crafts!
  • Felt those sweaters!

    Turn old wool sweaters into felt for crafting! This is a perfect use for flea market finds, or for a favorite old sweater that you've outgrown, torn, or stained. Here's how:

    1. Choose a blend of 65% or more wool.
    2. Wash sweaters on the longest, hottest cycle available, using only half the detergent you would normally use. Add a few tennis balls or a pair of tennis shoes to the wash to help knock the fibers around.
    3. Dry on the longest, hottest setting available.
    4. Repeat as needed, until sweaters are felted enough that they can be cut without fraying.

    Felt your sweaters, then turn them into one of these great DIY projects!

    Date Published: October 16, 2015
    Date Updated: October 16, 2015
  • Comfy and cozy

    Turn cuffs and sleeves of old sweaters into cute cozies. Use pretty patterns and Christmas colors to cover vases, candle holders, and candy jars. When using these with candles, make sure the fabric goes on the glass, not the candle itself, and slide it down a bit so the flame won't come into contact with it.

    Date Published: October 16, 2015
    Date Updated: October 16, 2015
  • Wrap it up!

    To make sweater cozies for your candles, vases, and even travel mugs, stretch a piece of felted sweater around it, inside out. Pin so it fits snugly, then slide off and hand stitch where pinned. Cut off the excess (remember once your sweater is felted, it won't unravel), and embellish if you wish. The jingle bells stitched around this candle cozy are super cute for Christmas! Buttons, ribbon, and charms would make nice embellishments as well.

    Or, if you're lucky, the sleeves of your sweater will be just the right size to cut into segments and use as no-sew cozies! Childrens' sweaters may work best for smaller vases and mugs.

    Date Published: October 16, 2015
    Date Updated: October 16, 2015
  • Sideways wrap

    Here, the center section of an old button-up cardigan was transformed into a cozy for this large, plain florists' vase. The best thing about these cozies is they can easily be swapped out from season to season.

    Date Published: October 16, 2015
    Date Updated: October 16, 2015
  • The snuggliest blanket ever

    Snuggle in with this cozy throw made from felted wool sweaters! Cut out all your squares (these are 9" squares, with a few made up of four 5" squares sewn together with a 1/2" seam allowance). Arrange the squares in a pattern you like and sew rows together using a 1/2" seam allowance. Then sew the rows together so the seams match up. Add a flannel sheet for backing, sew perle cotton ties where the blocks intersect, and topstitch around the perimeter, 1" from the edge to finish.

    Date Published: October 16, 2015
    Date Updated: October 16, 2015
  • Covered in cable-knit

    This old cable-knit sweater has found new life in an adorable storage container for yarn! To make a bin like this, slip a felted sweater over a hatbox, and use hot glue to adhere it to the inside and bottom. Tack on some leather handles for a finishing touch.

    Date Published: October 16, 2015
    Date Updated: October 16, 2015
  • Make mittens!

    Turn a toasty sweater into toasty mittens! Trace around the hand of the mitten recipient to get the perfect shape and size, leaving a seam allowance. If you can use cuffs from the sleeves of the sweater as mitten cuffs, that will work best. Place right sides together, pin, sew, then turn right side out for instant mittens! While you're at it, make a matching scarf and hat, too!

    Date Published: October 16, 2015
    Date Updated: October 16, 2015
  • Seasonal bulletin board

    Covering the cork center of a framed bulletin board with fabric is one of the easiest ways to dress up a room for the season. When fall rolls around, use a sweater with the shades of the season, then swap it out with a Christmas sweater after Thanksgiving! For a large bulletin board like this one, you may need to felt a sweater dress!

    Date Published: October 16, 2015
    Date Updated: October 16, 2015
  • Plush pillows

    Sweaters like these make natural pillow covers! Give old throw pillows new life by sewing these easy covers. If you're using a button-up cardigan like the one in the back, you can sew all the way around the edges and insert and remove the pillow as needed by just unbuttoning it!

    Date Published: October 16, 2015
    Date Updated: October 16, 2015
  • Heat your seat

    Make a few sweater-covered seat cushions and leave them next to the door in the mudroom. Then when you're heading out the door to a football game, you can just grab them and take them along to keep from freezing on the bleachers!

    Date Published: October 16, 2015
    Date Updated: October 16, 2015
  • A sweater for Spot

    Everyone loves a dog in a sweater! This example shows how the sweater should be cut, but you may want to do a trial run and make a pattern with an old T-shirt. For smaller dogs, you can just use the sleeve, using the cuff as a mock turtleneck! For larger dogs, use the ribbed section from the neck or waist for the collar section. You might want to cut a slit on the back for the dog's leash to pull through.

    Date Published: October 16, 2015
    Date Updated: October 16, 2015
  • Sweater stockings

    Turn a felted sweater into a Christmas stocking! These beautiful stockings are embellished with embroidered cuffs, furry pom-poms, and ribbon.

    Date Published: October 16, 2015
    Date Updated: October 16, 2015
  • Cozy snowman

    This cute craft would also make a great gift from the kids! Turn a felted sweater sleeve inside out and sew one end closed. Turn right side out and insert three styrofoam balls, from smallest to largest, through the opening to the bottom of the sleeve. Tie a thread between the balls to create the "stacked snowball" look, and sew the opening closed at the top of the snowman, then cut off the excess material. 

    To make the hat, wrap wire around three fingers to make the hat brim, then switch to two fingers to make the crown. Make adjustmants and hot glue to the snowman's head. Twist more wire for arms, and stick them into the styrofoam. Add other embellishments like beads for eyes, a strip of fabric for a scarf, and tiny buttons.

    Date Published: October 16, 2015
    Date Updated: October 16, 2015
  • Felted ornaments

    This is a great way to use smaller pieces of your felted sweaters left over from other projects. Turn them into adorable ornaments! Stitch two identical pieces together and stuff, like this star, or simply cut out shapes (like a sweater shape, for example!), and hang from the tree. This is another great project for kids, since safety scissors should cut felted wool just fine!

    Date Published: October 16, 2015
    Date Updated: October 16, 2015
  • More crafty ideas

    Stuff a sweater sleeve with a pool noodle and place in front of doorways to keep cold air out and warm air in.

    Make a sleeve for your tablet (use a stick-on screen protector to prevent scratching). Sew the sleeve and add a button and elastic loop onto the top to close it up.

    Sew a small pillow from felted sweater made from 100% wool, leaving one corner open. Stuff with rice, lentils, corn, or flaxseed. Hand-stitch to close. Pop them in the microwave for about a minute to make reusable hand warmers! Do the same thing using a sweater sleeve to create a warming neck pillow.

    Make a pet bed! Fill the body and arms of the sweater with padding. You can use foam, old pillows, stuffing, or old blankets. Rolled up towels or blankets make good sleeve stuffing. Stitch the neck and waist openings closed. Wrap the sleeves around the bottom of the sweater to create a round shape. Slide one cuff into the other and stitch them together. Place a few stitches to keep the sleeve circle attached to the bed. The sleeve rolls give your pets a comfy place to rest their little heads!

    Make cozy headbands, doll clothes, and more!

    Date Published: October 16, 2015
    Date Updated: October 16, 2015

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