Top 10 Way to Use Old Sweaters

Instead of throwing out that old or unloved sweaters, use the material for a number of different craft projects. Create functional pot holders or beautiful brooches to adorn bags or give as gifts. Old sweaters provide a fantastic material for crafting and encourage the green principles of reuse, repurpose, recycle. Kids will love participating in these crafts. Even damaged sweaters are valuable with these top 10 old sweater crafts from www.FaveCrafts.com.

Toys- Whether felted or not, old sweaters are a great material for making toys or stuffed animals. Create a puppet with the sleeve of a sweater. Hem the cut edge to prevent fraying. To make the head of the puppet, you can simply sew the cuff together straight across or trim a curved line and sew. For a puppet with hair, gather a few inches of the cuff and weave the thread back and forth. Pull tight and secure the thread. Cut off some of the gathered cuff to leave fuzzy hair.

Blanket or Quilt- If you have several old sweaters, turn them into lovely blanket or quilt. You can cut the sweaters into blocks or varying shapes, and even use the ribbing for the edges of the blanket. Check out this photo tutorial on quilt piece cutting for help. Some sweaters may be too thick for the sewing machine, so you will have to pin and hand-sew pieces together with right sides facing and ” inch seam allowance. If seams do not lay flat after steam-ironing, hand-stitch seams to back of the blanket. Thinner sweaters can be sewn with the sewing machine and can be given a fabric backing.

Pillows- Use a pillow form to help you measure and mark the size for your throw pillow on the old sweater. You need a sewing machine for this project or a bit of patience with hand sewing.

Potholders- Stitch several layers of the old sweater together and add binding or trim around the edges to create potholders. You can also use thick quilt batting to fill the inside of your upcycled sweater potholder.

Felt- Sweaters that are at least 20% wool can be felted in your washing machine. 100% wool sweaters will give a sturdier felt for different crafts. Make sure the sweater has not been treated to make it washable, such as superwash, as these will not felt. Throw the sweater into a zippered delicates bag and wash on high heat. Dry on high heat, cleaning the lint trap frequently. Some sweaters require more than one wash and dry to fully felt. The sweater will eventually shrink dramatically and will be ready to cut apart!

Potholders- Stitch several layers of the old sweater together and add binding or trim around the edges to create potholders. You can also use thick quilt batting to fill the inside of your upcycled sweater potholder.

Coffee Cup Sleeves or Water Bottle Cozies- Cut a band in your old sweater sleeve to make a coffee cup sleeve, or use a larger piece of the sleeve for a water bottle cozy. You can felt the sweater first to make a more solid material fit for embroidery and other embellishing.

Brooches- A brooch adds instant style to any jacket, sweater or bag. Either felt the sweater first to prevent unraveling or double-stitch a flower shape with your sewing machine. Use a fabric pencil to mark a simple floral design and double stitch over this design. Cut out the shape at least 1 cm away from the stitch line. Stitch and cut out another floral shape slightly smaller than the first. Layer the two flowers and sew together with an interesting button.

Blanket or Quilt- If you have several old sweaters, turn them into lovely blanket or quilt. You can cut the sweaters into blocks or varying shapes, and even use the ribbing for the edges of the blanket. Some sweaters may be too thick for the sewing machine, so you will have to pin and hand-sew pieces together with right sides facing and ” inch seam allowance. If seams do not lay flat after steam-ironing, hand-stitch seams to back of the blanket. Thinner sweaters can be sewn with the sewing machine and can be given a fabric backing.

Toys- Whether felted or not, old sweaters are a great material for making toys or stuffed animals. Create a puppet with the sleeve of a sweater. Hem the cut edge to prevent fraying. To make the head of the puppet, you can simply sew the cuff together straight across or trim a curved line and sew. For a puppet with hair, gather a few inches of the cuff and weave the thread back and forth. Pull tight and secure the thread. Cut off some of the gathered cuff to leave fuzzy hair.

— Caley Walsh

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