How To Make Beaded Coasters From Upcycled Sweaters

upcycled sweater beaded coasters youmakeitsimple.com

Coasters do more than protect your tables and counters. They can also add a pop of color to your room and give your cup of coffee or tea a happy place to land. In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to make beaded coasters from upcycled sweaters.

 

Adding beads around the edges using the BLANKET STITCH, really gives the coasters texture and color. You can make them any shape you desire, however, I have the FREE PDF download for the circle and heart that you can get HERE.

This is a fun, relaxing, and easy project AND a set of these make great gifts!

WATCH THE VIDEO TUTORIAL BELOW

 

Play Video

BEADED COASTERS ITEMS NEEDED

  • Upcycled felted wool sweater/thick pieces of felt can also be used. (I hope you’ve been saving your sweater scraps)!upcycled felted wool sweater scraps
  • Embroidery thread (2-3 yards) Quilting thread can also be used especially for smaller beads.
  • Embroidery needle (make sure the beads you are using will fit through the needle).
  • Scissors
  • Beads of your choice (glass seed beads are a good option)
  • Sewing machine for quilting (OPTIONAL)

BEADED COASTERS INSTRUCTIONS

    1. Cut out two circles (4.5 x 4.5 inches – 11.5 x 11.5 cm) * If you have a very thick felted sweater, only use one layer.
    2. Separate the embroidery thread into 3 strands.
    3. Thread the needle and knot the end.
    4. Place the beads you want to use onto a spare piece of sweater or fabric to make loading beads easier.
    5. Stack two circles on top of each other and line up the edges. If using the heart shape, start stitching at the notch of the heart.
    6. Insert the needle between the two pieces of fabric about ¼ inch/ .5 cm from the edge. Take one stitch and poke the needle out at the edge of the fabric. Load a bead onto the needle and begin the BLANKET STITCH.
    7. Take a stitch and make a loop, pull the needle through the loop MAKING SURE THE BEAD IS ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE THREAD. Pull the thread taught and load another bead.
    8. Continue this process all the way around.
    9. To finish, take a tiny stitch, knot the thread. Insert the needle into the fabric close to the stitch and out between the two layers. Cut the thread.

You can leave the coaster just like this or you can quilt it or embroider a design in the center to give it a more dense texture.

If you want to use the sewing machine, attach the quilting foot and free-sew whatever design you want.

That’s it! Make a set for yourself and make some for your friends!

I’d love to see what you come up with. Tag your finished coasters on Instagram . youmakeitsimple.

****If you want to know about FELTING WOOL SWEATERS, check out this post.

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE.

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My intention for this website is to share tips and tutorials that I have found on my journey of life that has brought me joy, improved health, and peace, in hopes that it will do the same for you. I hope you'll join me on this journey!

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Simplified FACE MASK / No Elastic / Filter Pocket / Upcycled T-Shirt Ties

As you most likely have heard, face masks are in huge demand right now, as we experience this COVID-19 pandemic. There is a BIG movement going on with crafters making and donating homemade masks. Forbes even wrote an article calling all people who sew to help with the face mask shortage.

However, before you go crazy and start mass-producing a bunch of masks, I think it’s important that you get informed on the mask-wearing facts. I know there is A LOT controversy over their effectiveness and use, but from my research here are a few resources that I think are reliable.

This HUFFPOST article is loaded with links to who should and should not wear a mask, how effective homemade masks are and they even recommend some mask patterns. The World Health Organization has some good videos showing when to use a mask and other tips to protect against the coronavirus.

The purpose of this post is not to educate about the COVID-19 virus, but to show you how easy it is to make a simplified face mask for yourself, your family or serve the community by making and donating them, if you choose. 

Get informed!

I encourage you to be informed. Call your local hospitals, healthcare facilities, and see what their needs are. If they are taking homemade masks and could use them, by all means, get out your sewing machines and your fabric stash and get your little sewing fingers moving!!!!! 

I’m sure you’ve seen a ton of different styles and patterns of masks out there and most of them call for elastic. If you’ve tried to buy elastic lately, you’ll find that most stores are out of stock. NO WORRIES! You can make this face mask without elastic using an upcycled t-shirt!

This face mask has

  • No Elastic
  • A Filter Pocket
  • Wire Nose Clamp
  • Upcycled T-Shirt Ties

 

Material and Items Needed

YOU CAN GET THE FULL PRINTABLE TUTORIAL AND PATTERN HERE.

If you do not sew and would like to purchase a face mask already made, I have them in my Etsy shop HERE.

If you don’t have any knit fabric or T-shirts to make ties with, I found a great resource where you can purchase this stuff already made. It’s called “FARMYARN”. This yarn is made from recycled lycra fabric that is REALLY stretchy and durable. It’s like elastic and can be used in so many ways ie: FACE MASKS! You can read more about it and buy it HERE

INSTRUCTIONS

1- Cutting Out Face Mask

ADULT: Fabric 14 1/2 inches x 8 inches (36.8 cm x 20.3 cm).  
TEEN: Fabric 13 3/4 inches x 7 inches 
CHILD: Fabric 13 inches x 6 inches

2- Cutting Out Ties

The beauty of knit fabric, is that it doesn’t fray, and when pulled it will curl. You may be asking why do we want it to curl? When it curls it creates a little tube, like an enclosed tie, but you don’t have to sew it to keep it that way like you would a woven fabric.

Cut two strips either crosswise or lengthwise 1 inch wide. (2.5) cm

Cutting along the bottom of a t-shirt, the fabric will curl and expose the wrong side of the fabric. (Which doesn’t matter if using a plain color, preference only). But if you want the right side of the fabric exposed, cut the shirt lengthwise as shown in the diagram above.

Pull the strips to stretch and curl the fabric.

Cut ties to 15 inches (38.1) cm

3-  Finish the edges of the short sides of the mask piece using a serger or zigzag stitch.

4-  Place the right sides together of the SHORT ENDS of the mask piece.

ADULT: Measure 1 ½ inches from both sides and mark with a pin.
TEEN: Measure 1 inch from edges
CHILD: Measure 3/4 inch from edges.

5-  Using a straight stitch, sew from the edge to the pin.

Backstitch. Sew the other end the same way.

 

6- Open up seam and press.

 

7- Topstitch along both sides of the seam.

(It’s easiest to keep the wrong side out and sew inside the tube you just made).

 

8-  Place seam 1/2 inch from the top fold

Press.

9- Sewing the Face mask ties

Take the ties and place the ends in the corners of the mask, making sure they butt up against the fold. Allow the ends to stick out a bit to make sure you are catching them in the seam. Pin or clamp in place. Pull the tie ends out of the hole to keep them out of your way.

I love these little fabric clamps, but pins work just fine.

 

Sew down the sides of the mask, backstitching at the beginning and end of the seam.

Clip corners.

10- Turn inside out.

Poke out the corners and press.

 

 

11- Mark and sew pleats

Lay the pleat guide along the edge of the mask and place pins in to mark folding points. There should be 6 pins on each side, as indicated in the photo above.

Fold the top pin down to meet the second pin. Clip fold in place using the fabric pins or pin in place. Continue this process until all three pleats have been formed.

If you are making a lot of these masks after a while you won’t need to measure and pin, you’ll be able to just eyeball it. 

 

Repeat this on the other side. Press pleats in place.

 

 

12-Top stitch along the side edges of the mask.

First pass sew close 1/4 inch from the edge, and the second pass sew close to the edge.

13- Wire Nose Clamp

Take the pipe cleaner or wire that you are using and insert it through the hole in the back of the mask. Align it at the TOP of the mask and center. Make sure it is against the folded edge of the mask.

 

Sew along the top edge at 1/2 inch seam allowance to create a casing for the wire.

Sew along the bottom edge as well to reinforce and stabilize the mask. 

Play Video

There you have it.

 

Keep in mind that these masks MAY not prevent us from contracting Covid-19, but they can act as a physical reminder for us to keep our hands away from our face, and when it comes down to it, they may be better than nothing as a protective barrier.

If you think that a handmade mask cannot be used, think again. Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a place for them — in times of crisis, like the one we are in right now. On the CDC page: Strategies for Optimizing the Supply of Facemasks, they explain that as a last resort, a homemade mask is acceptable.

NEED A GENUINE N95 Respirator Mask Reusable, (FDA Registered) Face Mask?

Check out this reputable source

Take care my dear friends! We are all in this together! 

Sending love to all of you!

Other posts you may be interested in

 

 

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My intention for this website is to share tips and tutorials that I have found on my journey of life that has brought me joy, improved health, and peace, in hopes that it will do the same for you. I hope you'll join me on this journey!

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DIY Lavender EYE PILLOW | Easy Sewing Tutorial

There is nothing better than a soothing lavender eye pillow when you’re feeling stressed to take away the tension. This easy to follow DIY eye pillow tutorial will guide you through a quick and easy project that you can make in 10 minutes or less. Even a beginner seamstress can handle this!

I love using an eye pillow when

  • I take a nap
  • at the end of my yoga practice for savasana
  • and when I have a sinus headache. (I put it in the freezer to get it cold and then put it over my eyes).

What I love about this eye pillow it that it has a removable slip cover that you can wash, and the dried lavender stays fragrant for years.

What else is a lavender eye pillow good for?

  • Shields the eyes from light and visual stimulus. Covering the eyes blocks out glaring light, and blocks any visual stimulus that may keep your mind racing.
  • Relieves tension and eye strain.  Most people think the an eye pillow is just to block out the light, but the light weight of the flax seeds ensures the perfect amount of acupressure to release tension from the forehead, cheekbones, temples, neck and even the shoulders. Some yoga scholars also claim that the light pressure on the eyes sends a neurological signal to the brain that facilitates  whole body relaxation.
  • Calms and rests the mind. 

Here is a little article that talks about the oculocardiac reflex in the eyes that can serve as a very powerful doorway to the relaxation response. Now I know even a little more about the “why” of these wonderful eye pillow. (I’m all about the why)!

You can read more about the other benefits in one of my previous posts

 Materials & Items Needed

Cutting Out Inner Bag

Cut ONE strip of fabric 9 x 9 inches. (22.86 cm)

Cutting Out Slipcover

Cut ONE strip of fabric 5 x 20.5 inches. (12.7 x 52.07 cm)

Sewing Instructions Inner Bag

Fold fabric in half with right sides together.

Pin in place and sew along the bottom and side using a ¼ inch seam allowance.

(Leave one short side open). Turn inside out and press.

Make a paper funnel using a standard piece of paper. Simply roll in the sides and adjust the edges to form a cone. Adjust it so there is about a 1/2 inch opening and tape it in place.

Fill with approximately 1 cup rice, flax seeds, millet, or buckwheat. (My favorite are flax seeds).

Add 1/4 cup lavender buds. (optional). Oh, baby, this makes them smell so yummy! If you don’t have access to lavender buds, you and simply place a few drops of lavender essential oil on the outer cover, here and there. 

 

Fold the open end under ½ inch to the inside and sew close to the edge.

Sewing Instructions Slip Cover

Hem the short ends of the fabric by using a rolled hem method. (Folding under ¼ and then another ¼ inch).

Press and topstitch in place. Backstitch at the beginning and end of seam.

With Right Sides Together, fold left side over 1 ½ inches.

Fold the right side over so the edge is about ½ inch from the left fold.  Press and pin in place.

If you want to add a tag, this is when to do it. Stick the tag just inside the right folded edge. Let the tag hang out a bit, as to make sure to catch it in the seam.

Sew along the top and bottom of the slipcover, backstitching at the beginning and end of your seam. Add a tag in the top right corner. (Optional) If you have a serger, use it. If you don’t no worries. However, you are using a fabric that frays easily, use a zig-zag stitch to finish the edge of the seam allowance. You can do this by simply sewing a zigzag stitch down the seam.

Clip corners, turn inside out. Poke corners out and press. You can do this by simply sewing a zigzag stitch down the seam.

Slip the inner bag inside the slipcover.

EYE PILLOW CARE: 

Outer slipcover can be machine washed and dried. DO NOT WASH INNER EYE PILLOW BAG! To refresh lavender fragrance, simply squeeze bag contents to activate lavender.

Play Video

Remember self-care is critical in your wellbeing! Enjoy a little YOU time!

Have fun sewing!

 

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My intention for this website is to share tips and tutorials that I have found on my journey of life that has brought me joy, improved health, and peace, in hopes that it will do the same for you. I hope you'll join me on this journey!

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DIY Fabric Carrots Sewing Tutorial

Here it is almost Easter time and what a great time to get out your sweater stash and make SWEATER carrots. Yep, fabric CARROTS! What can’t you make out of upcycled sweaters? Now if you are short on ORANGE SWEATERS or don’t have any felted orange sweaters, these work up great with orange fleece, and orange knits as well.

 

These make really fun Easter gifts and party favors. Carrots NOT recommended for baby toys! 

Cute to display with a SWEATER BUNNY! Bunny & Bear pattern located in my Etsy shop.

Fabric carrots items needed:

  • Orange fabric (felted sweaters, fleece, or knit) If using felted sweaters, make sure they are not too thick and have a little stretch.
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Carrot pattern template (download here

 

Fold the fabric over in a diagonal shape and place the pattern edge on the fold where indicated. Cut out.

Place Right Sides Together (RST) and sew the side seam with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Turn inside out and poke the tip of the carrot out with some kind of point tool, being careful not to poke through the fabric.

To make the fabric carrot greens: Using the pattern template, cut out 3-4 leaf squares. Using a zigzag stitch, sew the wire onto the middle of the leaf. (template will show how far down to place the wire).

 

Cut little slits in the leaf all around the side and top of square. Round off the top corners with your scissors. Fluff the leaf. Repeat to make however many stems you want.

 

Start filling the carrot with stuffing, a little amount at a time. Using something to push it down. I find the pokey tool just slips through the stuffing and doesn’t push it down. (I found that using the tip of my scissors works well)

 

Continue to fill the sweater carrot with stuffing until it is full.

 

Double thread a LONG needle with either orange, brown, or green thread. (I like to use either brown or green to give the dimples in the carrot some contrast). Your preference.

 

Start stitching so the knot is on the INSIDE. Take basting stitches all the way around the top of the carrot.

 

End stitching with the thread on the OUTSIDE. Do not KNOT the thread yet.

Take the stems and stick them down the center of the carrot into the stuffing, to the length that you want them.

 

Now pull the stitching to gather the top of the carrot. Stuff the fabric seam allowance down into the carrot as you put the thread. Now stitch another row or two around the carrot to close the top tightly around the stems.

Take a little stitch where the thread comes out and knot.

(To make a knot, take a small stitch and pull the thread to make a little loop, then wrap the thread around the needle a few times and gently pull to create a knot. Stick the needle back into the carrot right where the knot is and pull out where you want to make the first dimple.

To make little dimples in the sweater carrot: pull the needle out where you want the dimple to start and take a big stitch (these stitches can be small or even wrap all the way around the carrot).

These dimples give the carrot charter and shape. I like to take two stitches in the same place to reinforce the stitch and give it more shape.

Stick the needle down into where you want another dimple to be. Add as many as you want.

 

Knot the thread again. Now stick the needle back in where the thread comes out. Poke out somewhere and clip thread.

Ta dah! 

Aren’t they cute little fellas?

 

The pattern template comes with two different sizes. Make up a bunch of sizes and some with different shades of orange.

 

Play Video

BUNNY STICKERS shown above on the tag, are available in my Etsy shop.

 

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Jan Howell

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My intention for this website is to share tips and tutorials that I have found on my journey of life that has brought me joy, improved health, and peace, in hopes that it will do the same for you. I hope you'll join me on this journey!

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DIY Fabric Jingle Ball Cat and Baby Toy

This little fabric jingle ball cat and baby toy is the perfect size for little hands AND little paws.  Recycled sweaters, a few jingle bells and a little stuffing is all you need. However, if you want to make the CAT really happy, you can add a little catnip while stuffing. The cats go crazy.

cat and baby toy

I posted earlier this summer on how to make the larger sized balls. This is the same process, however, the pieces are just smaller. You can download the pattern for all sizes FREE HERE.

Here is a little quick video on the process of making the fabric jingle ball. For full written instructions, check out the post here.

Play Video

What you need

  • 8 small pieces of sweaters (You can use felted wool sweaters, cotton, fleece, and even regular knit fabric.
  • 1/4 cup Catnip herb (optional)
  • needle and thread
  • sewing machine (can be sewn by hand)
  • scissors
  • pattern

If you want to bring a smile to your kitty cat, dog or baby, there is still time to whip up a little fabric jingle ball for Christmas.

Jingle ball instructions

Make sure you are saving your felted sweater scraps. These balls are the perfect thing to make with your scraps.

Have fun sewing!

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My intention for this website is to share tips and tutorials that I have found on my journey of life that has brought me joy, improved health, and peace, in hopes that it will do the same for you. I hope you'll join me on this journey!

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