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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Simple Christmas Stocking Sewing Tutorial | Lined With Contrasting Cuff

Christmas is just around the corner and what a great time to get out your sewing machine and make some fun holiday decorations. This Christmas stocking sewing tutorial is a very simple project that you can whip up in no time at all. The stocking is lined and has a contrasting cuff.

You can make these stockings out of all kinds of fabric.

WATCH THE VIDEO TUTORIAL HERE

Play Video

Christmas Stocking Items & Materials Needed

There are two different styles of the stocking. You can make them all one solid color, or piece several types of fabric together to get a patchwork design.

Christmas Stocking Instructions

  • Download and print the pattern. (Due to the size of the pattern, you will first need to assemble the pattern. Not a big deal).

Cutting Out

  • Two of the outer covering and two of the lining pieces.
  • One cuff piece, on the fold where indicated on the pattern. You can also use an upcycled sweater cuff. (The bottom edge of a sweater or the sleeve cuff can be used). If using a sweater cuff, you won’t need to double the fabric, so don’t place the pattern on the fold).
 
  • Loop piece, on the fold where indicated on the pattern

Sewing 

You can use a serger or single needle machine to sew the Christmas stocking. All seams will be 3/8” (usually the edge of your pressure foot) and you will always backstitch at the beginning and end of seams unless directed otherwise.

  • With Right Sides Together (RST), place stocking front to back.  Pin in place.  Sew all the way around, leaving the top open.

 

CUFF:

  • Fold cuff piece in half (RST).  Sew the side seam.
  • Fold the cuff over and in half so the right sides are facing out. (If you want to add lace or trim to the cuff, do it now)
  • With the seam on the left, press in place. Mark the halfway point with a pin, on the right.

PIECED STOCKING:

  • If you want a pieced look, like in the photo on top, follow the directions below. For a more rustic look, you can expose the seams on the outside of the stocking.
  • With (RST) place pieces A & B together matching darts. Pin in place and sew the seam.
  • Open the stocking up and with (RST) place on top of piece C, matching darts. Pin in place and sew the seam.
  • If you want more than three pieces sewn together, like the stocking on the left, you can sew several sweater strips together and then cut a front stocking piece. 
  • Cut out a solid piece for the back.
  • Place these pieces (RST) matching seams and edges, pin in place.  Sew all the way around leaving the top edge open.
  • Place the loop on the stocking lining, centered on the back seam.  Pin in place.
  • Baste the loop onto the stocking. (No need to backstitch) You will be sewing through the lining, stocking, and the loop

SEWING THE CUFF ONTO THE STOCKING

  • Place the cuff inside the stocking, with the RIGHT side facing the stocking.  (If using a sweater cuff, the sweater cuff seam will be facing out and visible).
  • Align the cuff seam with the stocking seam. (There will be 4 layers, 3 if using a sweater cuff)
  • Pin in place.
  • Sew all the way around, through all layers. Stretch and ease sweater cuff as needed.
  • Flip the cuff over. Press seam towards the stocking.
  • Flip the cuff down and Ta-dah…….You are ready to hang your stocking!

There is no limit to the color and fabric combinations that you can do. Make a stocking for each one in the family! 

Have fun sewing. Reach out if you have any questions.

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DIY Earphone Holder – It’s A Snap

I’m sure you know the scenario, of tangled earphone cords, right? Well, have I got the perfect solution for you. A DIY earphone cord holder made from upcycled materials, of course. It really is a SNAP! (pun intended).

Here is a SIMPLE, quick method for keeping your earphone cords organized and TANGLE FREE!. The great thing about this little project is there is no sewing involved and they take only minutes to make. The key INGREDIENT in this project is a SNAP.

The new craft gadget that I am totally in love with is this KAM Snap System. I love the simplicity of it, the bright-colored plastic snaps that are available, and the efficiency of this tool. I have had a box full of mismatched snaps and a variety of snap application tools that just sit there because there are missing parts and so many different sizes of parts. It’s overwhelming.

I got this new system, (which is VERY reasonably priced), and pitched all the other stuff. AHHHHHHH, that felt good. Now I have just one snap applicator and a bunch of cute happy colored snaps.

You can make these earphone cord holders using a few different materials, but the ones I found most durable and effective are upcycled yoga mats and upcycled wool sweater fabric. A thick, dense, good quality wool felt piece will work as well.

There are two different styles of holders: Rectangle shape and heart shape. 

Find out more about HOW TO FELT A WOOL SWEATER here.

EARPHONE CORD HOLDER MATERIALS & SUPPLIES

  • Free PDF Pattern (heart and rectangle style available)
  • Yoga Mat Scrap (Cut 3.5 inches x 1.25 inches) (8.5 x 3 cm)
  • Scissors
  • Snaps (Kam snap system) optional
  • Other snaps will work as well.
  • Snap Applicator
  • Awl

INSTRUCTIONS

CUTTING OUT: Using the pattern, cut out one piece. HEART DESIGN, fold the fabric in half and place the pattern on the fold where indicated.

If using a yoga mat, you’ll need to trim the mat using little snips to get a rounded edge.

SNAP APPLICATION: Follow the directions that come with your applicator.

Fold the fabric in half and line up edges. Using the awl, poke a hole through both layers where indicated on the pattern. (Wiggle the awl around a bit while inside to make the hole visible and easy to find).

SNAPS: You’ll need

  • 2 pieces that look like tacks (snap back piece)
  • 1 male snap
  • 1 female snap

Open the fabric up and poke the snap back piece through the hole. Apply either the male or female snap on top of that. (Look for the little ridges of the snap, that is the side that goes towards the fabric).

Grab the snap applicator and place the SNAP BACK onto the applicator tray. (This should match the size of your snaps). It should fit snuggly to the snap. You’ll know when it snaps in place.

Make sure the snap front is aligned in the applicator before SQUEEZING. Give it a tight squeeze to clamp the snaps together. Bam, that’s it!

Repeat the process for the other snap.

Wind up your earphone cord and place it inside the holder. Snap is place. You’re good to go!

VIDEO TUTORIAL

Play Video

TIP: If you use your earphones a lot during the day at work or on-the-go, you can slip the holder around a belt buckle on your pants. It will hold your earphones right there in place.

You’re going to love the simplicity of this thing. I hope it comes in handy for you as much as it has for me.

HERE are SOME OTHER POSTS YOU MAY BE INTERESTED IN CHECKING OUT.

Carabiner Keychain Tutorial 

Coupon Organizer 

Have a fabulous day and remember to keep it simple!

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DIY FELT CHERRIES Easy Sewing Tutorial

Summer has arrived and it will soon be cherry season. This DIY felt cherries easy sewing tutorial is a fun little project that you can make in no time at all. There are so many fun ways to use these bright colored red gems. Add a key chain and hang them on your purse or backpack. Glue a magnet on the back and display them on your fridge, or embellish your gift wrapping.

These cherries can be made using, of course, an upcycled red sweater, red fleece, red knit fabric, regular woven fabric, or felt scraps. Felted wool sweater fabric really adds a unique charm to a set of cherries. So get into your upcycled wool sweater stash and see if you can find a piece of red felted wool.

FELT CHERRIES MATERIALS AND ITEMS NEEDED:

FELT CHERRIES INSTRUCTIONS

Cut Out

  • 2 cherries from red fabric
  • One dark green rectangle and one leaf from light green felt
  • Cut a strip of cord to 7 inches.
 

Apply cord to ring, knotting in the center of cord. Set aside.

Single thread the needle and knot the end.

Using a running stitch, sew around the perimeter of cherry piece ¼ from the edge of the fabric with the knot on the inside of the fabric.

End by poking the needle to the outside, and leave it unknotted. Pull the thread to gather fabric and form a cup.

Insert stuffing into the formed cup. It doesn’t take a lot of stuffing.

Continue stitching around and around using the same seam allowance and pulling to cinch. This will eventually stay cinched.

Push the seam allowance into the inside and pull thread tight.

When the gathering stays cinched you can insert the end of one of the stems into to hole.

Push in about a ½. Sew around the stem and then insert the needle into and through the stem to secure it in place. (These may be a little challenging and will take a little force to poke it through).

Take some more stitches around until the stem is secured in place.

To knot, simply take a tiny stitch at the base of the thread leaving a little loop.

Wrap the needle around the loop and pull to form a knot.

Poke the needle back into the cherry and out the bottom. Cut the thread close to the fabric.

Repeat this process with the other cherry.

TO MAKE LEAF

There are several different ways to finish the leaf. You can just glue the two pieces together with a small leaf centered on top of the bigger leaf, or you can sew them together using a blanket stitch or embroidery the leaf veins using green embroidery floss.

● Center the small leaf on top of the dark green rectangle. Edge the small leaf using a blanket stitch on the sewing machine or sew by hand.
● Embroider the veins (optional).
● Cut out the leaf backing about a ¼ inch from the inner leaf edge.

Leaf Application

Using the hot glue gun, apply a small dab of glue onto the stem knot. Wrap the tip of the leaf around the stem knot and around the key ring. Pinch in place.

SEE THE LEAF TUTORIAL HERE

CHERRY FRIDGE MAGNET

Apply a dab of glue onto the back of a small round magnet and stick it to the back of the leaf.

Play Video

Tadah! Now wasn’t that simple?

Have fun creating and let me know if you have any questions.

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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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Heart Lollipops: Made with Upcycled Sweaters & Felt

Here it is almost Valentine’s Day, and that means craft time to me. I am always looking for new things to make using my favorite felted wool sweater scraps, and these heart lollipops are the cutest!

It’s a quick little project that you can whip up in no time at all. Trust me, you won’t be able to make just one. 

Of course, you can make these hearts with regular felt, but a felted wool sweater just adds so much character and texture. (I hope you’ve been saving all your felted wool sweater scraps)! They really do come in handy for a lot of things. 

What do you do with heart lollipops?

You can’t eat them, but you can:

  • Stick them in a potted plant to decorate your home
  • Embellish a valentine gift wrapping
  • Place one in a plant that you are giving as a gift
  • Put a bundle of them in a small vase and give as a gift.
  • Leave the stick off, and add a loop to hang the heart on a doorknob or wall.

What you’ll need:

The pattern downloaded, printed and cut out. GET THE PATTERN HERE.

  • fabric scissors
  • embroidery needle and embroidery floss ( about a yard and a half for one heart)
  • felt or felted wool sweater (one that won’t fray)
  • Bamboo skewers, or sucker sticks
  • glue gun and glue sticks
  • fiber fill stuffing

Instructions:

Watch the VIDEO TUTORIAL at the end of the post

Cut out 2 hearts.

Thread the needle with 3 strands of embroidery floss. (Embroidery floss usually comes in a skein of 6 strands) I like to split it into half, making it not so bulky.

Knot the end of the thread and take a stitch right at the point, with the knot sandwiched in middle so it doesn’t’ show.

Sew around the heart using a BLANKET STITCH.  If you are not familiar with this stitch, you can watch a tutorial here.

Stop about an inch from where you started. 

Add a little stuffing to puff it up a bit, but not too much!

Add a little dollop of hot glue to one end of the stick and poke it inside the heart, and inside of the stuffing.

Continue sewing until you come to the bottom point of the heart. Wrap the needle around the stick and take another small stitch to knot the end. 

Insert the needle back into the fabric right on top of a previous stitch and pull the needle out in the middle of the heart. 

Clip the thread.

You can place it in a small cellophane bag and tie a bow around it, or leave unwrapped.

Another way to make the heart is to leave the stick out and add a loop for hanging. 

If you choose to sew them up this way, start sewing at the top notch of the heart instead of the bottom of the heart.

Make a loop with a piece of jute or ribbon and make a knot at the end. Insert that into the heart before you stitch the opening up.

Be sure to check these posts for some other Valentine’s ideas.

Play Video

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Pixie & Pilot Caps Pattern with New Video Tutorial

Just in time for the cooler weather coming on, these cozy pixie & pilot caps are the perfect thing to keep your little ones ears nice and toasty!

Although this is not a new pattern release, I do have a NEW video tutorial to go along with it. I’m super excited to share it with you.

These whimsical, but most importantly functional pixie and pilot caps were designed to fit snug around the face and tie comfortably under the chin.

A cap for all seasons

Spring & Summer: For those days when the little ones just need a light covering, a cap made with cotton knit is the perfect thing.

Fall & Winter: An upcycled sweater or a cozy piece of fleece, are the perfect thing to make a pixie or pilot cap out of. 

If you would like the look of a hand knit hat for your child but you don’t knit, but you DO sew, this pixie & pilot cap pattern works great. Use the bottom cuff of a sweater and cut it out with the method I show in my pattern tutorial and it will hug around your child’s face just like you had knit it by hand.

These make really fun baby gifts!

Where do you get the pilot & pixie cap pattern?

 

The pattern includes two different styles of caps: A functional pilot cap and a fun whimsy pixie cap.

Five different sizes from Newborn to a Child Size Small.

The cap uses very little fabric or sweater material. This one was made from an upcycled cotton sweater and the lining from an upcycled fleece jacket.

Lining the cap will make the cap REVERSIBLE and it’s so easy to do!

This is another opportunity to use some of your sweaters from your stash, if you have one.

If you are like me, once you start making things from upcycled sweaters, collecting second hand sweaters becomes an addiction.

Just think of all the combinations of colors and textures you can use to make some fabulous caps.

Pilot & Pixie Caps Soft and Cozy Binding

Using the method I show, in a previous post, to bind the hat with fleece, makes the hat so cozy around the face and ties comfortably under the chin. 

HERE ARE SOME OTHER FUN HATS TO MAKE.

Christmas is just around the corner. So dig into your sweater stash, or purchase a small amount of fleece and get sewing!  *******Holiday sales are coming up and fleece can usually be found at a really good price this time of year.

So grab your pattern and get sewing. 

 

Here is the video tutorial that will walk you through the process, step by step!

Play Video

Have fun sewing!

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It’s Poncho Time: Upcycled Sweater Project

It’s poncho time. Keep your little girls toasty warm this winter season with a poncho.  Whether your little girl or toddler is at play, at school, or just hanging out in the house, a poncho is a great lightweight covering that is not too bulky or constricting.

These ponchos are super easy to make using upcycled sweaters and fleece of all kinds.

upcycled sweater

Dress it up with a soft flower made of fleece, decorative trims, or other fun embellishments.

upcycled sweater

I put a few of my felted wool sweater balls on this one.

upcycled sweater

Mix and match colors to create a one-of-kind, whimsy, fun, playful poncho she will love wearing.

upcycled sweater
upcycled sweater

The neck binding is easy to sew and made with cozy fleece that fits comfortably and easily over the head.

upcycled sweater

Just think of all the different color combinations and fun contrasting neck bindings you can create.

upcycled sweater
upcycled sweater

The patterns are available in my etsy shop. Sizes 6 months to girls size 14 is available.

upcycled sweater

For those of you gals who would like to wear something a little whimsy and fun yourself, you can get the women’s poncho pattern HERE.

These make fun Christmas gifts for your little girls or grand kids! This really is a quick easy project.

Get out your sweater stash and make ponchos.

For sweater upcycling tips and know how, check out my FREE online course HERE.

upcycled sweater

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Sweater Mittens – Easy Sewing Project for Your Favorite Valentine!

sweater mittens

Valentine’s day is upon us and these sweater mittens are a great sewing project for your favorite Valentine!

Keep your hands warm with style!

For those of you who follow me, you know how much I love making things with upcycled wool sweaters. Mittens are one of my most favorite things to make.

I have two different mitten patterns. One is for adults and a large child. The other pattern is for children and infants. The patterns are in PDF format and you can downloaded them INSTANTLY.

Not sure which size you will need? Check out this post which will help you measure the hand you are sewing to get the correct size.

sweater mittens size chart

Adult Size sweater mitten pattern

The pattern includes adult sizes XS,S,M,L,XL,XXL and XX small (child size large).

Infant & Child sweater mitten pattern

We can’t forget the little hands!

Same cozy design as the adult sizes, but this pattern has been modified for small hands, including a basic infant mitten without the thumbs. Made for hands smaller than 5 inches.

Where can you get the sweater mitten patterns?

The easy to follow, printable sweater mittens pattern can be purchased here in my craftsy shop, or in my Etsy shop.
 

Is it easier for you to learn by watching a video tutorial?

I’ve got you covered with this video tutorial! I have three platforms where this video is available.
  •  Skillshare. Read more about it here. (Skillshare membership required).
  • Teachable (no membership required)
  • YouTube  
 
For information on how to measure your hand correctly, you can check out the post here.
 
If you are interested in making some other upcycled sweater projects, you can check these out.
 
 

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diy Travel Tissue Pouch: From an Upcycled Sweater

tissue pouch
Play Video

I think all women carry tissue in their purse, right? Why not carry your tissue in style? This travel tissue pouch is so easy and quick to make. What’s even better is that they are so cute made up using an upcycled sweater! I could make different color combinations all day. So fun!

The contrasting fabric lining, which also becomes the trim, looks real unique next to the texture of a felted sweater. You CAN make this with regular fabric if you choose, however, if you have felted sweater pieces kicking around, USE THEM!

This is like a 30 minute project. Oh what fun gifts these would make. (Valentine’s Day is coming right up)!

what you need

tissue pouch instructions

  1. Using pattern piece “A” cut out one using felted sweater.

  2. Cut out one, pattern piece “B” using a contrasting fabric.

3. Place pieces right sides together. Pin short ends in place.

4. Pin the other side (There will be some sagging, don’t worry about it). This is what will create the trim.

5. Sew the seams, 1/4 ” seam allowance (Back stitch at the beginning and end of seam)

6. Turn inside out. Flip the seams towards the outside, even the trim allowance and press in place.

7. Fold in half lengthwise and mark the center point with a pin.

8. With the sweater side facing up, fold one side toward the center. (Line up edge with center point).

9. Fold the other side over the top, lining up binding in the center.

10. Allow the BINDING EDGES to extend out past the edge. (This will keep the flaps tight and not floppy). Pin in place.

11. Using a 1/4″ seam, sew the side edges. Do this with both sides.

12. Clip corners, making sure to NOT cut into the seam!

13. Trim edges.

14. Turn inside out and poke out corners using blunt end of scissors or eraser end of a pencil.

Tips for filling your tissue pouch

You can get these cute little tissue packets at most grocery stores or on Amazon.

To make it easier to get the tissue out of your pouch……….

  • Remove the “lift” tab on the tissue package. 
  • Take a strip of Scotch tape and place it down the middle (taping the flap closed).
  • Using a pair of scissors, cut down the center of the tape to create a new straight opening.
  • Insert the tissue packet into the pouch.

BAM! You’re finished. Now wasn’t that easy and fun.

Have fun sewing!

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Upcycled Sweater Hearts

I love Valentine’s Day!

Here is another idea for you to use up some of your old sweaters, and better yet, the scraps from your other upcycled projects.
Here is a tutorial showing you how easy it is to make these upcycled sweater hearts and  patchwork hearts.  You will have a bunch made up in no time.

Upcycled Sweater Hearts

Cut out fabric pieces using sweaters of your choice.

Upcycled Sweater Hearts

With Right Sides Together (RST) sew piece 1 to piece 2.  Open that up and place pattern piece 3 (RST) and sew together.

If you want to hang your heart, baste a ribbon, jute or thick string on the right side of the heart back piece.

Gather the string or ribbon up and pin in the center of the heart, so it won’t get caught in the seam.

Place the pieced heart top to the bottom piece (RST) and pin in place.  Sew all the way around leaving about a 2″ opening to stuff the heart.

Turn inside out and stuff firmly.

With a needle and thread, slip stitch opening closed.

Ta Dah!

Sew a bunch up for all your Valentine’s, or just fill a basket full of hearts for a fun holiday decoration!

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Free Fabric Ball Pattern – Make it with an upcycled sweater

fabric ball

As you know, I love making something new with an old sweater. It’s been a while since I have posted a sewing tutorial, so today I am going to share with you how to make a simple fabric ball. This little ball is so fun to make using a variety of upcycled sweaters. It can also be made using woven, knit and wool fabrics.

Free Fabric Ball Pattern

This fabric ball makes the best baby gift! They are quick to sew up and add a quaint, unique addition to any gift.

Free Fabric Ball Pattern

Babies are not the only ones to fall in love with these soft squishy toys. My border collie, Ben, loves these balls. Actually he likes anything made with a wool sweater.

Free Fabric Ball Pattern

I  have made several balls for friends with cats. I add a little dried catnip and they go crazy!!!!!

Free Fabric Ball Pattern

Lets get on with the fabric ball instructions.

Here is what you will need

For more information on how to work with felted wool sweaters, you can check out the posts here.

1.  Decide which size ball you want and cut out paper pattern

There are two sizes available.

2. Cut out 8 wedges

Feel free to mix colors and patterns. A whimsy, fun colored ball, is a fun ball.

Decide what order and what colors you want where. Pin them together in two’s with right sides together.

Free Fabric Ball Pattern

3. Sew along the right side of each pair

Back stitch at the beginning and end of the seam. You will now have four pieces.

Free Fabric Ball Pattern

4. Place two of the pairs right sides together and match up points

Pin in place.

Sew just one side from point to point. Cut threads and open up. You should have 4 pieces sewn together. Now do this with the remaining pieces.

Now you will have a two separate pieces.

5. Sew the two sections together

With right sides together, place the two pieces together matching top and bottom points. Pin in place.

Free Fabric Ball Pattern

6. Starting in the middle of one side, sew all the way around

Leave about a 2 ½ inch opening to stuff the ball.

*****It is a little bulky at the top so go slow and make sure the points are lined up. Don’t worry, it will smooth out nicely when stuffed. After sewing, clip the bulk at the top and bottom of ball.

Free Fabric Ball Pattern

7. Turn inside out and stuff firmly

Add jingle bells now if you want the ball to make sound. I like to add 4-5 bells per ball. Make sure they are secured in the middle of the stuffing and not on the outside edges.

Free Fabric Ball Pattern

8. Sew opening closed

Double thread a needle and knot the end. Slip stitch opening closed. Knot and poke the needle out anywhere in the ball and cut the thread.

Here is a tutorial video that shows how to do a slip stitch.

Ta dah! Now wasn’t that fun!

Free Fabric Ball Pattern

You can get the full pattern set that includes an octagons ball and a cube pattern, here in my Etsy shop.

Get you sweater stash out and have some fun sewing!

 

*****If you don’t know how to sew, or just want someone else to make one up for you, I do sell the balls made in my other Etsy shop. 

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Upcycled Sweater Birds

I love birds and especially at this time of year.  They are starting to appear in my yard and I can hear them chirping when I open my windows to air out the stale house air.  It has been a long winter here in Utah and the gray days are about to put me in the loony bin.  Seeing them flit around on the blossoming trees makes me so happy that SPRING is finally here.  HOORAY! It has been a while since I posted about these fun little upcycled sweater birds, so I thought I would re-post.

Upcycled Sweater birds

If you haven’t noticed already, I enjoy making things out of recycled and felted wool sweaters. I thought it would be fun to see if I could use up some scraps and make a robin, after all I had the perfect orange sweater that would be ideal for the belly.

Upcycled Sweater Birds

It was so much fun making the robin that I drew up a few other birds and after a few prototypes and some funny looking birds, this is what I finally came up with.  I just love my feathery (well felty) friends.

Upcycled Sweater Birds

Bluebird

 Do you have any blue sweaters kicking around that you aren’t wearing? These birds are really quite easy to make.

Upcycled Sweater Birds

Cardinal

Upcycled Sweater Birds

Sparrow

Upcycled Sweater Birds

You can stick a piece of paddle wire to their bellies then attach them to a basket,  plant, or wreath. They make a great PIN CUSHION, and kids love to play with them. I don’t have any cats, but I am sure they would go crazy, especially if you added a little catnip while you were stuffing them.

All you wool sweater groupies, get out your felted scraps and get sewing.  You can use fleece and even just a cotton woven fabric would work.  The pattern is available in my shops.  ETSY shops and Makerist.

 
Happy Sewing!
Upcycled Sweater Birds

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5 DIY Easter Projects

I know there is ONLY one week until Easter, but perhaps you will have some time this week to set aside and make a little something fun for the holiday. Here are 5 DIY Easter projects to consider.

Easter crafts

source: Mommypotomus.com

Natural Easter Egg Dye

Don’t you just love the rich vibrant colors of these eggs? The most exciting part is that they are dyed with natural stuff, items you most likely have in your kitchen. Beets, onions, turmeric, hibiscus, and purple cabbage with a little vinegar.

It will take a little time to make each color, 15 minutes to and hour, but worth the time if you want to go “natural”. I have not yet tried this, but plan on inviting my kids over and assign each one of them a color to make and bring to our “Colored Easter Egg” get together. I will let you know how it goes.

 

Easter crafts

Upcycled Sweater Bunny

This little guy is so fun to make using upcycled sweaters or t-shirts.

Click on the photo to get the link for the pattern.

Easter crafts

I remember making these eggs in school. A fun little project using a little cornstarch, string and a balloon as the mold.

Click on the photo above for the full scoop.

Easter crafts

Paint Chip Garland

I love recycling things, and for some reason I am drawn to paint sample chips. Who knew you could make something so fun with paint chips?

Get the full scoop HERE.

Easter crafts

Soft Sculpture Carrots

Last, but not least, is my favorite holiday decoration…….soft sculptured carrots. I know I have posted on these before, but just a little reminder of a fun, quick and charming craft to whip up.

These little guys are fun to

  • Give as gifts
  • Glue a magnet on the back of one and place it on your fridge for some bright cheery color
  • Attach a string and name tag for place settings at your Easter dinner

Here is the link for the FREE pattern and tutorial.

Well, I hope these Easter projects get you into the spring and Easter mood. Have a good one!

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Upcycled Sweater Slippers: Sewing Tips & Tricks

For all my upcycling friends, it’s time to get busy in Santa’s workshop. If you are still contemplating what to make for your loved ones for Christmas, why don’t you sew up a pair of upcycled sweater slippers?

Some of you may have already purchased one of my upcycled sweater patterns and have experience sewing with felted wool sweaters. Others of you may not even know what I am talking about. Making something out of a recycled sweater is so fun and rewarding. There are so many things you can create with this yummy fabric once it is felted. If you want more information about how to felt wool sweaters, you can check out the tutorial HERE.

Today I want to give you some tips and tricks to use while making up a pair of upcycled sweater slippers.

I am going to cover:

  • sole fabric options

  • cutting out tips

  • binding tips

  • hidden seam lining

Sweater slippers SOLE FABRIC OPTIONS

Depending on your needs, there are several options of fabric to use for the bottoms of your slippers. You can use

  • A regular weight felted wool sweater 

Using a regular sweater as the sole, is softer and a bit more cozy. However, if you have hard wood floors or tile in your home, they can be a little slippery.

  • Thick, dense felted wool sweater

Sometimes when you shrink down a sweater it can get really dense and thick. These sweaters are more difficult to use on other craft projects, but work well for the soles of slippers.  The only drawback here is that they can be a little more challenging to sew with because they are so thick.

  • Anti-slip fabric

These fabrics can be really nice to sew into the soles of sweater slippers for LITTLE PEOPLES feet.  Most likely you have seen the fabric on the bottoms of children’s one piece pajamas. You can find this fabric on the bolt in most fabric stores, or in pre-cut packages. It is also available online.

Another thing to do to prevent slipping and works better for adult slippers, is simply using rubber shelf liner. It is inexpensive and easy to work with. You can get it at most stores and online here.

*When using either of these two fabrics, you will be cutting out a regular sole piece with a regular weight sweater AND the anti-slip fabric. You will stack those two pieces together and treat them as the sole piece.

  • Leather  or suede

Sewing in a leather or suede sole can be really nice. It will make the slippers much more durable and can be less slippery. Working with leather can be a little more challenging, as it does not have any give to it, but not too big of a deal. I love sewing on leather. The only thing is that you will want to make sure it is a nice soft piece and not too thick.

CUTTING OUT

When cutting out pattern pieces with felted wool sweaters, you want to maximize the fabric. (It’s crafting gold) Place the pattern as close to the edge as possible. Arrange the pattern to use up the best space possible.

Felted sweaters will not fray. So don’t worry about that. If the sweater has a print, stripe or design, you will have to take that into consideration the placement of the pattern piece.

Play Video

Since you are making a pair of slippers, and there is a LEFT and RIGHT side, after cutting out one piece you will need to flip the pattern over and then place it back on the fabric. (Very Important)

Another tip I give in the pattern tutorial, is to USE SAFETY PINS to help mark the RIGHT SIDES of the fabric. Applying a safety pin to each pattern piece will help keep things straight when putting everything together!

Don’t forget to SAVE YOUR SCRAPS!  There are so many fun things to make with all your scraps.
Sweater balls, hearts, dryer balls, etc. can all be made with small pieces of sweater fabric.

BINDING

I came up with this technique that saves time and is much easier when sewing binding on something. However, this technique can only be used if you are using fleece or a stretchy piece of felted wool. The reason is, is that fleece and felted sweaters DO NOT FRAY! I Love applying fleece binding.  You can read more about how to do it here.

You can also access my FREE online binding course HERE.

HIDDEN SEAM LINING

This is such a cool way to apply the lining to a pair of sweater slippers without all the bulk and having a seam showing. Using this technique can be a little difficult to wrap your head around, so I thought I would clarify the process and show you a little clip of my online class on how to do it.

Play Video

If you are like me, a visual learner, being able to watch someone do something is so much easier to learn from than just reading the instructions.

Crossover Slipper Online Course

I have created an in depth sewing course showing how to make the CROSSOVER SLIPPERS. The course includes the step by step process and the printable PDF pattern. You can get the scoop HERE.

****If you have a SKILLSHARE membership, you can access the crossover slipper course HERE.

I hope this was helpful, and I hope you take some time this season to create something fabulous using an upcycled sweater.

Please send me a note if you have any questions.

jan

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Upcycled Sweater Stars – Free Pattern and Tutorial

sweater stars

Can you believe Christmas is just around the corner? It’s time to get out your sweater stash and make some fun things for the holidays. These upcycled sweater stars are so simple to make and can be embellished in so many ways.

Hang them from a door knob, embellish a gift package, put them on your Christmas tree, or just simply set a few on a shelf.  Depending on what sweater or other material you use, each one will sew up a little differently. That is what makes them so fun to make. Mix and match colors, textures, buttons and balls to your hearts content.