Cool Zipper Upcycling

zipper recycling youmakeitsimple.com

As many of you know I’m really into upcycling and recycling items, and clothing is one of them. In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to deconstruct an item of clothing for some really cool zipper upcycling.

Benefits of Zipper Upcycling

  • You can save a little money
  • Avoid a trip to the fabric store
  • Recycle material (which is always a good thing for the planet)
  • You can have a better selection of zipper colors
  • Add a professional and unique look to your sewing projects by using zippers with zipper pulls that have a little character and charm. It’s hard to find zippers at the store with cool zipper pulls.

What Kind of Zippers To Look For

  • As mentioned before, look for zippers that have unique ZIPPER PULLS.  (There are some cute vintage, leather, metal, beaded, and fabric pulls out there on existing clothing). Keep your eye out!
  • Unique colors of zippers    
  • Good, sturdy zippers for projects that require a DURABLE ZIPPPER
  • All sizes of zippers (short, long and extra-long)
  • Zippers that are in good condition and are free of stains
  • Separating zippers and non-separating zippers

Items To Use For Zipper Upcycling 

If you are getting rid of an item that you no longer want or need and it has a COOL ZIPPER in it, save it!  I have been known to buy items at the thrift store just for the zipper. YEP! There are all kinds of items that you can find a zipper in.

  • Clothing
  • Bags & purses are a good place to find heavy-duty, DURABLE ZIPPERS.
  • Couch and chair slipcovers have LONG ZIPPERS.
  • Jacket & Coats
  • Sweaters can even have fun zippers in them

How To Deconstruct Clothing For Zipper Upcycling

All you’ll need is a pair of FABRIC SCISSORS, a SEAM RIPPER, and YOUR ITEM OF CLOTHING.

  1. zipper upcycling cut out of clothesCut the zipper out of the clothing. This makes the process so much easier! There is less bulk to work with and if you don’t feel like unpicking right then, you can save it in your zipper bin and unpick it later.
  2. zipper upcycling seam rippingTake the end of the zipper and pull the fabric away from the zipper to expose the stitches. Slide the tip of the seam ripper into one or more of the stitches and cut the threads. Pull the zipper tape away from the fabric to expose more stitches. (The first stitches are the hardest to navigate).
  3. Zipper upcycling unpickingContinue ripping threads and pulling all the way down the zipper. (Sometimes you can rip both sides of the zipper seam at the same time).  Remove any cut threads that are lingering on the zipper and place the zipper in a bin or use the zipper straight away on a fun sewing project or craft.

Zipper upcycling is the BEST! Stay tuned. I’ll be sharing some fun ways to use your upcycled zippers both on sewing and craft projects! If you haven’t signed up for blog updates, you can do that HERE. Let me know what you want topics you want to be notified on.

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Happy Upcycling!

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Upcycling Love | Thrift Store & Consignment Shopping Tips

upcycled love thrift store items

Upcycling and recycling used items is one of my passions and something I do frequently. Thrift stores, consignment shops and garage sales are just a few places where you can find items to repurpose. In this post I am going to give you some awesome tips on what to look for, and some ideas on how to use the items you find.

Upcycling, recycling, repurposed; what does that mean and what’s the difference?

These words are thrown around all the time and in ways mean the same thing, however there are a few distinct differences. Let’s go over them.

RECYCLING

Recycling is the process of converting waste materials into new materials and objects. This process usually involves breaking the product down and making something else with it.

Some examples include: changing glass, paper, cardboard, metal, plastic, tires, textiles, batteries, and electronics into something else.

UPCYCLING

Upcycling, also known as creative reuse, is the process of transforming  useless, or unwanted products into new materials or products of better quality and environmental value. The keyword here is TRANSFORMING.

I love transforming things! There is something so fun about taking an item that is normally used for one thing and using it for another purpose.

Some examples include:

Taking a wool sweater, felting it down and making mittens from them. The sweater was originally used as clothing to keep you warm, and the new product is still clothing, but now it is used to keep your hands warm. Another example would be to take a piece of furniture and changing the paint color or even altering its size or shape.

REPURPOSING

Repurposing is simply using a product to serve another purpose.  Some examples include:

  • Tin bucket as a plant pot
  • An old tin mug normally used for drinking and using it to put paint brushes or pencils in.
  • Using a metal garden rake to hang jewelry on.
  • A wire bike basket to store and display magazines.

What are the benefits of recycling, upcycling and repurposing?

  • Keeps the Earth beautiful
  • Conserves natural resources
  • Saves money and energy
  • Reduces harmful greenhouse gases

Although there are small differences between each of these processes, they all share a common goal of being environmentally-friendly. Upcyling and recycling will not only save you money and save the planet; you can add some cute authentic style to your wardrobe and your home.

Here are a few ideas and tips on how I go about upcycling and recycling.

BE SURE TO WATCH THE VIDEO FOR SOME GREAT UPCYCLING IDEAS!

UPCYCLING CLOTHING

It’s pretty obvious that you can take a used piece of clothing and instead of throwing it away; you can either give it away or sell it for someone else to use. On the flip side, instead of buying new clothing, you can purchase used clothing at a lower rate and save it from being put in the landfill.

Thrift stores, consignment shops and yard sales are all great places to shop for used clothing.

TIPS:

  • Look for stains, holes and strong smells, and avoid these items.
  • Check the fabric content. I personally avoid clothing that you have to dry clean.
  • If you need a pair of shorts, you can always cut off a pair of pants and hem them. (It really is quite easy to do) I have an old tutorial that shows you how. I will be recording a new tutorial soon, so watch out for that.
  • Look for unique style and colors of clothing. (The knit shirt in the photo above, has the cutest grommet snaps)
  • Thoroughly clean items before wearing.

USING CLOTHING FOR FABRIC

What? Yes, I do this all the time. You can simply take an item of clothing and cut it up and make something else with the fabric. Some examples:

TIPS:

  • The bigger the item of clothing, the better. Depending on what you are making, you are going to get more yardage of fabric if you buy the XL or XXL (if you’re lucky).
  • Check fabric content. If you are making a felted wool project, you’ll want to at least have 70% wool. Get more tips on that here.
  • Large dresses and skirts have a lot of fabric yardage.
  • Check clearance racks at stores for new clothing as well as used clothing. I buy a lot of nice new clothing that are on the clearance rack to make other things with. It can be cheaper than buying new fabric.
  • I recommend getting a large bin to put clothing you will be using for fabric and label the container so you don’t get them confused with out of season clothing.
  • Thoroughly clean items before disassembling for sewing projects.
  • Here are some more ideas for upcycled jeans.

HOW TO GET RID OF THRIFT STORE SMELL

Vinegar

Add 1 cup of white distilled vinegar to your normal wash cycle, either hot or cold water. It will freshen and deodorize all of your clothing in your normal wash. If the clothes still smell, repeat. It may take a few wash loads to clear some smells, but it does work. (No worries, your clothes will not smell like vinegar once they are dried).

BAKING SODA

Baking soda is a great way to get rid of smells everywhere. (This is obviously okay for cotton and polyester, but you may want to do a patch test with other fabrics, such as rayon or cashmere sweaters.).

  • Lay the clothes on a towel or sheet, then sprinkling baking soda all over the clothing.
  • Add the piece of clothing to a large zip top plastic bag. Add baking soda to the bag, seal and shake to coat the clothes.
  • Leave the baking soda on at least an hour. Wash the clothes afterwards.

BUYING CLOTHING FOR ACCESSORIES

You can find some cool accessories on clothing to reuse. I’ve been known to buy pieces of clothing for the buttons, zippers, or even the trim. It doesn’t make sense to do this unless the item is on sale or free.

Before I throw a piece of clothing out, I always check to see if it has any cool accessories that I can take off and save.

TIPS:

  • Look for zippers that are unique. Zippers can easily be removed from items of clothing. Using a stylish zipper can really add a lot of charm to your homemade clothing and accessories.
  • Store disassembled hardware in a box where you can easily find them.
  • Keep button is a big jar. Not only will you have some fun buttons for sewing, but you can use them to embellish a lot of craft projects.
  • You can use the hardware from used purses and bags.

UPCYCLING JEWELRY & ACCESSORIES

You can find a lot of cute jewelry at consignment shops and even thrift stores.

This is a good place to find used belts and hats.

TIPS:

  • Look for items that are unique and good quality.
  • Don’t be discouraged by tarnished silver items because they can easily be buffed with a special cloth or liquid.
  • Thoroughly clean items before wearing or using.

UPCYCLING FURNITURE

I must admit that most of my household furniture is either upcycled or purchased on clearance or from the “scratch and dent” section. We always buy new mattresses, and couches, but almost everything else was a DIY or an upcyling project. I guess that’s what you get when you come from a family of ‘DO IT YOURSELFERS”.

My husband and I have transformed some pretty cool furniture over the years. I’m lucky to have a husband who is so handy.

TIPS:

  • Look for good quality both in materials and how it was made.
  • A lot of new chests of drawers are built so poorly and with cheap materials. That is one item that I like to buy used and refinish.  
  • Look for furniture that has “good bones”. By this I mean, has good form and style. It may not be the right color, but that is something that is can easily be changed.
  • If you don’t like the hardware on a piece of furniture, you can purchase new and change it out. Putting a new set of drawer pulls can really change the look of a chest.
  • My husband took this huge television cabinet and cut it down so it wasn’t so deep and made a cute cabinet for our bathroom. We put new handles on it and cut out a section in the doors, gave it a new color of paint, and look how cute it turned out. (The orange cabinet in the photo above).

KITCHEN GADGETS AND BOTTLES

There are a lot of fun ways to use old kitchen gadgets and bottles.

  • I used this old tin to put my paintbrushes in.
  • I have a thing for tall skinny bottles. They make really cute vases and can also be used to store small sewing supplies and office supplies.
  • Canning jars can be used for all kinds of things. In my kitchen, I use the pint size for drinking glasses. They also work well to store nuts, seeds and other pantry items. A pint size jar works well to store pencils and pens in. I have one on each of my desks.

TIPS:

UPCYCLING SHOES

I’m not one to buy a lot of used shoes. I know everyone has their own thoughts about this one. I will purchase used shoes that have been VERY lightly worn. You can find a lot of good, lightly worn shoes at a much lower price.

Where is a good place to shop for used items?

Some of the places to look for used items are: consignment shops, thrift stores, yard and garage sales.

Here is my receipt for my purchases at the consignment shop. (Watch the video below to see what good finds I found this day at the consignment shop).

  • 3 pairs of nice shoes
  • 2 adorable shirts
  • pair of aqua color jeans that I’m going to cut off and hem for shorts
  • 2 pair of earrings

Not bad! 

What is the difference between a consignment shop and thrift store?

THRIFT STORES

The majority of thrift stores are donation based and center on a charity or non-profit organization. Although donating truly ruined items is discouraged, damaged, heavily worn, and flawed items are relatively common. Items are sorted and priced by volunteers, then sent to the sales floor where they are bought by shoppers.

CONSIGNMENT SHOPS

Consignment stores are where members bring in gently used items for evaluation, and the buyers look them over to determine if they are likely to sell well from that particular shop. If the items are deemed a good risk, the shop will sell them and the shop owner takes a percentage of the sale.  Some shops will pay up front.

Play Video

If you’ve never been in a consignment or thrift store, I encourage you to open your mind and take a step inside. Upcycle, recycle and repurpose, you’ll be glad you did.

I hope this was helpful and that you have some new ideas for upcycling.

Please feel free to share some of your upcycled ideas on my Instagram. Tag it #fibersandtwigs

HAPPY UPCYCLING!

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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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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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A Good Day at the Thrift Store – Wool Sweaters

I have been driving around with a bin full of donation items to take to the thrift store for about a month now. Today while I was out and about I decided to drop them off. It felt great to let that stuff go, however I just couldn’t pass up a quick stroll through the store. I had to go in and see if they had any “good” used wool sweaters for all my upcycling projects. I am afraid it is an addiction. An upcycled wool sweater is the best!

It’s not very often that I find a lot of “good” wool sweaters, but today was my lucky day. Not only do I rarely find a lot of nice sweaters to felt, but GREEN ones. I love green, and a green wool is even better! Shades of green just come in handy for so many of my upcycled projects and designs. Today I hit the jackpot.

The best time to pick up sweaters is in the summer at garage or tag sales. Stores will start putting them on sale in the spring.

So what defines a “good” sweater?

Well on my terms, a good sweater is:

  • One that has at least 70% wool content. (This allows them to shrink up real nice and tight).
  • Has unique, rich colors
  • The bigger the better (Men XL size sweaters give you more yardage).
  • Has fun stripes or simple designs on the sweaters.

Things to avoid when purchasing a wool sweater:

  • Look out for holes.  Especially when purchasing wool sweaters.
  • Really bulky sweaters. When you felt the sweater it will get even bulkier. Depending on your project, too bulky sweaters can be hard to work with.  However, sometimes there may be a need for a real thick nap).
  • Too thin of a sweater. (Again, depending on your project)  Cashmere sweaters are usually thin and very soft. This type of sweater is great for hand warmers and ponchos, but not so great for a pair of slippers.
  • Think about your inventory. Don’t overspend on colors you already have a ton of or on sweaters that are just so, so. Resist the need to buy every wool sweater you find or you will end up with bins and bins of sweaters. (Believe me, sweaters take up a lot of room).

If you are not familiar with how to “felt” (shrink and tighten the fibers of your sweater), here is a link to a FREE online course that I teach. You’ll love it!

This is such a great time of the year to get out your felted sweaters and make something fun. If you live where it is cold right now, like I do, there are tons of things to make with felted wool.

Mittens, HATS, Scarfs, HAND WARMERS, slippers, Valentine Heart Hand Warmers and HEARTS, Bunnies & Bears, Baby Toys, flowers, BAGS, and even birds.

Don’t forget to save your scraps when cutting out your upcycled wool sweater felted wool projects. There are a lot of fun things to make with this crafting gold!

 

So get out your wool sweater stash. (If you don’t have one yet, after one felted sweater project you soon will have one). An upcycled sweater is fun stuff to work with!

Get out your scissors, sewing machines and turn on some soothing music, or a good podcast, and enjoy a day of creation!

The patterns to make most of these projects can be located in my Etsy shop or here on my website.

here are some more sweater upcycled wool sweater posts you may be interested in.

Let me know if you have any questions or any great tips to share.

DIY Sweater Upcycling – All You Need To Know

Making something out of a felted wool sweater is the BEST!  Most of you know that sweater upcycling is something I get excited about and love to do.

Since my last post about it, I have made one of my upcyling sweater classes available through YouTube.  Although this class is a free class on Skillshare, you still have to go through the hassle of joining and all that jazz.

It is now available through my TEACHABLE platform as well. Here you DO NOT  have to sign up for anything. I am excited about that! I wanted to make it accessible to more people and make it easier to access.

In this sweater upcycling class tutorial, I will show you how to:

  • ONE: How to choose the right sweaters for your project
  • TWO: How to felt/shrink wool sweaters
  • THREE: How to disassemble and store your sweaters
  • FOUR: Project ideas and how use different parts of the sweater

So, here it is.

Play Video

This is a great time of the year to find an old sweater and make some fun Christmas gifts. There are so many fun things you can make. In this post you can get the written version of all the details.

Play Video

Sewing patterns can be accessed in my Etsy shop, Craftsy shop and some are available here in my shop. (If you don’t want to go through Etsy or Craftsy and you don’t see the pattern you want in my store, send me a note and I will list it for you).

Let me know if you have any questions.

Have fun sewing!

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DIY: Carabiner Keychain Tutorial

carabiner keychain

Lost your keys AGAIN? If you are one who can not keep track of your keys, this DIY tutorial is for YOU! I am going to show you how easy it is to make a carabiner keychain. It really is a snap!

DIY carabiner keychain

Seriously, why is it so hard to find your dang keys? You know the drill. You get to the car and the fumbling begins. Reaching your hand in the endless pit of STUFF in your purse, there are no keys to be found.  You try one pocket, then another, not there. Oh the FRUSTRATION!.  Now you are all worked up and stressed. Well, it doesn’t have to be that way!

DIY carabiner keychain

I have found something that WORKS! My husband has been using a carabiner keychain for a long time and he always knows where his keys are. So I decided to make my own. I know it’s not the most feminine thing, but the purses I enjoy are a little playful and whimsy anyway, so it works for me. In fact, it has been working quite well. I LOVE IT!

Right when I get out of the car, I simply clip my keys to the side loop of my purse and let the keys fall inside. When I am ready to get in the car, I EASILY unclip the carabiner and viola, keys in hand I am ready to roll. Works like a charm.

Are you ready to simplify your life a little? I am telling you, this is a game-changer.

To make your own keychain you will need

DIY carabiner keychain

1″- 1 1/4 ” Split Key Ring

I like to buy a variety of sizes like is in this set. They do come in handy for other things. You can find them at most stores, often at the checkout aisle.

2 1/2 – 3 ” Carabiner

You can get these at Home Depot, Amazon, or other hardware stores. This one from Amazon comes with the split keyring.

DIY carabiner keychain

6 1/2 inches of 3/4 ” webbing

DIY carabiner keychain

I am a recycler! This is my box of random webbing pieces that I have salvaged from different things that I no longer want or use. (bags, backpacks, coats, etc.) I save the hardware as well. They really do come in handy for a lot of things. So if you don’t have a stash yet of random webbing, something you may want to consider. (Keep it to a minimum, remember) I don’t want to promote a hoarding scenario here.

Sewing Machine

Scissors

1- Cut 6 1/2 inches of webbing

DIY carabiner keychain

2- Thread the webbing into the ring

Fold the top piece up 2 “

DIY carabiner keychain

3- Sew the top webbing to the bottom 1/2 ” from the fold

You can use a zigzag stitch or two straight stitches.

DIY carabiner keychain

4- Fold the bottom webbing piece under 1/2″

DIY carabiner keychain

5- Fold the top piece so it overlaps the bottom piece

It should measure 2 1/2 “.

DIY carabiner keychain

6- Topstitch the upper loop

Using a zigzag or straight stitch, to secure the top folded webbing in place.

DIY carabiner keychain

7- Slip the carabiner onto the top loop

Add your keys and you are ready to ROLL!

DIY carabiner keychain

This is how my husband hooks his keys to his backpack. They can also be attached to a belt buckle.

DIY carabiner keychain

If you have any questions while sewing these up, shoot me a note.

Get ready for hassle-free key accessibility!

YOU MAY BE INTERESTED IN MY TUTORIAL ON HOW TO MAKE AN EARPHONE CORD HOLDER. 

DIY carabiner keychain

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Make It With An Upcycled Sweater

Do you have an old sweater kicking around that you never wear? Perhaps you can give it a second life and upcycle it into something fabulous. You can make a cozy pair of mittens, slippers, a hat or even a skirt. For those of you who follow me, know how much I love making things with an upcycled sweater. I think creating something from a felted wool sweater is just one of the best things ever! Cotton and mixed fiber sweaters can also be used to make fun projects.

In this post I am going to:

  1. Show you how to make the most out of your sweaters by properly cutting out your projects to minimize any fabric waist. (After all, felted sweater material is like CRAFTING GOLD).
  2. Give you some great tips on what part of the sweater to use for what kinds of projects.
  3. Show you what you can make with the SCRAPS.
Play Video

Let’s begin with some wool sweater BASICS.

In  previous posts I have shared information on

Check these out if you want more information on these topics.

Cutting out

Maximize you sweater fabric by placing pattern pieces as close together as possible. SAVE YOUR SCRAPS! I will show you what to do with the scraps later in the post.

If using felted wool, most likely you do not have to worry about placing pieces on the grain because felted wool stretches both ways equally. (not always). Unless the pattern says to place on the stretch or grain, you can place the pattern pieces any which way to not waist fabric.

What part of the sweater should you use for what?

Here is a little sweater anatomy.

Bottom & Sleeve Cuffs

The bottom cuff and sleeve cuffs are great to use for Slipper Boot cuffs, Pilot & Pixie Caps, Mitten cuffs and Beanies.

To use the bottom cuff for projects like these I cut off 4 inches from the bottom cuff and store in a bin for future projects.

* If you think you will be making beanies or caps, hold off on cutting the 4 inches off. Leave the sweater intact.

The rest of the sweater can be used for all kinds of fun projects.

1 Beanies & Hats

2 Mittens

3 Slipper Boots & Boot Socks

4 Slippers

5 Heart Hand Warmers

6 Baby Balls

7 Mitten Cuffs

Patterns to make these items can be found in my store, my Etsy and Craftsy shops

Get the FREE DIY UPCYCLED SWEATER COURSE here. (NO MEMBERSHIP REQUIRED)!

Here is the link to my Skillshare online video classes.

Sweater Thickness & Texture

An upcycled sweater  will vary in thickness and texture. Some sweaters are good for some things and not so good for others.

Thick, Heavy Weight: Good for slipper soles, bags and anything that needs a little more structure. Not good for mittens, slipper tops or hats.

Medium Weight: Good for most projects.

Thin Weight: Good for lining things like mittens & hats. (Cashmere sweaters work really well). Not good for projects that need any kind of structure to them.

I like to use the inside of the sweater as the outside on a lot of my projects. This adds a different texture and gives some character.

What to do with the felted wool sweater scraps?

You will be amazed at what fun things you can do with a small piece of felted wool.

Mini sweater balls, mistletoe, Valentine hearts, laundry dryer balls, hand warmers and so much more!

Click on the links above to see the whole project tutorials.

When you cut out all your sweater projects, DO NOT THROW the SCRAPS AWAY! Get a bin to keep all your scraps in, you never know when a little piece of felted wool will come in handy.

Go find a lonely sweater and and make something fun!

Whew! To those who made it through the whole post, you get rewarded. How about a 30% discount off any pattern two patterns ordered from my shop.

When you are checking out, just type in coupon code:

felted4you

Enjoy!

 

jan1

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Upcycled Sweater Pumpkins – New Video Tutorial

It’s pumpkin time! I love everything about fall, the bright cheery colors, the crisp air, pumpkins and wearing sweaters. But as most of you know already, wearing sweaters is not what gets me excited, it’s MAKING THINGS WITH SWEATERS that makes me smile.

In my newest Skillshare class I show you how to make these fun, whimsy upcycled sweater pumpkins. These pumpkins can be made with felted wool sweaters, cotton sweaters, orange knit, and even fleece. They have so much character, each one turns out a little different.

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This upcycled sweater pumpkin class is only 17 minutes long and will get you on your way to making a fun Halloween and Thanksgiving decoration. You can leave them out until it’s time for your Christmas decorations.

The pattern comes FREE with class enrollment. If you are not a member of Skillshare yet, here is a link where you can get 3 months of the premium membership for only .99 cents. With the holidays coming along, this is a great opportunity to take unlimited classes and learn how to make some fun Christmas gifts.

Skillshare has classes and video tutorials on almost anything you would want to learn how to do.

  • Crafts,
  • photography
  • painting
  • cooking
  • sewing
  • photoshop
  • graphic design
  • crochet and so much more.

If you find after a few months, you don’t use it, you can cancel your membership at any time. What a no brainer!

If you are not interested in enrolling in the class and just want to purchase the pattern, you can download the pattern from my Etsy shop.

This is all you need to make a sweater pumpkin:

  • Sewing machine or you can sew by hand with a needle and thread.
  • Felted Wool sweaters, or mixed fiber sweaters work as well, knit or fleece
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Stuffing
  • Two shades of green felt
  • 2 inch length of thin tree branch
  • Hot glue gun/glue
  • Green 18 gauge cloth stem wire or green craft pipe cleaner
Upcycled Sweater Pumpkins

Gather your sweaters in all shades of orange, yellow, tan and brown and let’s make some pumpkins!

jan3

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Caring for your upcycled wool sweater projects

Caring for your upcycled wool sweater projects

So you have made some fun things with felted wool sweaters.  SLIPPERS, MITTENS, HATS, and STUFFED ANIMALS.

What are you supposed to do when they get dirty?
NO PROBLEM!
I wanted to do a quick post about caring for your upcycled wool sweater projects to put your mind at ease and let you know how well these items wash up, and how easy they are to care for.

The multicolored mittens in the photo are about 5 years old, the slippers are probably 3 years old and the slipper boots about the same.  They have been washed many times and are holding up just fine.
In fact, I think it makes them have more character the more you wash them.

I love putting my feet in a pair of newly washed slippers.  It tightens up the fibers so it is like getting a little hug on your feet.  The already felted (washed in hot water) sweater material will not shrink when washed again.  If the sweater was not properly shrunk, the item you made, may shrink.  For tips on felting sweaters, go to the post here.

I have not experienced any major shrinking with the items I have washed.  If they do shrink a bit, they will stretch out just fine.

How to wash wool slippers.

I just throw my wool items in the washing machine with a load of permanent press items, so the water is not hot, but it can handle warm water.  If you are worried, just put the water at a cooler temperature.  I even throw them in the dryer.  Then again, if you are worried, just let them air dry. Most likely the sweater fabric was pre-shrunk (hopefully).

If you have never made anything with a felted wool sweater,  give it a whirl.  Who knew all the fun things you can make with an old sweater.  Here are a few ideas of things you can make.  I have a few more felted wool sweater projects and patterns in the making and are soon to be listed.  So get you sweater stash out, or maybe you need to make a trip to the thrift store, and have fun sewing!!!!

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