Recycling Sweaters Into Crafts

Sweaters can be used in a variety of recycled crafts. This is a guide about recycling sweaters into crafts.

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I am interested in the ideas, hopefully patterns or directions, for using recycled large sweaters. I want to make toddler girls' jumpers, hats, and mittens. Other matching ideas are appreciated.

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    Don't throw away old sweaters. Recycle them! I have even bought them at thrift stores to recycle. Most projects can be done in under an hour.

    Approximate Time: 1 hour or less

    Supplies:

    • old sweaters with the ribbing still intact
    • thread
    • needle
    • sewing machine

    Steps:

    1. Save old sweaters or find them at thriftstores to recycle into "new" items. Wash and dry before starting.
    2. Sweater sleeves make cute leggings for little girls. Cut them off at the shoulder, and sew into a straight line. You may wish to add elastic depending on the size of the girl and the size of the sleeves. Position so that the ribbing (cuff part) of the sleeve is at the ankle.
    3. Use the body of the sweater to make mittens. Again, use the ribbing of the sweater to be the cuff of the mitten (at the wrist).
    4. Use the body of a cotton or wool sweater to make hot trivets for your dining room table. This is fun to do for the holidays. For example: use an old Christmas sweater for Christmas trivets, a pink or red one for Valentine's, or a green one for Saint Paddy's Day. Don't use acrylic sweaters for this as they can get too hot and melt.
    5. Sleeves cut and hemmed to size make good water bottle socks to absorb sweat off a cold bottle or to help insulate it.
    6. Large sized sweaters can be cut down to make jumpers or sweater dresses for toddler girls or sweater vests for toddler boys.

    Source: http://www.goodshomedesign.com/sweater-mittens-sweater/

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    Wool Sweater PantsTurn your old wool sweater into a pair of pants for your baby! Wash the sweater with hot water and dry with high heat to shrink it. Cut off the sleeves, and sew them together to make a pair of "legs". Finish the waist with a draw-string (an old shoe-string works great) or elastic. You can even use the collar or bottom of the sweater to make it look more professional around the waist. And, wool makes a great diaper cover, too!

    By Jackie from Burlington, KY

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    I have several old sweaters that my family and I love and would like to recycle or re-use. I want to put large squares from the sweaters together to make a king-sized quilt.

    Can I stitch the blocks of sweaters before cutting them apart, to keep them from unraveling, then cut them out, and attach them to each other by stitching them along the prior stitch line?

    I do not knit at all and have very little experience sewing. I only know how to make some hand stitches, and I don't have a sewing machine.

    If my idea is ridiculous, please advise me how I can do the "quilt" or submit these sweaters to someone else to do it for me.

    By Miss Bonnie from Denver, CO region

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    I did a google search and found quite a few instructions. I do agree with the rest that you will need a sewing machine even if you are a very accomplished hand stitcher. I will include some of the links I found & you can easily do the search with " making quilts from sweaters" , or other variations of your own query.

    http://www.craftstylish.com/item/10 ... nket-with-recycled-sweaters/page/all

    http://www.instructables.com/id/Cashmere-Patchwork-Quilt/

    http://ahandmadelife.blogspot.com/2 ... /felted-sweater-patchwork-quilt.html

    http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/quilt/gal0820052431188.html?14

    http://funessa.wordpress.com/2007/10/28/recycled-sweater-blanket-part-two/ (I only found part 2 but I'm sure with a bit of looking there is a part1 here someplace)

    http://frugalliving.about.com/od/craftsgifts/ht/Sweater_Blanket.htm

    Hope this helps get you started.

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    At garage sales, I always keep an eye out for turtlenecks. I don't like the way I look in them; rather, what I do is bring them home and snip off the "turtleneck" part, which I then wear as a stretchy headband! Just make sure you cut so that the seam is still attached to the neckline of the shirt. That way, you have a finished edge on what is left, and your new headband stretches nicely. :)

    By AlaskanAurora from Dutch Harbor, AK

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    Leg-warmers are back in style and can easily be made from the sleeves of old sweaters, even sweaters with holes! Just turn the sweater inside-out and cut the seam out at the arm-hole using sharp scissors. Next unravel the sleeve (from the top down) until the top is straight and level all around.

    If you know how to knit or crochet, just loosely put one loop over the next (all around) until the area is "bound off" If you don't know how to knit or crochet just sew or (using fabric glue) tack each loop of yarn down inside the sleeve.

    You can make your leg-warmers shorter by just unraveling more of the top (or cutting the yarn off, then turning it in, then zig-zagging or hand stitching) If you need to make the leg-warmers thinner, simply turn them inside-out and sew a seam up the inside, then zig-zag and cut off excess. I, myself leave the extra piece on and just tuck it down inside and tack it. This is good for a little extra warmth, but it also adds bulk.

    For washable leg-warmers use acrylic sweaters, but for super-warm ones, use wool sweaters. For kids sizes, use kids sweaters. I've made lots of these using sweaters from thrift stores and they sure are warm and help keep your legs dry when it snows. Sometimes I'll even spray silicone on them as an added water repellent!

    By Cyinda from near Seattle

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    How can I recycle old knitted cotton sweaters?

    By Loretta from Steep Falls

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    I made an old sweater of mine into a hot water bottle cover! I didn't have a pattern, just snipped off the arms, ballparked the size, and did a quick stitch around. I kept the turtleneck opening of the sweater around the spout of the bottle. Keeps it very warm and cozy!

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    Look at the latest holiday edition of www.threadbanger.com for instructions how to make easy beanies and matching mitten from an old sweater! Kids are always losing theirs, so this would be great for a wintry mom.

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    Enhance your Shabby Chic or vintage decorating with crafts from OLD CROCHETED SWEATERS from the thrift store. These sweaters are often torn or pulled in one area so are not useful as sweaters anymore. I have bought them for between $1-$3 each.

    1. LAMPSHADES: cut the bottom off under the arms and draped this tube over plain white paper lamp shades. tape to the inside to avoid burning the loose threads

    2. DRAWSTRING BAGS: cutting a circle out of the front or back of the sweater and a contrasting fabric, sew a hem, thread cord through and gather. store lingerie or other items and drop a bunch of them into a wire basket so they show

    3. WINDOW VALANCE: cut off the bottoms just below the arms, separate the front and back pieces, sew binding tape along the sides and top, add some fabric yo-yos along the bottom edges in your room's colors, add tabs or rings and hang side-by-side

    4. ANTIMACASSARS: instead of doilies, use colorful squares. circles or diamonds cut from the sweaters. edge with bias tape or roll over edges and crochet an edging

    5. BEDSPREAD OR THROW: a little tricky but you can cut squares and piece together with or without a backing

    6. LAVENDAR SACHETS: cut shapes from the sweaters. match with fabric. lay down fabric right side up, the sweater piece, and another fabric piece right side down on top. sew three edges and turn right side out. fill with lavender and sew closed. tie matching ribbon around one or two together

    7. PLANTERS: paint pots white. cut sweater piece to fit around. apply glue to wrong side of crocheted piece and wrap pot.

    8. TABLETOPPERS: cut to fit night- or end table and cover with glass cut to fit

    9. OTHER: with fabric: tea cozies; kitchen appliance covers; clothespin bags; book and phone book covers/ without fabric backing: dishcloths; dainty bathroom face cloths; curtains; mug sweaters....

    You can decorate using one or two main colors of sweater - like all white or all cream or white and blue, for example. Or you can use many colors throughout.

    You can create a romantic wedding with sachets out of white or cream sweaters, napkin rings out of strips of white or cream sweaters tied around rose colored napkins and a silk rose on floral wire, whatever you can think of to add that vintage look!

    Using these sweaters has been my favorite crafting ever!

    By Allison

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    My daughter is 14 years old and very particular about her clothes. Luckily she is happy to shop at thrift stores and is willing to spend her own allowance and money from relatives on clothing she doesn't "need".

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    I like making them into pillow tops. The sleeves can be bolsters and the backs can be the main front of the pillow. Keep in mind that some pillows are for decoration only, so it's OK to put things like the buttons, any rosettes, embellishments, etc. on them.

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    Old sweaters are excellent (and beautiful) for recovering throw pillows, or making pillows for the kids to use on the floor while playing video games. Another great use for them is to cut them into huge squares and sew together.

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    Does anyone know how to make mittens and afghans from old sweaters?

    Pat

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    do you have to baste felted squares or can you just go ahead and sew them on a machine????

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    Crafts Recycled CraftsFebruary 28, 2012
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