If you’re a super talented crafter then the holiday season is brimming with possibilities. But what about the rest of us? I’m about the furthest person from Martha Stewart on the face of the earth so when I craft, it’s got to be fast, easy, with minimal actual skill needed. That means you don’t have to know how to operate a sewing machine/knitting needles/power tools or anything tricky. My only real requirement is that the materials involved be planet-friendly, preferably preloved/second hand. Enter this season’s upcycled sweater creations! I featured my upcycled sweater mitts in my column. If you want to know how to make ’em click here. For even quicker, easier hostess gifts, I recommend, though, giving these a try…
All you need is old, forlorn sweaters, scissors, a marker, needle and thread…and if the needle and thread seem too ambitious to you, get yourself some fabric glue (can’t promise you the glue itself is in any way green). Hit up a second hand store if you don’t have any of your own sweaters that would make cute ornaments. Festively, fugly sweaters are my prime choice. Wool is ideal since if you wash it in hot water and dry it first, thereby ‘felting’ it, you tighten up the weave, making it easier to work with.
Option #1: Hidden stitching
Cut your shapes out, leaving an extra 1/4 inch edge (so you have room to stitch/glue). Pin your two sides together with the good sides facing in. Stitch or glue the edges together leaving an inch or two open so can reach in there with your fingers and flip it right side out.
Fill it with stuffing (I used old fabric scraps), then stitch or glue it shut.
Loop a hook into it or stitch a loop of embroidery thread at the top. This heart is still waiting for a loop.
Option #2: Visible Stitching
Don’t flip your sweater inside out. Just take your marker and trace some circles, hearts, candy canes, baby trees, mini sweaters, birds or whatever shape you desire. It’s kind of easier to do more shapes with the visible stitch method.
Cut your shapes out, leaving an extra 1/4 inch edge (so you have room to stitch. Pin your two sides together with the good sides facing out.
Stitch your edges together using embroidery thread (which is basically 6 threads all spun together so it’s thicker and more visible to the naked eye).
Make sure to leave an inch or two unstitched so you can stuff your ornament with stuffing (ie fabric scraps). Stitch shut.
Stitch a loop of thread at the top so that your ornament can easily be hung or loop in a metal hook.
Your snuggly love-stuffed ornament is ready for gifting (or hanging on your own tree, if you can’t bear to part with it). Stay tuned for more upcycled sweater creations!