My Christmas craft: A recycled sweater wreath

By Michelle Kelly »Michelle Kelly

December 17th, 2010

5finished2

8 comments

I’ve been writing so much about crafting here lately, sooner or later I was bound to attempt one myself. This craft was dead-easy to make and used only a minimum of supplies. It’s a wreath made of old sweaters, all cut up into squares and strung onto a wire coat hanger. The idea came from a recent issue of Chatelaine magazine, though I tweaked the instructions slightly—they used a thicker gauge of wire to provide a sturdier base. The coat hanger makes for a slightly flimsier, and slightly smaller, finished product, but I’m happy with it nonetheless. I also chose a different colour palette, one that would go nicely with my front door and also echo the colours of a real wreath. Of course, you can use whatever you have lying around; maybe this is a good excuse to finally retire some of your old clothing, the ones that are moth-eaten and stained?

I started with five old sweaters that I purchased for a couple of bucks each at my local Value Village. When choosing your sweaters, try to look for different knits to bring a rich texture to your creation.


Sweater wreath1

A variety of greens and blues not only match my door but also echo the colours of real evergreens.




Next, I cut up each sweater into four-inch squares. Don’t worry so much about getting your squares to be all the same size. Any inconsistencies will be difficult to detect once the wreath is finished, and a little variety only helps to add more texture. I recommend using fabric snips for this process, especially if your sweaters are acrylic and harder to cut.


Sweater Wreath 2

The cutting was the most labour-intensive part of the process, but even that only took me an hour, tops.



With squares cut, I made separate piles for each colour. You could separate them any old way you wanted, really, perhaps placing like colours next to each other instead of interspersed. Up to you!



Sweater Wreath 3

My sweater piles "mis en place"



To shape the base of the wreath, I simply untwisted the top of a wire clothes hanger with the help of a regular pair of pliers. Shaping one end into a loop (again, use the pliers), I kept the other straight, where I threaded on the squares. Very simple.



Sweater Wreath 4

I poked through the centre of each square but again, feel free to get creative if you'd like a shaggier wreath.



To close the circle, I simply wound the straight edge through the looped end, creating a loose knot. I then bunched the squares over top to hide my handiwork. With the wreath now looking complete, I tied a green and gold ribbon to the bottom to give it some festive glow and it was ready for the door. What do you think?

Sweater Wreath 5

Tah dah! Next project: sprucing up the actual door!



Now then, does anyone have any bright ideas on what to do with the unused bits of sweater?


8 comments

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Michelle Kelly

Michelle Kelly

Jan. 4, 2011

9:45 am

Cut the unused bits again and then again so each square is now 4 smaller squares. Make a second smaller matching wreath or several and hot glue a favourite photo in the centre to make it into a small matching photo frame ( a child's school photo or even a great cottage shot) . Other easy craft photo frames: Christmas Wreathes - quick and easy  ( nice ornaments for a tree) - thread a piece of old lace onto a pipe cleaner - after each hole  in lace has been threaded place a glass bead as a spacer - when you have the right size join the ends of the pipe cleaner in a circle  and twist extra into a loop for hanger. hot glue a photo into the centre on the back. or take eyelet or lace and thread them onto a metal shower curtain ring.  Again hot glue favourite photo into the centre and you have a little wreath frame. NOTE  You could also put interesting spacers in between sweater pieces for you sweater wreath.


Michelle

Jan. 3, 2011

3:53 pm

Mags: Nice to hear from you! I've heard from a few people who know of this wreath. Look at that! I'm trendier than I thought...


maglets

Dec. 30, 2010

2:32 pm

hi Michelle....i was in a thrift store before Christmas...gosh there's a surprise! not....anyway I met a young teacher and her mom there.....they were scooping up sweaters from the one dollar rack.....so said I.....wuz up? Yes they were doing this wreath with her grade 5 class....each and every child was doing a wreath....must be a goodie cheers, mags


Michelle

Dec. 21, 2010

11:27 am

Thank you my DH!


Rich

Dec. 21, 2010

10:57 am

It's definitely the most creative wreath on the block. Great idea Michelle.


dougdebb@persona.ca

Panache

Dec. 18, 2010

12:50 pm

Wow, I LOVE this! Wish I had seen this earlier, but it's a definite project for next year! And the colour combinations are endless. I'm going to start saving sweaters now!!


Michelle

Dec. 17, 2010

1:34 pm

Tree ornaments are a great idea Laura, thanks! I just did a quick google search and found lots of inspiration. I particularly like this one that involves felting the sweaters first.


Laura

Dec. 17, 2010

1:11 pm

I think this looks so fun! It's a great craft to do with the kids, too. Could you use the leftover bits to make bows or ribbons for gifts? Maybe they could be shaped into snowflake ornaments or something else for the tree?


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