Felted Sweater Circle Garland

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I love this amazing circle garland I created out of old felted sweaters. Lately I am really enjoying using white and cream as the accents in my living room. It is hard to resist colour, but worth it when I can restrain myself. I had a pillow project in mind when I bought these three sweaters at a second hand store a few weeks ago. I started out by felting them, which means you can leave a raw edge and it won’t fray, just like regular felt. To create felt you need to find wool sweaters, and for these which are a little extra special, I also used some with other animal fibres, including a blend of cashmere and angora. Here they are before.

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To turn the sweaters into felt, you wash them in your washing machine with hot water, and dry them in your dryer on high heat. I read a few on-line tutorials which suggested you wash them in a pillow case to collect the fuzz that is created and can clog up your washer, and also throw in a few golf balls. I thought I’d try it this time.

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After the wash, I was amazed by the amount of fuzz in the pillowcase. I was also amazed at how felted they were, they shrunk a great deal, and the felt that was created is far thicker than any I’ve had in the past with just a simple hot wash without the pillowcase and golf balls.

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I have been admiring the paper garlands I’ve seen on many blogs lately that are created by stitching simple paper circles together with your sewing machine. I have been wanting to try it, but feared that my OLD, slightly temperamental sewing machine just wouldn’t be able to handle the spaces, and that it would turn into a knotted mess. I love the cream fuzzy felt so much, and thought that cut into circles and sewed into garland it would make a delicate garland reminiscent of snowballs. I had to try it, and it worked!

I started out tracing several small sizes of circles on my three different sweaters, which all made slightly different felt, some thicker, some fuzzier. I used a small container, a spool, and a penny as my patterns. I have to say that the penny looks cute, but was difficult to sew because it is so small.

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After a lot of cutting!

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It was time to sew. You start stitching the first circle and continue stitching after it feeds through the machine for a few seconds, then you stop the machine and lift the foot to feed in the next circle. You stitch it, and continue on again, and just repeat that over and over to your desired length. I love the look of a random pattern, so I choose the size of the circle at random, and varied the length of space between circles, but you could follow a pattern, and or, count how many seconds of space you stitch to create a pattern.

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I love how it turned out, especially the way it actually looks soft. I think it does kind of look like snowballs.

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I added it to the fireplace mantel in my living room, see the basement family room mantel here.  A little tip for attaching a garland to your fireplace without having to leave nail holes in the wood is to use suction cup hooks.

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This fireplace holds my Christmas glitter house village. I made the village houses entirely out of old cereal boxes, see how I did it here.

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This project really was simple, and I’d love to try it for a party with coloured paper in circles or in a shape that matched the party theme. The possibilities are endless! Give it a try.

Merry Christmas!

This post is linked up at these link parties: Tatertots and Jello, Under the Table and Dreaming, The DIY Showoff Holiday Party,The Shabby Nest, A Little Lovely, Be Different Act Normal, I Heart Naptime, Tinsel & Company, 504 Main, Beyond the Picket Fence, and Funky Junk Interiors.

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  1. Ooh pretty! What a great idea! Thanks so much, I’ll be linking.

  2. I love your fireplace/mantel! So beautiful! The garland is great – I love those paper ones too and hadn’t thought of using fabric. The white really does look like snowballs and accents the village so nicely. Great tip about the suction cups too. Must file that tip away!

  3. I love it! I haven’t seen many garlands this holiday season, I’m glad you posted one. It’s the perfect accent to your mantel. I featured you today on my favorite things 🙂

  4. I Love your felted snowball garland, I’m amazed that you could just sew the threads & leave the space and continue to add more, I would think the threads would tangle…. Thanks for sharing

  5. I love this garland, looks great with your glitter houses, thanks for linking up!

  6. love love love this, I will be looking at the goodwill for some sweaters to try it.

  7. So delicate and beautiful. Thank you for the pillowcase-golf ball tip!! I want to make some of these.

    <3 Christina at I Gotta Create!
    Wildly Original link part is open.

  8. alice cocanougher says:

    lovely! but 100% wool sweaters are HARD to find ! I look every wk. at our local thrift shops all yr. long. I have been looking for several yrs. now with no luck.

  9. Good luck with the wool sweaters, they don’t have to be 100% wool, it’s okay if they have some other animal fibre like cashmere or angora. Happy Hunting!

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