Learn how to make felted sweater coasters out of wool sweaters that have been felted in the wash, in this easy, kid-friendly tutorial.
Dilemma: You need a gift for grandma, a teacher, a childcare provider (insert your special person here). You want it to be special, useful and long-lasting – so that special person will think of you every time they use it.
Sure, you can run out and buy something but wouldn’t it be fun and more memorable to make something handmade? But I get it, you don’t have time for a big project. You need something quick and easy – and preferably something your child can help with.
Here’s a simple craft project I’ve done with my boys – it involves sweaters, scissors and needles but I promise, it’s easy!
How to Make Felted Wool Coasters From Sweaters
These simple felted sweater coasters are made from re-purposed sweaters that have been shrunk in the wash, giving them new life as felted wool.
Whether it’s for Valentine’s Day or any time of year, felted sweater coasters are an easy DIY project and a SWEET gift idea.
Step 1: Shrink
Have you ever accidentally put a wool sweater in the wash? Then you know how easily it shrinks. The wool turns into thick felt that is super soft and easy to work with because you can cut it and the edges will not fray. Felting a sweater is easy to do in your home washing machine.
- Choose sweaters made from animal fibers such as wool, angora, alpaca or cashmere.
- Sweaters should have no more than 10% nylon or other non-animal fiber or they will not felt properly.
- Wash sweaters in HOT water with detergent and dry in a hot dryer.
- If you are using a front-loading washing machine, throw in a couple of tennis balls to add some friction.
- For a tighter felt, wash sweaters more than once.
- Note: every sweater will come out differently. The more you felt, the more you’ll know what to expect.
- Don’t have any old wool sweaters at home? Pick up a few at a garage sale or thrift store.
Step 2: Cut
Begin by cutting a 4″ x 4″ square out of your felted sweater material.
Next, cut out a heart shaped piece of felt in a contrasting color. (I used a cookie cutter to create the pattern.) Feel free to use other shapes like a star, a circle or a flower to make coasters for any time of year!
Step 3: Sew
Stitch the felt heart onto the square using embroidery thread. I recommend using thread with variegated colors for a little extra contrast. A straight stitch is easiest, but if you are up for something a little more snazzy, try a blanket stitch as shown below.
Now your felted sweater coasters are finished and ready to use or give!
We’ve given them to teachers, grandmas, friends – and of course, we’ve kept a few for ourselves too. Here’s one I keep at my desk – made with love by one of my boys!
Have you ever felted old wool sweaters? What have you made with them?
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