7 Holiday Decorations from Upcycled Sweaters

recycled sweater Christmas trees from Sweater Surgery
Recycled Sweater Christmas Trees from Sweater Surgery

1. Sweater Christmas Trees

Circles in a range of sizes, cut from any type of sweater, are stacked and wired in order to create the stacked sweater Christmas trees from The Long Thread. If you don’t have the patience for the cutting and stacking, however, check out the recycled sweater and cardboard cone Christmas trees from Sweater Surgery for a quicker project that also has interesting dimensions. And if you prefer garlands to tabletop displays, try the whimsical tree garland tutorial from Tatertots and Jello.

Although sweater Christmas trees are cute no matter what color they are, I like to overdye the upcycled wool so that all my trees reflect an evergreen shade.

Christmas stockings made from felted wool sweaters
Christmas stockings made from felted wool sweaters

2. Sweater Stocking

A large piece of both the front and back of a sweater (or mixed-and-matched for a patchwork look), cut using your own hand-drawn template and sewn together, make these felted wool sweater stockings. Although I used felted wool sweaters for this tutorial, because I like the sturdiness and heft that felting lends to the stockings, you can, if you’d rather, leave the wool sweater unfelted, or choose cotton or acrylic sweaters, for stretchy stockings. Stretchy stockings hold more presents!

New to felting? Check out my tutorial on felting wool sweaters to learn everything that you need to know.

3. Sweater Advent Calendar

Sweater scraps, buttoned and be-ribboned, are strung on a garland for an upcycled sweater Advent calendar that contains pockets to hold small sweets or paper notes. Although you can use any type of sweater for this project, you’ll be sewing through it, so choose your sweater with that in mind.

recycled sweater monogram ornament from Craft Buds
Recycled Sweater Monogram Ornament from Craft Buds

4. Sweater Monogram Ornament

Soft and comfy-looking scraps of sweater, cut to an alphabet template (included with the tutorial!), make the sweater monogram ornament from Craft Buds. Although the project is a no-sew one, if you’re as addicted to your sewing machine as I am, you could easily top stitch the ornament instead of using hot glue.

5. Felted Wool Sweater Wreath

Small scraps of felted wool sweaters are cut with a circle template and pieced onto an upcycled wire coat hanger in this felted wool sweater wreath from recovergirl. Or, if you prefer square scraps over circles, check out this square version from Cottage Life.

recycled sweater snowman from Crafts and Sutch
Recycled Sweater Snowman from Crafts and Sutch

6. Miniature Sweater Ornament

It’s a sweater made from a sweater! This recycled miniature sweater ornament tutorial from Restyled Junk includes a pdf template and instructions for easy sewing. Thicker sweaters will work best for this project, so that the miniature sweater looks as plush and fluffy as possible.

7. Sweater Snowman

A white or cream sweater sleeve, some fiberfill (or crumpled newspaper), and ribbon make the recycled sweater snowman from Crafts and Sutch.

So here’s my question for you: what upcycled sweater material will you consent to craft with? Will you not touch wool at any price? Does the texture of acrylic yarn make you gag? Or will recycle anything, no matter its provenance? Tell me in the Comments below, so that I know which types of sweaters we’ll be fighting over at the next thrift store sale day.

Written by Julie Finn

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now.

Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life; my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties; and my for links to articles about poverty, educational politics, and this famous cat who lives in my neighborhood.

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