Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Ideas for Recycling Old Sweatshirts

Old sweatshirts can be inspiration for new crafts. Useful and beautiful household items can be made from discarded sweatshirts. Launder them and cut them open at the seams to yield flat pieces of fabric for your crafting pleasure. Discard worn ribbing and cut out any stains. Save old sweatshirt pieces until you have a stash from which you can choose for crafting purposes. If you have no old sweatshirts, go to a local thrift store and find some. Extra-large men's shirts give you the most fabric for your money.

Blanket or Throw
Cut squares and rectangles from several sweatshirts in coordinating colors. Cut sleeves open at the underarm seam and lay flat to cut. If the sweatshirt has a logo or picture, center it on one of the squares. Arrange rectangles to make a blanket-sized piece and sew together like a patchwork quilt. The seams will not ravel, so there is no need to line the blanket unless extra warmth is desired. Bind the edges with wide bias tape for extra durability. If you have several large sweatshirts from the same college, use them to make a stadium blanket for football season or a picnic blanket for tailgate parties.
Braided or Crocheted Rug
Cut old sweatshirts into long strips, about two inches wide for a braided rug or one inch wide for a crocheted rug. Sew ends of strips together and roll strips into balls like yarn. Braid a rug using 3 balls of fabric strips. Coil braid and lace into a round or oval shape until rug is desired size. Crochet a rug using one ball of fabric strips and a size "P" or "Q" plastic crochet hook. Crochet in rows to make a rectangular rug or in rounds for a circular or oval rug. 100% cotton sweatshirts make absorbent bath mats as well. Craft stores sell non-slip backing for rugs, which can be applied to the finished project.
Baby Bibs

Children's sweatshirts or the sleeves of adult sweatshirts yield enough fabric for baby bibs. Use an existing bib to trace a pattern. Cut two fabric bib shapes for each bib. Place wrong sides together, pin, and sew seam binding around the edges, leaving enough binding at back edges to tie in a bow at the back of neck. Alternatively, use a bib pattern that overlaps in the back and use a snap or hook-and-loop closure. Bibs are another opportunity to recycle the school or team logo on a sweatshirt-use the logo centered in the front of bib.