03 December 2012

A Pinterest Christmas: Sweater Wreath

For the month of December, I'm thrilled to be participating in A Pinterest Christmas with a group of crafty ladies who have been inspired by projects on Pinterest and turned that (p)inspiration into reality.

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What better way to get the holiday spirit started than by decking the halls? I love a creative, simple wreath and was inspired by this one made from socks.


While I liked the idea, I didn't love the striped socks, so I thought I'd adapt it by covering the foam wreath frame with sweater pieces rather than socks. I ended up adapting it even more. Here's the blow-by-blow on how it went down:

The foam wreath frame at my local craft store cost more than I thought was reasonable for a round piece of foam. Across the aisle, I found a $3 wire wreath frame intended for use with floral arrangements. Sold. I brought it home and used some wire cutters to cut the wire.

Then I made a little tube for it out of some spare fabric (the lining of an old curtain). I basically just cut a big rectangle, sewed the long sides together, and turned it inside out. I slid the fabric tube around the frame.

I filled the tube with fiberfill to my desired firmness, half at a time.

Now that my wreath structure was complete, it was time to pull out the sweater. I found the ugliest sweater at the local thrift store...

...but look at that mossy texture!

It just so happened that the sleeves were about the circumference that I needed for my wreath. So I cut the sleeves into two or three wide strips each and created more sleeve pieces by cutting rough rectangles, sewing the short sides together, and turning them inside out. Let me tell you, I was not at all exact about  this and ended up with a wide variety of "sleeve" sizes! 

Once I had enough, I turned everything the correct way out and loaded them onto my wreath frame.

Then, I used our heavy duty glue gun (the one that lives in the garage rather than the low heat one that lives in my craft space) to glue the frame back together. 

I replaced the fiberfill that had fallen out and pulled the tube closed. I could have put a few stitches or pins in the tube, but it seemed to stay closed on its own.

Then I shifted the sweater sleeve pieces around to fill all of the space. I could have used another sleeve piece or two, but I ran out of sweater! As I went, I overlapped the sleeves and folded the edges under to make them look like wrinkles. 

I thought it was a little too obvious that some sleeve pieces were bigger (looser) than others, so I tightened some pieces and secured others with a few safety pins in the back. I think it made a big difference to the shape of the wreath.

Then, I found some wide ribbon, tied a pretty bow, and hung it on our door.

A few notes before I wrap this up: 

I originally envisioned doing this with a ribbed sweater of some variety. While I still want to attempt that, I think I need to do it when I have more than one sweater of the same pattern because this was rather fabric intensive and would be even more so if trying to get stripes/pattern lines to match up. 

Also I'm undecided as to whether it was "worth it" to skip the expensive foam wreath frame. On one hand, I spent about an hour working out my adaptations; charging myself even minimum wage for the time spent, I only just broke even on what I saved even with the savings on materials. On the other hand, I like how full my wreath appears, so I think I probably would have ended up bulking up a foam wreath frame anyway. 

Thinking about taking on this project? Feel free to leave questions in the comments, and I'd love for you to comment with a link to any wreaths you make inspired by mine. 

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Ready for some more (p)inspiration? Check out these ladies this week and throughout the month of December:




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