noelle o designs

creativity + sewing + upcycling inspiration

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making wooly, felted wreaths


I’ve had the idea of a felted wool wreath rolling around in my head, and scattered around my sewing room for a few weeks now. In the wee hours of the night I put the last stitch into place and here she is.


For a project like this you will need to make a trip through your local thrift store or your mending pile or your grandma’s house… What you are looking for is 100% wool sweaters (or very close to it) and this is harder than you would think to find. After searching and checking tags on hundreds of sweaters, I found only a few that fit the wool criteria and were good bright colors I liked.

I took all tags off, added a few other sweaters that I’ve been saving up and tossed them all into the washing machine.


I set the washing machine to ‘sanitize’ because that was the longest, hottest cycle the machine has.


This is what they looked like after a couple of washes- baby sweaters. In hindsight, I think I could have only washed the sweaters once and gotten a good felted result. I got a little overzealous and kept on washing. The more pure the wool the better the wool felts when you wash it. The orange sweater in the picture was kind of experimental, I liked the color but it wasn’t 100% wool (95% or so with something synthetic as the 5%) but I tried it anyway. It took a lot more washes to really felt up, I think I washed it 5 times on the super hot cycle.


And here the sweaters are now, keeping themselves, the door and the foam on the inside of the wreath warm, and of course looking cute.

There are many ways you could go about a project like this, after cutting up the sweaters:
– piece them together using a zig-zag stitch on the sewing machine, top stitch with embroidery floss (pictured above).
– no-sew method- wrap strips of felted wool around a styrofoam wreath form (or other shape like a Christmas tree) pinning or hot gluing the wool into place.
-cut the wool into shapes (such as circles, bows, flowers) and glue or pin the shapes to a wreath form or another finished wreath that needs some jazzing up.

I’d like to try making these wooly wonders too:

(source)

(source)

7 Comments

  1. thorne garnet

    December 10, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    I’ve got a draw full of felted sweater( I felted them on purpose) now I know what to do with them.

    1. NoelleOlpin

      December 12, 2012 at 11:01 am

      I would like to see that drawer… and what you make with them!

  2. kalamitykelli

    December 10, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    That is beautiful! I had to pin it – I love royal blue and emerald green together. If I ever find wool sweaters in those two colors, I swear I’m going to try my hand at this – I just LOVE how it looks!

    1. NoelleOlpin

      December 12, 2012 at 11:00 am

      I have found that picking up 100% wool sweaters along the way is a better idea than hitting the thrift store just once- and crossing your fingers for the right colors, especially if you need royal blue and emerald together. Sounds gorgeous!

      1. kalamitykelli

        December 12, 2012 at 5:44 pm

        Thank you for the tip! I love those two colors together – I guess I’m stuck in the 70’s huh? 🙂

  3. cuteasabutton82

    December 17, 2012 at 11:08 am

    Oh wow! That’s amazing! I’ve had the same trouble finding 100% wool jumpers before – I think looking fairly often is the answer so that there’s always a good stack of felt waiting when inspiration strikes!

    1. NoelleOlpin

      December 18, 2012 at 9:03 am

      Really great colors are especially hard to find, so if you’re stopping by the thrift store anyway… make a pass on the sweater rack too!

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