Upcycling for the Non-Crafter

I often hear “I don’t have a creative bone in my body” or “My brain just doesn’t think that way”.  Oh yes you do and yes it does.  You’re just tackling the wrong projects that inhibit rather than unleash your potential.  You are not a non-crafter!

No? Ok.  Well, here is a super duper easy peasy craft you can make and a give as gifts for the holidays.  Still have doubts? Can you operate a washing machine? Can you operate a pair of scissors? Then you’re good to go.

You will be repurposing a wool sweater into coasters.  Yes these really do work.  First, you will felt the sweater.  And, chances are you’ve already done this.  Ever shrink a sweater in the wash and then dryer? Congratulations! You’re a wool felter.  Back to why they work – the felted wool acts as a thick, dense mat of fiber that repels water and insulates.  An added bonus, says my husband, is that they don’t stick to the bottom of your glass when you raise it.



Haven’t ultra shrunk a sweater? I bet you know someone who has a thick (and thick, heavy 100% wool being critical here) sweater that they never wear.  Maybe they’d loan it to you in return for some coasters.  Anyway, put that sweater in a washing machine with BOILING water (I just add a couple of pots as the machine fills) and wash on high agitation.  Then, put it in the dryer on the highest heat.  Voila!

Now, cut out circles or rectangles or whatever shape you want your coasters to be.  That’s it! No sewing involved.  The sweater might felt very thickly, so you may need to use a good pair of scissors or even a utility knife.  If you do use a utility knife, you might want to score the fiber first, and then repeat until you’ve cut through.  If the coasters don’t lay flat, iron them on high heat with steam.

But what about the edges you ask? Won’t they fray? Nope.  Another fabulous trait of felted wool is that once cut it resists fraying.

So…make sure the sweater is 100% wool, says ‘dry clean only’ or at least that you should wash it by hand and air dry, and is rather heavy.  This will give you a thick mat of fiber.  Get a pot or two of boiling water going before you start the washing machine and add it to your wash as it fills.  Dry in the dryer.  Easy.

Ta-da! You’re so crafty.

Don’t have the time but like the idea? I have some for sale in my Etsy shop.

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