How to Make a Felt Rug Out of Recycled Sweaters

Upcycle Sweaters Into A Gorgeous DIY Felt Rug

I do love a quick DIY and craft but equally, sometimes I like to take it slow. That’s what I did with this DIY felt rug.
 
It can be really satisfying to take your time in making something and seeing it gradually blossom into a gorgeous finished product. That way you also get to enjoy the actual therapeutic art of crafting as well as the results.
 
What I’m trying to say that this rug took me ages to make but it was fun and I really enjoyed making it!
 
It all started when my Mum turned up at Christmas not only laden with presents but a bag full of old wool sweaters in gorgeous colours for my upcycling stash. To me, this pile of jumpers in pinks, reds, and purples was actually the best present.
 
As I had quite a few sweaters (5) I decided to recycle them into a DIY felt rug. Especially as all the colours blended well together.
 
I didn’t actually measure how long the rug took to make as I did it in dribs and drabs over a couple of weeks. But I would say I probably spent approx 10 hours on it.
 
It was easy to make the rug in small chunks at a time. Also, the method I used was pretty straightforward. So I was able to multi-task by catching up on some box set tv shows at the same time. Mind you it had to be gentle tv, something like “Call The Midwife” nothing that required too much concentration or anything with subtitles.
 
 
Pink Red rug made from old sweaters
 
 
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What you need to make a felt rug

 

How to make a sweater felt rug

  1. The first thing I did was felt the sweaters by putting them in a hot wash in the washing machine. Like I did with my sweater mountain cushion.
  2.  

  3. Next, I cut the felt up into strips about 7mm wide. I used a cutting mat a metal ruler and rotary cutter to ensure that all the strips of felt were even. This was probably the most time-consuming part of the craft. As well as the sweaters I had felted I added strips of felt from my bag of scraps to this pile.
     
    Rotary cutter mat felt strips
     
  4.  

  5. Note you can make the strips thinner or wider, but whatever size you choose that will be the thickness of your rug. If you are a bit short on felt then if you go for 5mm strips you will, of course, get more strips from the sweater. So you will be able to make a bigger rug. Whatever thickness you choose, be consistent so all the felt strips will be the same size.
     
    To make things easier, the felt strips were sorted into different coloured piles.
     
    7mm strips of sweater felt in red and purple
     
  6.  

  7. The next bit is the fun part. To start with paste one side of a felt strip with fabric glue and roll it up into a spiral. Then get another strip of felt in a different colour cover it in fabric glue and wrap it around the felt spiral. You can use pins to keep the ends in place as the glue drys.
     
    quilling felt strips for DIY felt rug
     
    Quilling sweater felt for a DIY rug
     
  8.  

  9. Carry on adding strips of felt to the spiral and it will slowly get bigger and bigger. There is no set pattern or order of colour to add the felt. I think it looks good to create different sized rings of different coloured felt in a random way. That is a personal preference I’m not into symmetry. But if you like symmetry then perhaps you may want to be more specific in the colours and lengths of felt strips you add.
     
    Felt quills for a DIY felt rug
     
  10.  

  11. These felt spiral mats form the bases of the felt rug. The more you make the larger the final rug will be. If you want you can just make one giant felt spiral and have a large round rug.
     
    However, that wasn’t the look I was going for so I made several of these felt spiral mats in different sizes and some were perfect circles others were more oblong.
     
    For the next part, you will want to join these rug mats together to make one large rug. I found that it was better to use a hot glue gun for this stage.
     
    felt rug mats
     
  12.  

  13. Lay the felt mats out in the arrangement that you would like. There will be some big gaps in between where the circular mats join. I just made some smaller spiral felt shapes to fill these gaps.
     
    Once you are sure of the layout. Stick the mats together with hot glue. As this glue dries very quickly it is easy to hold the shapes together the way you want them as the glue dries.
     Using glue gun to glue felt mats together
     
  14.  

  15. When all the mats were stuck together. Wrap strips of felt around the outside of the whole shape. Again using a hot glue gun to stick the felt down. Carry on until you either run out of felt strips or a rug the size you want.
     
  16.  

  17. To finish off, tidy up the rug, by picking off any glue threads from the top.
     
    DIY felt rug from recycled sweaters

 
 

TOP TIPS

The glue can make the rug a bit stiff, for a softer feel leave the top 2-3mm of each felt strip glue free as you stick them this will give the rug a softer feel underfoot.
 
One of the good things about this rug is that the way it is designed it is possible to add to it at a later date if you want to make it bigger or if you get some more felt sweaters.
 
I used the equivalent of about 5 sweaters for this rug. However, that didn’t include the arms as I was saving them for a future recycled sweater project (watch this space).
 
Sweater felt rug in pinks and red
 
 
I’m so pleased with my new rug, the colours just look gorgeous together and really go well with my decor. I’m sure I will be adding to it at a later date when my mum hands me her next pile of old sweaters.
 
Sweater felt rug in lounge
 

DIy felt rug

 
This isn’t the first rug I have made you should check out the denim rug I made last month. This again was a no-sew DIY rug.
 
 
Also if you have any tiny pieces of felt left over, don’t chuck them out use them to make a gorgeous felt garland.
 
Upcycled Sweater Felt Garlands
 
 

70 Responses

  1. “Hello Claire. Great tutorial 🙂 I especially like your idea of using recycled sweaters. Have included it in our Crafty Like Granny weekly Craft roundup. I’m sure our readers will love it! https://craftylikegranny.com/crafting-happiness/ Cheers Jodie 🙂
     “

  2. I absolutely adore this and I am seriously wondering if I could make something even half as nice myself. Our eco-gite (eco-friendly holiday cottage) needs a new rug and I have only either found ones that are too thin/small or the wrong colours or too big or perfect but way too expensive. I am now feeling inspired!

    A fabulous post to add to #GoingGreen and I hope you’ll be able to join in with the next linky when it opens on Easter Monday. Happy Easter!

  3. […] Chunky Wool Rug by Pretty Providence Crocheted Rag Rug by Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom Recycled Sweater Rug by Pillar Box Blue Carpet Sample Rug by Diva of DIY Painted Seagrass Patio Rug by Small Home Soul […]

  4. This is a piece of art. Wow!!!

  5. LOVE this rug!! It looks so amazing. Can this rug be washed since it is glued together?
    thanks for sharing this beautiful project
    Kathy

    • Hi Kathy, thank you. Yes, it can be washed with cool water even though it is glued. Fabric glue is washable.

  6. I love this!! So beautiful!

  7. this is a great utilization of old sweaters. and its pretty amazing that you are recycling the old things to make such cool stuff

  8. This is so pretty and amazing! I love that you used old sweaters. Great recycle project.
    Maria

  9. […] Felt Sweater Rug from Pillar Box Blue […]

  10. This is SO incredible!! I can’t believe this is all made from sweaters! Thanks for sharing with Merry Monday this week 🙂

  11. […] I knew I'd hook you with that one. To get the details, head over to Pillar Box Blue. […]

  12. I am so in love with the color! And I agree on one of the comments here, it looked like something that could be hung on the wall.

  13. […] Felt Rug from Recycled Sweaters – Pillar Box Blue […]

  14. […] Felt Rug from Recycled Sweaters – Pillar Box Blue […]

  15. This is stunning! I love that you can add to it in the future. Thanks for sharing at #HomeMattersParty

  16. It’s 8.30am… catching up with everyone’s posts… drinking coffee… then open this post… then eyes pop… intrigued… keep scrolling… missed something…. go back… re-read…. oh so that’s how you glue them together…. WOW! An eye opener that you can recycle soooo much (I wish we lived nearby, I could probably be your continuous source of recycling material!

    • Thank you, Jenny. I hate waste especially when it’s been something lovely and once loved like a bright coloured soft jumper. That’s why I love to repurpose stuff and bring it back to life once again.

  17. […] Upcycle Sweaters Into A Gorgeous DIY Felt Rug from Claire @ APillar Box Blue […]

  18. wow, that is awesome. i love quilling, and have never seen it as a rug before!
    b

  19. Absolutely gorgeous, it looks a bit Kandinsky – esk to me and I’m a big fan so that’s a good thing!
    I love the fact that this is such a versatile idea, different colours, different size circles and the look could be totally different.

    • Yes, you can even add to it at a later date. I’m currently saving all my blue jumpers for a blue version. Thank you!

  20. Great tutorial. Thanks for sharing it with us at the Waste Not Wednesday link party. Can’t wait to see what you are up to this week.

  21. […] Upcycle Sweaters Into A Gorgeous DIY Rug – Pillarbox Blue […]

  22. Wow that’s so creative, what a fabulous idea. I’d never think to do that! And you’ve got to love a bit of Call the Midwife 😉 #HomeEtc

  23. So creative, Claire! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm!

  24. Such a fabulous idea Claire!!! Would never have thought to use old sweaters this way! Turned out so beautiful!

  25. WOW WOW WOW Claire another truly unique project that looks amazing! thanks so much for sharing on craft schooling sunday!

  26. Do you find that you always have the materials lying around to embark on a project or do you find bits and pieces at second hand/jumble sales etc? I’m so in awe of your creativity and wondering if I could put my no longer needed things to better use. Thank you for sharing with #HOmeETc X

    • Hi Lins, I keep all old jeans, wool sweaters and maps for repurposing. My family knows I love to craft with these things so they also hand me their cast offs. I also can’t walk past a skip without looking in. I very rarely need to go to a jumble sale. I just stash it in my loft until I feel inspired.

  27. You are so clever! This rug is fab

  28. This is gorgeous. It reminds me of the growth rings you see in bark when a tree is cut down. Great job! #handmademonday

  29. I love it! This is so colourful and creative. What a great project.

  30. Oh my gosh this rug looks trylly amaizng !!! I love it so much

  31. I’d never have thought of using sweaters in this way. Very clever.

    • Thsnk you, Stacey. I’m always looking for new ways to use old sweaters.

  32. This is an awesome idea! The colours look so great together and it looks easy to do. Or you make it seem easy, which is slightly different. 😉

  33. This little boho gypsy heart of mine is doing a wild woman dance right now Claire. I LOVE your sweater rug so much. All those glorious colors and mad little swirls are too perfect.

    • Thank you Michelle, I did get a bit carried away with the swirls.

  34. That is stunning! You have such talent. I am inspired

  35. BEAUTIFUL!!

  36. I LOVE your rug! Pinning.

  37. Oh, this rug is absolutely gorgeous. I adore repurposed craft projects and you have definitely hit this one outta the park! Thanks so much for sharing at the This Is How We Roll Link Party.

    • Thank you Susan. Repurposed crafts are my favourite, and there are so many wonderful things you can make from old sweaters.

  38. Wow, cool project! I’m sure this was very time-consuming but well worth the effort.

    • Thank you, Victoria. It was a slow craft but can be done in stages so very manageable.

  39. I love this!! Do you think parts of it could be sewn instead of all the glueing?

    • Thank you! I don’t know you could try and sew it. I just decided to glue it as I thought it would be easier and I have had great success with gluing felt before.

  40. Love the colors of your rug! Did you also make the blanket hanging off the couch in the photo??? I love it!

  41. Claire, that rug is a piece of art! I think I would have hung it on a wall. Always love your projects.

  42. you’ve wowed me again, Claire. This is absolutely amazing! How beautiful.

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