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How To Make A Recycled Sweater Blanket With Hexagons

There is a definite nip in the air. Summer has almost gone and it won’t be long before I’ll be putting on the heating. That’s why I decided to sew a new throw for the living room by making a recycled sweater blanket.

Autumn is actually my favourite time of year. Even though I feel energised after recharging my batteries over the summer there is nothing I love more than snuggling up under a blanket in the living room with a hot coffee and planning for all the fabulous coming seasonal celebrations.

Recently I refreshed my mountain of pillows and cushions with some Boho style recycled jeans pillows. To continue with this theme I recycled some old wool sweaters to make a new throw for the living room and I used the denim waistbands leftover from the Boho pillows as the trim.

A Recycled Sweater Blanket With A Splash Of Denim

I’m also a huge fan of hexagon patchwork, therefore, I also incorporated hexies into the design of my recycled throw. This actually involved less sewing than with normal fabric hexagon patchwork as felted wool doesn’t fray so doesn’t need to be hemmed.

Hexagons are a popular shape for crafting and DIY and are an efficient shape for covering a large flat area such as a blanket.

Hexagon upcycled sweater blanket

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What you need to make a Recycled Sweater Blanket

  • 3 to 4 Old wool sweaters- Make sure they are at least 80% wool. If you can get hold of old lambswool or cashmere sweaters, that’s even better as these are lovely and soft. I’m lucky that my family gives me all their old sweaters.
     
    Jumble sales and thrift stores are a great source for wool jumpers/sweaters. How many sweaters you need will depend on the size of the throw you want to make and the size of sweaters once felted.
  • Denim waistbands for the trim – I used about 5 for this upcycled sweater blanket.
  • Quilting hexagon template – The templates come in various sizes. When deciding what size hexagons to use you need to think about 2 things. The larger the hexagons you use the less sewing you will need. However, the smaller the hexagon template the more usable hexagons you will be able to cut from a sweater. I used a 3-inch hexagon template as this size worked well for me.
  • Rotary cutter and cutting board
  • Seam ripper, needle and thread

How to make an Recycled Sweater Blanket

1. The first thing to do is to felt your wool sweaters the way to do this is to put them in a hot wash with soap powder as I did with my mountain sweater pillows.
Old wool sweaters for upcycling into a blanket

2. Cut your felted sweaters up at the seams to open them out to maximise the surface area. Then using the hexagon template and rotary cutter cut out as many felt hexagons as possible from the sweaters.

Cutting felt hexagons from upcycled sweaters
Felted wool hexagons

3. When you have finished cutting out your hexagons pin them together in a row the length of your sweater blanket. Then sew the hexagons together in a long row. You can either use a sewing machine or sew by hand. As felt doesn’t fray you can stitch very close to the edge of the fabric. Sew all your hexagons the same way, so that the recycled sweater blanket will have a distinct front and back.

Hexagon upcycled sweater blanket.

4. To add the denim trim to the blanket, firstly rip open the jeans waistband with a seam ripper. Then open up the waistband, insert the blanket edge and pin the waistband to the blanket. You will end up with a sort of sandwich of denim waistband on the outside and felted wool as the filling. Using a heavy duty needle stitch together and continue until the whole blanket is edged in denim.

Denim trim for recycled sweater blanket
Upcycled sweater blanket made from felted wool jumpers and trimmed with recycled jeans waistbands.

With any left over bits of denim waistbands you can make some cool fabric key fobs.

If you don’t have any old denim to hand or want a different look you can always trim the recycled throw with bias binding. You can either buy this online or make some in a fabric design of your choice.

Or if you love denim and hexagons then check out these patchwork denim hexagon table mats I made.

Full instructions to make a gorgeous hexagon patchwork upcycled sweater blanket complete with recycled denim waistband trim.
Upcycled sweater blanket with denim waistband trim

I’ve already been cozing up under this recycled sweater blanket and love how the denim trim coordinates with the recycled jeans pillows I made the other week. Or you could make some upcycled sweater pillows to match.

Tip alert: When cutting out your hexagons you will have been left with lots of felt scraps. Don’t throw them away you can use them to make some lovely Christmas decorations such as upcycled felt garlands or cookie cutter upcycled Christmas ornaments.

For more repurposing and upcycling sewing projects visit allfreesewing.com.

Best handmade blanket ideas and how to decorate with them - Learn to create beautiful things

Tuesday 24th of December 2019

[…] upcycled old sweater blanket from Claire at pillarboxblue.com is quilted by using the hexagon pattern, and she has a detailed […]

Ronda

Monday 14th of January 2019

was wondering on the back side what you did with the seams....were they sewn down or just left open....any kind of backing? Thank you for the idea, awesome !

Claire Armstrong

Monday 14th of January 2019

With this particular blanket I left the seams as they were on the back. However, in the past I have backed my other blankets with fabric. As most of the wool hexagons on this blanket were cashmere and lovely and soft to the touch even after felting. Therefore,I decided not to back it so that the softness of the blanket could be felt from both sides.

linda

Monday 9th of July 2018

You get Cashmere to felt? I thought it didn't felt.

Claire Armstrong

Monday 9th of July 2018

My cashmere jumpers certainly shrank in the wash enough for me to cut up and use to make the rug. It might not felt as tightly as other wools but enough for this project. The main thing is that you can get it so that it doesn’t unravel when cut. However if it’s a cashmere synthetic blend you may struggle to felt it, but if you can still cut the sweater up without it fraying or unraveling you can still use it.

At Rivercrest Cottage

Friday 16th of February 2018

fantastic creations! Now to go pilfer sweaters from the relatives...

Claire Armstrong

Saturday 17th of February 2018

Thank you. Yes that sounds like a good idea.

15 Creative Ways to Upcycle Old Sweaters | Tip Junkie

Sunday 14th of January 2018

[…] @pillarboxblue […]