How To Make A Recycled Sweater Blanket With Hexagons

A Recycled Sweater Blanket With A Splash Of Denim

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 left over from the Boho pillows as the trim.

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.

Hexagon upcycled sweater blanket

This post contains Amazon affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to see my disclosure policy.

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.

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.

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.

DIY recycled sweater blanket with denim


44 Responses

  1. 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 !

    • 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.

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

    • 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.

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

  4. […] to neaten up the edges of the denim rug. Use 2 waistbands as binding, like I did with my recycled sweater blanket.   Firstly, split the denim waistband open at the seams.   […]

  5. […] and family also hand me their old wool sweaters to repurpose. A couple of weeks ago I made a lovely soft recycled sweater blanket and then out of the scraps some gorgeous felt flowers for a wreath.   I still had a pile of […]

  6. This is so beautiful and just shows what can be made from the things so many would simply chuck away. There is no need to buy new when you can make new thus saving rubbish from landfill and making something beautiful and functional with minimal new resources or energy. #GoingGreen

    • Thanks, Rosie. It’s actually really soft and cozy which is lovely to sit under now there is a nip in the air.

  7. Very clever, Claire!!! Never in a million years would I have thought to combine old sweaters with the waistbands of denim jeans. Sandwiching the sewn hexies in the opened waistbands makes for an eye catching finish, but easy to sew at the same time.

    • Thank you, Pam. I’m always looking for new ways to recycle jeans and I love to use the waistbands whenever I can. The blanket is lovely and soft, real cozy.

  8. Do you have a pattern for using old shirts and ties to make a pillow. My husband passed away 5 years ago and I still have a few shirt and ties that I would like to make my two daughters a pillow of remembrance of the daddy. Just hit me – I could use some of his jeans to make the jean wreath also. Thank you so much

    • Sorry I don’t have a pattern but I’m sure the shirts and ties would look great as a striped patchwork for a pillow and would make a lovely remembrance pillow. Thank you.

  9. What a great way to use up old clothing. #HomeEtc

  10. I wouldn’t even know where to begin but you make it look so easy! Thank you so much for linking up to #HomeEtc X

  11. Your recycled sweater blanket looks so cozy and soft. Such a great way to recycle old sweaters and denim. Thank you for sharing at Snickerdoodle. I am featuring your blanket this week at the party. Pinning

  12. […] Christina’s Pick – How To Make a Recycled Sweater Blanket With Hexagons […]

  13. Your blankie looks so comfy and I would have to play rock, paper, scissors with my granddaughter to see would get to snuggle under it. Thank you for sharing with us this week at Celebrate Your Story, and I hope your week is going great.

    • Thank you Sandra. No Rock Paper Scissors here, it’s my blanket so I get first dibs.

  14. Even I do not know how to sew I admire your work and the final result is gorgeous!!! This is going to be my feature for Sweet Inspiration Link Party #75 🙂

  15. I’ve been working with old felted jumpers this week too – I’ve been amazed the difference in size that they can turn out! This blanket looks gorgeous, so cosy.

    • Thanks. Yes it depends on the wool, my favourite jumpers to felt are cashmere and lambswool as they remain really soft.

  16. I’m going to run out of denims soon Claire after trying out all your crafts. I love how you finished off this blanket, the trim looks so cool

    • Thank you, Michelle. I have a plentiful supply of old jeans so many more denim projects to come.

  17. This blanket looks so cozy and warm and like you our air is starting to have a bite to the wind again. This would be a nice rugged blanket to keep in the car for trips.

    • Thank you, Leanna. As most of the jumpers used to make it were cashmere or lambswool it is super soft and cozy.

  18. I love your denim project Claire and I love this blanket

  19. You find so many creative ways to use denim, Claire! Thank you for sharing @Vintage Charm!

  20. This is total genius. I love the look of the sweaters sewn as hexies, but what really gets me is the waistband binding! Seriously, that is such a great idea and I love how it looks! Amazing! 🙂 Lisa

    • Thank you Lisa. I just couldn’t resist adding the denim and the blanket is so soft and cozy.

  21. […] Ooh here’s another recycled sweater blanket but this one looks totally different to that last one. I LOVE the hexagons and that denim trim! (via Pillar Box Blue) […]


  23. Claire…you kill me!! Your mind never stops does it? That blanket is so fantastic and what a great way to upcycle old sweaters and jeans. As alwasy…Well Done My Friend!

    Hugs, Lynn

    • Thank you, Lynn. No my mind doesn’t stop, too many things I want to make that’s why I started blogging so I’d have an outlet for all my creations.

  24. Love how you have bound the quilt with denim waistbands – brilliant idea:) Dare I admit I’ve been throwing them away – I thought my sewing machine would have a tantrum if it was asked to sew through the denim waistbands but no more, my walking foot is my new best friend – result:) It makes such a difference when sewing layers of denim. Enjoy snuggling under your cozy blanket Claire.

    • Thank you, Vicky. I know denim seams and waistbands aren’t the easiest things to sew but to me they are the most interesting part of a Recycled jean so worth perserfering with. I have got some no sew demon projects come soon for them too!

  25. Love the look of the denim used to edge your quilt! So creative!

  26. You are so talented Claire! I love the hexagons (reminds me of my grandma’s quilts) and the colors you used are beautiful together. The other day I was getting a pile of old clothes together for donation and couldn’t part with a pair of wide legged trouser jeans. They are in great shape but don’t fit. You inspire me to try making something from denim 🙂

    • Thank you, Toni. Hang on to those jeans and watch this space as there will be more denim projects coming soon.

Leave a comment