Upcycled Projects – Part 1

Upcycled Projects – Part 1

I have been inspired by a few people to do some upcycle sewing.  My step-mom, Lynn, showed me a bunch of wool sweaters that she felted and talked about the things she was going to make with them.  I went home and started googling things like upcycling sweaters, felting sweaters and found tons of cool ideas in many different areas.

My favorite find was pallets for the garden.

I was also inspired by the Vaters at Christmas time.  Our art exchange theme was “container” and there were a few upcycled items – deck material made into a bird house and also a planter, a feed sack made into a tote bag and a watercolor painted container made from an oatmeal box.

Art exchange bird house from deck material Art exchange Planter from deck material Art exchange tote from feed sack Art exchange Watercolor decorated box from oatmeal box

Those ideas lead our family to decide to agree on  a “upcycle” theme for our 2013 art exchange.

My other inspirations came from  Prudent Baby, a blog I follow.

My first completed project:

I had this older style ring sling that I never used before because I couldn’t get  it to work for me.  The reason was that the design and baby position is unsafe and wrong!  For some reason I was saving it.  When I needed a pair of ring slings for a kid’s sling I cut this baby apart. I still have the fabric and may find something to make out of it.

old style ring sling   ring sling for Kale

Other projects:

I bought this sweater at Goodwill with the intention of making baby legs out of it.  The pattern was so cute on the sweater that I had to use the whole thing.

 kid's sweater    upcycled sweater to Nola Mae size

Another shirt I found at Goodwill.  I wanted to try to make pants out of the legs for Nola Mae.  After inspecting the collar and sewing the collar inward, the neckline would fit Nola Mae.  Which was perfect, I am not sure how I would alter a collar.

women's shirt

These pants turned out very easy to make and they look and seem comfortable to her.  I wish I could have a pair of my own.

Upcycled pants from arms of shirt  Upcycled outfit from a woman's shirt

I got the pattern/idea from here:  http://prudentbaby.com/2011/03/baby-kid/diy-recycled-sweater-pants-2/



I found this awesome wool sweater early this winter at my favorite thrift store in Marion for $1!  My intention was to felt it and make some soft toy for Nola Mae.  I tried it on before felting and it fit me.  I wore it for skiing almost every day.  I always washed it in a cold and gentle cycle and laid it flat to dry.  The sweater slowly got smaller, you can see how much my tank top is showing at my waist.  Once skiing was over I felted it.  Last week I chopped the arm up and made these fingerless gloves.

wool skiing sweater  Upcycled sweater fingerless gloves

A friend posted on Facebook that she had some wool clothing that would be good for a repurposing project.  I jumped on it without knowing what they looked like.  I wasn’t sure what I would do with them.  At the time these things arrived at my house I had started to search for Christmas ornament ideas.

Plaid coat  plaid wool coat

plaid wool skirt

I made some heart-shaped ornaments.

upcylced heart ornament 1

upcylced heart ornament 3    upcylced heart ornament 2

And Christmas tree shaped ornaments.

Upcycled Christmas tree ornaments 1

And a liner for my egg basket.

     upcycled to egg basket  upcycled to egg basket filled

Technically the only upcycled item in these photos is Robbie’s red cape.  It was a curtain that I found at Goodwill.  The other two boys’ capes were made out of fabric I bought at St. Vincent de Paul’s (my second favorite thrift store).

Upcylced capes 2  upclcyled capes 1

What have you upcycled?

I have many other ideas for upcycling and hope to have a Part 2 post (maybe this summer).  I needed to post this shortly after my Winter of Sewing (2013) because these things were also completed during the winter.

12 responses

  1. Pingback: Winter of Sewing (2013) | Life with three boys!

  2. That sweater outfit for Nola is SUPER cute! And I’m so happy those old wool items have found a better purpose than taking up space in my closet 🙂 Thanks for sharing!!

      • We should compare lists, because I too have too many ideas to keep up with! We still need to make a sewing date…how long have we been talking about that?

  3. Jenny, I love the way Nola Mae’s outfits came out! When you sent the first email with the photos, I knew we’d created a monster. There just aren’t enough hours in the day to keep up with these projects. (I believe my worst fault is not finishing the projects I’ve started. My basement is a testament to that. As you mentioned, I am still thinking about the felted wool project.) Sheryl and I have often talked about a crafting weekend where we could work on projects together. It would be great fun, but not certain how much work would really be done. 🙂 Your work is inspiring.

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