Hello everybody! It’s that time of year again when family is all together, children are giddy with excitement for Christmas morning, and your wallet is eternally empty. According to study, the average American usually spends upwards of 600$ every year on not only gifts but also decorations for the house. Well, I’m here with the help of Goodwill to save you those extra dollars without sacrificing the holiday spirit of your home!
Turning sweaters into wreaths has become a new obsession for me. They are cheap, unique, and easy to make for literally any holiday. The main part of this tutorial is how to cut and wrap your wreath, because once you have the base of your wreath made, your imagination can run wild with how you want to decorate it. I used items that I had around my house and you can do the same!
Main supplies needed:
1) Sweater in a color you want for the wreath
2) Straw wreath (mine is a 16in from Michaels)
3) Fabric scissors
4) Glue gun with LOTS of sticks
Decorating Supplies I used:
1) Goodwill festive table cloth I have used for other projects
2) Dollar Tree Christmas flowers
3) Ribbon (not shown)
In total this project cost me under 10$ - The biggest expense being the wreath which was about 6$ of the budget. The sweater only cost me a buck because I went on a Sunday and searched the rack for the colored tag of the day. One thing to look for when you are choosing a sweater is to make sure it isn’t a cropped style sweater and that the knitting isn’t extremely loose. You need enough material to cover an entire wreath, so the larger the sweater, the better.
The first thing you are going to want to do is deconstruct your sweater. Cut up the side seems, remove the sleeves, and cut across the shoulder seems. This will make working with the sweater so much easier and also make your cuts a lot more even. If you have a sweater that is similar in size to the one I used, you can set aside the sleeves, I had just enough material that I did not need to use them.
PRO TIP: If you can avoid cutting your sweater on carpet, please do. I still have red fluffy pieces all over the floor of my craft room.
Next, cut your sweater into 2-3 inch strips. This is NOT an exact science, you don’t need a ruler, just your eyeball estimation. You want to cut the sweater length wise and not across the knits. Some pieces will be longer than others, and that is completely fine. At this time, cut off any of the rough looking hems or tags.
Go ahead now and grab your wreath. It is more than likely covered in plastic wrap, and I actually keep it that way. Call me crazy but I feel like it minimizes those straw pieces from poking out and making a mess. What I do though to help with the integrity of the wreath is just tear a couple holes in the back of the plastic that I’ll use throughout the project to glue the sweater strips to. That way I am not only gluing to the plastic wrap but also to the wreath itself.
Before we move onto step 4, I want to make a few key points to help with the gluing portion of this project. There is a designated back side to the project. All gluing will be done on one side. Also, please note the RIGHT and WRONG side of the fabric strips. Be sure to stay consistent with which side you are using, because even though they look similar, the stitching is different. If you make a mistake on one of the strips, it isn’t a lost cause, but I do try and be consistent.
Starting with one of the holes you ripped into the plastic on the BACK of the wreath, squeeze a generous amount of glue onto the wreath with your glue gun and stick your first fabric strip to it.
Wrap your fabric strip snuggly around your wreath form, making sure to end the wrap in the BACK. Add another generous portion of glue and stick it into place.
Glue the next piece of fabric where the other ended and repeat steps 4 and 5 until you have made it all the way around your wreath form.
Here is what the finished product should look like on the front and the back. I always go around and clean up any of those pesky hot glue gun spider webs that seem to be everywhere when you do a project like this.
Now it is time to decorate!! I’m going to show you what I did, but like I said in the beginning, you can let your creative side shine and do whatever you please. Just to give you a little inspiration, here’s a few ideas:
- Wrap your wreath with beads
- Get a battery powered string of Christmas lights
- Create felt flowers and glue them around your project.
To make this project as user friendly as possible, I decided not to use my sewing machine to make this bow, but if you have one, go ahead and bust that baby out because I find that to be a lot easier than the ‘no-sew’ way.
Use a piece of computer paper or construction paper as a pattern and cut your fabric into a 8.5” by 11” rectangle.
I HATE raw edges, so to get rid of them, use fabric glue or your hot glue gun to fold in the edges to the wrong side of your fabric.
Fold the fabric ‘hamburger style’ so that the wrong side of the fabric is together, then glue down all 3 sides. You should now have a rectangle of fabric.
Cut a piece of ribbon about an inch and a half long and set it aside
Accordion fold your rectangle so that it takes on the shape of a bow
Wrap your ribbon around the center of the bow to hold the accordion fold in place and glue to the designated back side of the bow, cutting off any excess ribbon.
The tails to this bow were an afterthought and are completely optional. I just thought it added a little extra flair to the bow and since the table cloth I used had a cute ruffle bottom, it was easy to do. I simply cut two pieces of fabric in a triangle shape, using the existing hems to my advantage.
Fold the triangle cuts into a cone shape and glue the seam closed. Then glue them to the back of your bow.
Take your Christmas flowers and pop them off of the stems. This is the reason dollar store flowers work the best, because they require 0 effort to remove. Many of the more expensive flowers from Michaels or Jo-Ann’s require wire snippers and do not glue to projects well.
Arrange your bow and flowers in any position your like and glue them into place!
The last step of course is to enjoy your brand new wreath!