Instructables

Super Sweater Snake!

Picture of Super Sweater Snake!
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This is a fun funky snake made of sleeves from recycled wool sweaters. It can be whatever length you want, this one was about 5 ft. It was a xmas gift for a 2 1/2 year old, and he loves it--plays with it, sleeps with it, uses it as a pillow... It doesn't take that long to make, and some really basic sewing skills, for a cool, handmade looking result.
 
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Step 1: Collect your raw materials

For this project you'll need multiple old sweaters. Preferably 100% wool, dry clean only (they'll felt the best). This is the sweater haul from a local thrift store one day*. For this project I used the one with the orange stripe, and the two in the middle (green with designs and dark purple with designs). You want the sleeve of the sweaters to be approximately the same size in diameter so they meet up well. Minus a few inches for seaming and cutting off the cuffs, the number of sweaters you use will determine the length of the snake. For this one, which is under 5 feet, i used 4 full sleeves and 2 partial sleeves.

Wash all the sweaters in hot water with a little soap, and dry in the dryer (since different sweaters shrink at different rates, check on them while still damp and if any are shrinking more significantly that the others, take out and stretch out, then air dry). They don't have to felt perfectly for this project, since you'll be stiching them up, but it will help if they felt nicely.

You'll also need:
Thread or embroidery floss
Something to stitch with (your hands or I prefer a sewing machine)
2 Buttons for eyes
Tongue felt - Either use a piece of one of your sweaters (if they felt tightly) or felt square from the craft store. You'll just need a piece about 1" x 2-3"
Stuffing - recycled from old pillows or bought new. And a handful of cedar shaving will help prevent moth holes later.

(*the other sweaters have been used for other projects, see [http://http://dabbled.blogspot.com/search/label/recycled%20sweaters dabbled.blogspot.com])
Your cool snake was just what I needed to see today. I've been wanting something along the bottom of a door to reduce the draft. This is something so useful and will be thoroughly enjoyed by the 14 grands when they come to visit (not all at once, hopefully or the snake might get torn to bits!).
This is a great example on reusing clothing so it doesn't end up in landfills! I've always loved snakes because they represent growth (shedding old skins of the past in order to move forward) and healing. I'm going to tweet this via hlwdsellout as soon as possible. This cute snake can also be used in front of the door to prevent cold air from coming in and will save a bit of heating energy.
A new Year!3 years ago
how long is the snake?
DotatDabbled (author)  A new Year!3 years ago
5 feet maybe? You can make yours as long as you like, of course.
Here's a photo of mine with his 5 yr old, for reference: http://dabbled.org/2010/10/sewing-with-a-5-year-old-sweater-snake-2-0.html
The website is awesome (so is this instructable!)
I saw this and had to make it. One thing I found works to stuff the snake: grab the stuffing with BBQ tongs to get it to the end of the snake.
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Jaelle5 years ago
This is great! I suppose you could also use old socks
DotatDabbled (author) 6 years ago
Great! i have several other recycled sweater projects on my blog if you have any other kid gift occasions :)
check out: http://www.dabbled.org/search/label/recycled%20sweaters

dot
PaganBaby6 years ago
This is absolutely perfect! I have 3 nephews that will be born this year what an awesome toy for them to grow up with! You rock!
DotatDabbled (author) 6 years ago
glad you like it! if you try it, I wanna see :) Especially if motion sensors are added ...hehe
This is pretty cool! Not even pretty cool. Insanely cool. Yeah. It looks cool, I might try it if I can, and add some motion sensors and stuff, and when people walk by it will attack them or something. :-)
mikeasaurus6 years ago
I love it! Maybe you've given me an idea on what to do with all those old sweaters I have hiding in my closet.