Picture of Up-cycled & felted sweater slippers
This was a fun, gratifying and pretty quick project made from thrifted sweaters.  This would make a great last-minute gift, as they went together in no time. They are slouchy, homely and hard to resist on a chilly day, and would be equally appreciated by both guys and girls.
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Step 1: Gather your supplies

Picture of Gather your supplies
You will need a wool sweater (or two if you want your slippers multi-coloured), some wool yarn to attach the soles to the uppers, and a darning needle. I made a pattern for the foot with some newspaper.

I found a 100% wool sweater and washed & dried it several times to felt it. The fibres seized up and got worked together so tightly that it really changed the texture of the sweater completely. The other sweater was wool, but the percentage was unreadable (old sweater, old tag) and it did not felt at all.  As you'll see, I used the thick and plushy felted sweater for the soles, and the other wool sweater for the uppers.

Step 2: Make your pattern

Picture of Make your pattern
I had intended on giving these as a gift if they turned out, but didn't know the shoe size of the recipient.  I traced about 3/4 of an inch around the outside of my foot.  The slippers are a smidge too big, but not much, so if you are making yourself a pair, keep pretty close to your actual foot size.  Having never made these before, I really didn't know how much wiggle room I'd need; turns out, not much.

Step 3: Make one for the other foot

Picture of Make one for the other foot
I labelled them, although it was pretty obvious which was which. 

Step 4: Cut out soles

Picture of Cut out soles
To get the most flat and useable area out of my sweater, I sliced up the seam under the arm of each sleeve. I laid the sleeve out flat and cut two pieces of the sole out of one sleeve. I put them together and decided that each slipper would have two layers of this scrummy felted sweater as sole. Cut two for each foot. 

Step 5: Match up the soles

Picture of Match up the soles
I put the two pairs together and made sure they were the same size and trimmed any uneven areas.
peachyone3 years ago
i have to tell you, this is my favourite instructable ever. i want to make them, but i don't have any feltable wooly jumpers. :(
Great work. My husband just shrunk one of my wool sweaters, think I'll try it. My feet are always cold. Thanks for the info.
firefly683 years ago
Old shrunken wool sweaters are very easy to find at Goodwill etc. Look in the kids' section, where you can find adult sweaters that shrank and are now very tightly woven. Also in adult sizes that say Large, 2XL, etc, but are obviously quite small. This is such a great project!
Made a pair here too. Used old blue jeans for the sole (double layer with some felt between 'em). Amazingly good at keeping the cold from coming through the bottom on my concrete floors. Didn't get them sized quite right though, I never was that great with sewing projects. Thanks for the great idea.
dicky4053 years ago
great , simple & handy.
Mike733 years ago
I thought about this for a while now and even checked my closet. I couldn't find the right supplies, so I'll buy some cheap sweaters for this project. I couldn't come up with a better christmas present for my wife :-)

One question though:
Did you do anything to the cut out parts to prevent fraying of the fabric (I hope I used the proper word), like sewing around the soles first to hold them together properly?
jessandstavro (author)  Mike733 years ago
If you can find some real wool sweaters at the thrift store (you shouldn't have any problem, you could probably even find some already felted, lol! And that's why they're there) and felt them, they won't unravel the way a sweater normally would. Felting in the washing machine binds the fibres together. They seize up and tangle and essentially become more like fabric, than something stitched together. It's kind of hard to explain. In any case, when you cut the pieces out, if the sweater's been properly felted, it won't unravel. The blanket stitch around the edge holds it all together and covers the raw edge.
Go you! Good luck! :)
Thanks for the hints.
I only have a week left and due to the family mostly being at home, I think I'll only be able to work at night when everyone is asleep.
So yesterday on my way home from work, I bought some kind of a fleece sweater. So far the edges didn't really fray much, and yes, I think once everything comes together, it'll work :-)
I'm having a hard time though pinning the stuff down.
I tried onc and found out that I have to cut the sleeve in steeper angle to get more leeway. I couldn't stretch the fabric as much as I wanted. Now it seems ok, but I had to take out the pins again as my family is coming home soon, and I don't want them to see. It would certainly spoil the surprise.
I also have to get some good yarn. The stuff we have at home is for machine sewing and therefore too fine.

Ok, I have to pick up my little one. I'll continue tonight.

Thanks for this great idea again, it's really the best for a gift to my wife I could think of :-)
Mike73 Mike733 years ago
I made it. For a guy who's mostly into electonic gadgets or wood working,I found it fairly easy to do this one. I think the slippers came out great and I can hardly wait to see my wife's reaction on christmas eve.
I must admit though, that due to the uncommon work with needles, my left thumb and my right hand's index and middle finger hurt a bit. Somewhere in the middle of making the second slipper I thought about giving it a rest and to continue another day. But I'm glad I went all the way through. I even tried one slipper on, and due to its strechiness, I could get my foot in ;-) and I didn't even break it. Cool project, thanks again.
Mike733 years ago
My wife would love them (maybe I too). I think this would be an awesome christmas present for her cold feet :-)
Now I just have to find some old sweaters.
kbukovac3 years ago
awesome! i recently "found" a bag of old wool sweaters i saved a few years ago for some unknown project. this is it, thanks!
I love this. My husband has a thick sweater that is now too big and too nice material to toss. So it would make great slippers. I cant felt it, but maybe I can find one for the bottoms like you did.
CrLz4 years ago
Awesome slippers.
Biggsy4 years ago
I'll have a pair if your offering ;) hehehehe
These look SO cosy. A great way to use an old sweater that's been a favourite that you can't chuck out!
So clever!! Well done. Thanks for sharring!!! BTW, I am a size 6 and I like red (just kidding-I do intend to make my own by following your brilliant Instructable over christmas hollidays)
jessandstavro (author)  porcupinemamma4 years ago
LOL, I'll get right on it!